His Dark Materials: Ruth Wilson ‘couldn’t say no’ to playing ‘cesspit of moral filth’

Actor couldn't resist villain character in Philip Pullman adaptation

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 06 October 2019 17:11
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His Dark Materials - trailer

Ruth Wilson has said she “couldn’t say no” to playing Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials because the character was described as a “cesspit of moral filth”.

The actor plays the villain in the forthcoming BBC and HBO adaptation of the Philip Pullman trilogy.

When Wilson was offered the part, she told The Times, she read the description of Mrs Coulter who is “described as the mother of all evil and the cesspit of moral filth".

She added: “I couldn’t say no to that.”

Dafne Keen, who plays young heroine Lyra in the series, also told of a scene in which Mrs Coulter’s daemon attacks Lyra’s daemon. “You quickly forget that Ruth is a lovely woman,” said Keen. “She genuinely does look like a psychopath.

"But when it’s a very intense scene and we’re getting too much into a mood ourselves, we smile through it. We joke. And when we cut, I smile so that people can see that I’m not mentally scarred for the rest of my life.”

Wilson has previous when it comes to playing sociopaths, having played Idris Elba’s troubled love interest Alice Morgan, in Luther.

His Dark Materials also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, James McAvoy, David Suchet and James Cosmo.

The series will premiere on BBC1 on 3 November 2019.

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