“Marianne is somebody who is incredibly sensitive and very vulnerable,” actress Daisy Edgar-Jones says to Gold Derby in her exclusive interview about playing the character in “Normal People” co-starring Paul Mescal on Hulu (watch the video above). Reminiscent of the 2018 novel of the same name by Sally Rooney upon which the 12-episode miniseries is adapted, Edgar-Jones presented two versions of Marianne with her performance. She explains, “When it came to a wide shot, when it was in a conversation with another character, there would be an element of playing the side of Marianne that Connell sees, which sometimes is quite abrasive and quite to the point.” For closer shots “with a shallow depth of field,” Edgar-Jones would “show what’s really going on in Marianne’s head — the more deep and vulnerable inner life.” She concludes, “It was a real fun joy to explore those two different things and work out in which scenes and in which moments you play with which perspective.”
Referencing a line from the book, Edgar-Jones likens Marianne to a deer in how “very observant” she is and how she “used eye contact a lot” to pull off her empathetic character. “I always think of deer to have these expressive eyes and she uses a lot of eye contact,” she laughs. Edgar-Jones comments about what she has taken from the fan response to her acting, “What’s been really wonderful is reading people’s theories about the show who haven’t read the book and they’re similar to the questions and thoughts I had when I read the book, so that’s really nice because it means you go, ‘Oh, I did communicate that, because it’s so beautifully done in the book.”
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