Dominic’s character is ‘so outrageous and politically incorrect’ (Picture: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Dominic West has revealed that his mother-in-law warned him very sternly ‘not to mess up’ his performance in BBC series The Pursuit of Love.
The Pursuit of Love, based on the 1945 novel by Nancy Mitford of the same name, is set between the two World Wars and stars Lily James, 32, as the wild and adventurous Linda Radlett and Emily Beecham, 36, as her more timid cousin Fanny Logan.
Dominic, 51, plays Linda’s father Matthew Radlett, who runs an extremely draconian household and is adamant that the girls in the family should not receive an education.
When he was cast in the three-part series, which was written and directed by Emily Mortimer, the actor said that he received some words of caution from the mother of his wife, landscape designer Catherine FitzGeald.
‘My mother-in-law very sternly told me how much she loved the books and told me not to mess it up,’ he recalled.
Describing his character as ‘so outrageous and so politically incorrect’, Dominic said that he ‘couldn’t resist’ the part.
Dominic stars in The Pursuit of Love opposite Lily James (Picture: BBC)
‘His attitude to life is so not what most people think today in regards to political opinions; how to raise children, the role of women in society they are all so backwards,’ he said.
‘I couldn’t really resist him as he’s so fun to play. Even in the 1930s he had unconventional views but he’s a softie behind it all.’
The Wire star added that while Matthew ‘would not fare well in a world of gender equality’, he has a ‘warm heart to him which is why he’s interesting’.
The actor explained how the character was originally based on the novelist’s own father and is a fairly ‘frightening’ individual.
Linda and Fanny are in search of love in the drama (Picture: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky)
‘Uncle Matthew hunts his children and is quite a frightening patriarchal figure,’ he said.
‘Pretty much every scene I’m in I’m shouting at someone but because he fought in the First World War he particularly hates Germans.
‘There’s an entrenching tool hung on the wall which reminds him of how he killed 10 Germans in a row.’
Other members of the cast in The Pursuit of Love include director Emily, who plays ‘The Bolter’, Andrew Scott as the bohemian Lord Merlin and Dolly Wells as Aunt Sadie.
The series follows Linda and Fanny on their individual quests for love, with Fanny choosing to go down a more stable, conventional route and Linda deciding to see where her heart will lead her.
The Pursuit of Love begins on May 9 at 9pm on BBC One, with all three episodes dropping on iPlayer afterwards.Original article published here.