Given the power and conviction with which he played the role, it seems, in hindsight, as if Richard Armitage was the obvious choice to play John Thornton. And I knew the John Thornton type.” But it was six weeks before he was called back to read for the part again.
But in fact, the casting process for Thornton was a long one. I felt that I owed it to the role to know as much about it before I attempted to try and convince someone to cast me as Thornton.” “Within the first pages, I thought, ‘I’m right for this person and for this role’. By this time, Daniela Denby-Ashe had been cast as Margaret Hale, and he was asked to read with her.
The characters and themes of the novel have never left me.
These works are the basis and inspiration for my book, A Heart for Milton.
Richard Armitage was one of the first people who was seen for the role. My roots are in that part of the country and that kind of industry. "Something great happened when I read with Daniela.
you look at her face and you just want to kiss her.immediately, so many people flooded the bbc’s online message boards that they crashed and shut down.share a climactic moment when margaret throws her body in front of a mob to protect thornton — after exhorting him to talk to them and not send soldiers in — and takes a rock to the head for him (but she doesn’t love him, she swears).And then I read around the etiquette of the 1850s as well. What we take for granted now was just being born then.” The character of John Thornton “[Elizabeth Gaskell], for me, is probably the most exciting of the Victorian novelists.Although the Thorntons don’t necessarily abide by those rules, I felt it was important to know as much about the period as possible.” Given that the novel deals with the beginnings of unionisation, he also researched the history of the early socialists. Unlike others, she manages to get inside the male mind. The idea that this male mind was written by a female writer was brilliant." “He is courageous.“Obviously I started with the novel and the novel was around all the time and there’s a great deal of rich, historical information in the novel.But I felt it was important to understand the industry that Thornton is in, so I researched the cotton industry and I went to the various places in England where there are working museums, one of which turned out to be one of the locations, which was brilliant. I think Engels has written a book which was based around the working classes in the 1850s which is incredibly detailed about the poverty – so I looked at that for a start.North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell was introduced to the world in 1854.Written as a contemporary tale of love wrought amidst the social confusion and economic upheaval of England’s Industrial Revolution, the story has stood the test of time.All I can tell you is that to write a scene, I have to be able to see it, and he’s such a versatile actor that he’s very easy to picture in a myriad of different roles.AAN: You’ve published two North & South novels, one a continuation of Gaskell’s story and one a time-travel romance.