Gillian has no great expectations of Hollywood

Gillian Anderson says she is happy to keep working in the UK, as she doesn’t see herself as a typical Hollywood star.

The actress is about to hit our screens in a BBC One adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, playing abandoned bride Miss Havisham.

Explaining why she keeps getting offered roles on this side of the Atlantic, she said: “People tend to take risks with me more over here than they do in the States. I’m not sure they know what to do with me over there, although there are two films I’m interested in at the moment which would take me back there soon.”

But if she’s craving shoots where she gets to wear nice dresses rather than the rotting lace she’s forced to don for her Dickens role, she’s not showing it.

“I don’t think of myself as a ‘glamorous Hollywood actress’ at all. If I look at my roles, the majority have less to do with glamour and have more to do with some kind of human condition, a lot of sorrow and pain.

“I keep on getting cast as sad women looking out of windows.”

Gillian is well aware of how fans of the book might respond to a TV version of Great Expectations, especially as it is the third big British literary adaptation she has starred in over the past 14 months (she played Wallis Simpson in an adaptation of William Boyd’s Any Human Heart and Mrs Castaway in Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal And The White).

She says: “Everybody who loves a book has an idea of how they see it. There’s a book I quite like which has been made into a film. I keep seeing the trailer and I have such a negative feeling towards it just based on the trailer, so I get it, I understand.

“But you just have to jump in with both feet and hope people like it.”

Great Expectations begins on BBC One on Tuesday, December 27.