WATCH: Great Expectations for ‘War Horse’ Breakout Star Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine (AP Photo/Jonathan Short)

Jeremy Irvine, who shot to fame playing young Albert Narracott in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the British play War Horse, has now moved on to promoting his second big role in a soon-to-be-released adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

The film was unveiled last week at the Toronto Film Festival  – and it’s been given the high profile closing night slot at next month’s London Film Festival.

The picture, directed by Mike Newell, also stars Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.

Irvine plays the key role of Pip – a character who rises from orphan boy into a gentleman in Dickens’ 19th Century novel.


The actor says: “What we’ve done is I think made it more kind of a [sexual] and a more violent version. This shouldn’t be a boring period movie. We’ve done the opposite of that. We’ve almost ditched a lot of what you typically find in a period movie like this for the real, raw human emotion.”

Given that BBC television recently produced an adaptation of the novel some have questioned whether or not there’s a need for another version so soon.

Irvine says: “There’s only been one classical movie version since 1946 – so I reckon 60 years is probably about time for a new one.”

A year ago Irvine had little name recognition – but that’s changed.  He’s still a little taken aback by his success and not totally comfortable that he’s doing so well in the business when others aren’t.

He says: “It is weird, and I feel very guilty. A lot of great actors aren’t working, and I am, you do feel quite guilty about it.”

Early reviews of Great Expectations have been positive — although there have been complaints that the adaptation lacks vitality and edge. But there’s been a lot of praise for some of the performances, as well as technical aspects of the film.

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