“We have to start stealing the men’s roles,” urged Helen Mirren back in August 2015. Angelina Jolie’s role in 2010’s “Salt” was originally written for a man, as was Sandra Bullock’s in last year’s “Our Brand Is Crisis.” Now we can add Olivia Colman to the list of actresses with a job on their resumé initially intended for a man. The former “Broadchurch” star is playing Burr, the lead character in BBC’s upcoming miniseries adaptation of John le Carre’s novel “The Night Manager.” In le Carre’s 1993 book, Burr is a man.
According to The Telegraph, the change was made in part to “bring the story up to date.”
“Angela Burr was… written as a man in the book, so not only did they have to rethink the gender of the character, but also incorporate the fact that she is pregnant,” Colman, who was pregnant at the time of filming, told the newspaper.
Susanne Bier, who directed all six episodes of “The Night Manager,” contextualized the choice: “We had decided that Burr should be played by a woman, rather than a man as in the book, because we thought there was an exciting chemistry between a woman and a man engaging in the power struggle [between Burr and the character Roper, played by Hugh Laurie].”
The series focuses on a former British soldier (Tom Hiddleston) who is recruited by an intelligence operative (Colman). His mission requires him to infiltrate the world of the secret arms trade, where Roper (Laurie) is a prominent, high-ranking figure.
Le Carre has offered his stamp of approval.
“The Night Manager” will premiere on AMC April 19.
[via The Telegraph]