Sunday, 26 January 2014

Who I see when I think of a story, Aisling Loftus, Mr. Selfridge, Levels 4, Idylls of Merlin.

Aisling Loftus (pronounced Ashling), to me, is one of the greatest actresses of her generation (it's the younger generation, so far there's not a ton of competition).

I'm editing Levels 4 now (it doubles as Book One in the Idylls of Merlin) and there's one character, Madeleine Bride, who's becoming very complicated indeed. For three books she's been the POV character (except for a brief meltdown in Lullaby of Lies, when she wasn't strong enough to carry the story).

Now, though, she's one of an ensemble, and for much of the story - particularly the start, she's not even the lead. She has to play a mature, balancing role, when new players are charging in and making a mess of things. Aisling Loftus does complexity, balance, and imbalance with ease.

She also does swimming costumes, which is important. Anybody who knows Levels, knows that Madeleine has a love-hate relationship with her swimsuit. She doesn't swim as much as usual in The Walled Lake, because she needs to organise the future saviour of the world, but Aisling Loftus could do that too.

The main reason why Aisling Loftus would be a great Madeleine Bride is that she does an amazing job of hinting at vast inner resource. She can act surface fragility AND inner strength at the same time. I know this because I've been watching her in Mr. Selfridge. It's a great series, and she's the best thing in it. I haven't included a clip of it here, though, because her hair is all wrong. 1908 hair is splendid but it's not very Levels at all.

In Mr. Selfridge she's the naive, starting at the bottom shop girl who turns out - surprise! - to be graced with vast talent and oodles of charm.

Watch it! You can get DVDs for one dinar each in a shop near my place...

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