Cinderella star Holliday Grainger says she’s enjoyed a string of roles playing ‘slightly haughty, flirty bitches’ because it’s something she doesn’t ‘like to be in real life’.

“I’ve had a lot of fun in my posh period bitchy corsets,” revealed Holliday, whose performance as one of the ugly stepsisters in Disney’s new version of Cinderella follows a string of recent costume roles on big and small screens, including Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina and Great Expectations in the cinema and The Borgias on TV.

“I enjoy playing the slightly haughty, flirty bitches,” says Holliday, who wears costumes by three-time Oscar-winner Sandy Powell in Cinderella and will next play the title role in the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. “It’s an outlet for something I don’t like to be in real life.”

Holliday, who appears in Cinderella alongside Downton Abbey’s Lily James and Sophie McShera, and Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter, told What’s On TV that director Kenneth Branagh encouraged his stellar cast to find the humanity in their fairy-tale characters.

“We could believe in our characters and then we could just play on top of that and be as big and as silly as we wanted to.”

Cinderella opens nationwide in the UK on Friday.

Watch the interview with Holliday Grainger, above.