Jonah Hauer-King on Little Women: 'When you step on set for the first time wearing a three piece handmade suit it's a very special moment'
- Henry Northmore
- 21 December 2017
Actor discusses moving from Howards End to starring in another new BBC adaptation of a classic, this time Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
There's something about Christmas and costume dramas that just feels right. Warm and cosy television tackling some of literature's true classics has become a festive tradition and the BBC doesn't disappoint with a new version of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women for 2017.
It tells the story of the March sisters, Meg (Willa Fitzgerald), Jo (Maya Thurman-Hawke), Beth (Annes Elwy) and Amy (Kathryn Newton), growing up in the 1800s. Adapted by writer Heidi Thomas – who knows her way round a period piece having previously worked on Cranford and created Call the Midwife and the reboot of Upstairs, Downstairs – and also starring Angela Lansbury, Michael Gambon and Emily Watson alongside Jonah Hauer-King who was just recently on our screens in the BBC's Howards End.
After a few technical difficulties we managed to talk with Hauer-King, who turned out to be a wonderfully eloquent and thoughtful interviewee, to find out more.
For anyone who doesn't know the book what is Little Women about?
In very broad terms it's about four girls and their development into women in both their public and private life. It's about what it means to grow up, what it means to be an adult, and there are a number of fundamental messages about goodness, compassion and tolerance.
Obviously you are not one of the Little Woman, what can you tell us about the character you play?
I play Theodore Lawrence also known as Laurie. Laurie is an orphan who lost his parents when he was very young and went off to boarding school. Boarding school has now finished and he lives with his grandfather, played by Michael Gambon. The house is next door to the March girls and they see his loneliness and isolation and welcome him into their family and lives.
How did you first get involved with the project?
I was doing Howards End, which BBC One and Playground Entertainment made, and this was their next project. So off the back of that they wanted me to come in and read and I met with the director and casting director and we had a long chat about what Little Women meant to us and it went from there. So I have a lot to thank the BBC and Playground for, two very lovely jobs back-to-back.