A Century-Old Love Story That Still Resonates; Lady Chatterley's Lover Created Headlines When It Was First Published and, Almost a Century on, That Hasn't Changed. SUSAN GRIFFIN Talks to the Cast and Director of the Latest TV Adaptation as They Discuss Their Take on the Infamous Classic and Why the Story Still Resonates Today

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), September 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

A Century-Old Love Story That Still Resonates; Lady Chatterley's Lover Created Headlines When It Was First Published and, Almost a Century on, That Hasn't Changed. SUSAN GRIFFIN Talks to the Cast and Director of the Latest TV Adaptation as They Discuss Their Take on the Infamous Classic and Why the Story Still Resonates Today


Byline: SUSAN GRIFFIN

THERE'S been a lot of talk about the latest small-screen adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover, and how explicit it will be. The 1928 novel, written by D.H. Lawrence, gained notoriety for its explicit language and sexual descriptions, and was banned in the UK until 1960.

But Jed Mercurio, who has directed and written the latest BBC version - which stars Holliday Grainger as Lady Chatterley, James Norton as Sir Clifford and Richard Madden as the gamekeeper Mellors - doesn't believe it's "an obscene story", and anyone expecting pornographic trysts between Lady Chatterley and her husband's gamekeeper will be sorely disappointed.

"D.H. Lawrence chose to use a certain kind of language in the book because it was groundbreaking and he was making a point about artistic expression, but that battle's been won," notes Jed, who insists he wasn't thinking of previous versions of the story while writing his take on the tale.

"The idea was to tell it as a love story, a love triangle, and focus on the emotions of the characters," he adds.

Here, the three leads discuss their interpretation of the infamous story, and what it was like bringing it to life for the small screen.

LADY OF THE HOUSE HOLLIDAY GRAINGER, who rose to fame in The Borgias, hadn't read the book before she got the part of Lady Constance Chatterley.

"All I knew was that it was a really steamy, racy read and my grandparents had always said that the copy was well thumbed in libraries, and one particular middle central page!" reveals the Manchester-born 27-year-old.

"But as a modern reader, post-Fifty Shades Of Grey, I was like, 'Oh, I don't see what all the fuss is about!"' Jed's adaptation differs from the book by exploring the relationship Constance and her husband Sir Clifford enjoyed before the war - and the injuries that leave him in a wheelchair.

"In Jed's adaptation, the character of Clifford is a lot more rounded, you really get to see that he isn't a bad guy that wants all the lower classes to die, he's quite likeable," explains Holliday.

Richard |Holliday Lady Chatterley's "You do see it was a marriage of love, it's just that as with most relationships, your first love isn't the love you have for life."

While Constance shares an intellectual bond with Clifford, "Mellors has such an amazing tenderness", notes the actress.

"It's what she completely lost with Clifford since he has come back from the war and lost his ability to connect on an emotional level," she continues. "It's animalistic in a way, it's about the comfort, it's not the material idea of safety that she is attracted to."

The novel might be almost a century old, but Holliday believes the issues of social class and structure still resonate today.

"And I think what the novel actually is about is a woman's decision of self-growth and self-understanding, and what you want in life and in a life partner. "That's something that people will always be thinking about."

Madden and in Lover THE SYMPATHETIC SNOB JAMES NORTON might joke that he's "flying the flag for Team Clifford", but he stresses that this time around, his character is a lot more sympathetic than past depictions. …

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A Century-Old Love Story That Still Resonates; Lady Chatterley's Lover Created Headlines When It Was First Published and, Almost a Century on, That Hasn't Changed. SUSAN GRIFFIN Talks to the Cast and Director of the Latest TV Adaptation as They Discuss Their Take on the Infamous Classic and Why the Story Still Resonates Today
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