Jessica Brown Findlay enters ‘Brave New World’
English actress Jessica Brown Findlay has become a period-piece staple — but she steps into the future in “Brave New World,” her new series premiering Wednesday on Peacock.
“There are some scripts that you just read and immediately know you have to do,” Findlay, 30, tells The Post. “I knew I had to play Lenina Crowne.”
“Brave New World” is based on the classic 1932 Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. It’s set in a utopian society called New London, which has achieved peace by eliminating certain practices including monogamy, privacy, money and family — all imposed by a mixture of genetic engineering and pill-popping. Findlay’s Lenina Crowne longs for more, much to the dismay of her friend, Bernard (Harry Lloyd, “Game of Thrones”). Their stability is further threatened when they cross paths with John (Alden Ehrenrich, “Solo”), who lives outside of their society in a region known as the “savage lands.”
“The three of us are kind of all quite geeky, and we all really love what we do, so there was a sort of joint [feeling of] throwing ourselves into something that felt really safe and exciting,” Findlay says about her co-stars. “They’re also both incredibly talented. And working with people who are really good makes you up your game. I love them both dearly.
“I was familiar with [the original book] comparatively to other dystopian worlds, but I had never read it,” she says. “So when I got the part, I did read [the book] but put it aside and threw myself into the scripts. I’d never had as much fun on a job.”
Findlay is best known for playing the kind-hearted Lady Sibyl Branson on “Downton Abbey,” though she’s donned corsets and wigs for a host of other period-piece dramas including Hulu’s “Harlots” (2017-2019) and the 2014 miniseries “Jamaica Inn,” set in 1820. She also co-starred in the World War II-era movie “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” Onstage, she starred as Ophelia opposite Andrew Scott (“Fleabag”) in a modernized 2018 production of “Hamlet.”
She says that a story is a story — no matter the chronological timeframe in which it’s set.
“I think about this quite a lot, because also all the plays I’ve done [are] classic plays set in current times,” she says. “There’s this constant connection [between past and future] because ‘Brave New World’ is futuristic, and yet it’s based on a book that was written in 1932. And so I think all those stories, whether they’re in the future or past or completely present … feel so familiar.”
Case in point: early in the series, Lenina and Bernard attend a rave, which brings viewers further into the hedonistic world of New London.
Findlay singles that out as one of her favorite scenes to film.
“There were two or three days from the first episode where we filmed all night at the dance party in [New London’s] pleasure gardens, and that was so wonderful to me,” she says. “We did a couple of days building confidence and trust with one another, and we just had music blasting all night. I was disappointed to go home at 4 in the morning.
“I didn’t want to leave.”
Source : Lauren Sarner Link