Lily James opens up about “totally radical” new show The Pursuit of Love

Rianne Houghton, Abby Robinson
·3-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

The Pursuit of Love is set to take Line of Duty's Sunday night spot, premiering this weekend on BBC One. The romantic comedy-drama by Emily Mortimer is worlds away from Jed Mercurio's police procedural, however, with Lily James calling it "totally radical".

Ahead of The Pursuit of Love's first episode, Mamma Mia! star Lily – who plays Linda Radlett in the three-part adaptation of Nancy Mitford's novel – spoke to Digital Spy and other media about the series' "brave, radical storytelling".

Written and directed by Emily Mortimer, the new mini-series follows the adventures (and misadventures) of the charismatic and fearless Linda, and her best friend and cousin, Fanny Logan.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Opening up about her character, Lily has praised Linda's "passion and fire and energy", saying that she "lives life so honestly".

"She's unafraid, really," she explained. "She has all this passion and fire and energy but no structure to put it into because she wasn't educated. And women, the restraints on their choices were so great, and yet she still carves out this life following her own heart and making great sacrifices and great personal loss.

"There's a courage to be who she is. That feels radical, even now."

Radical as Linda's story might be, the actress also went on to admit that some parts of her arc are "difficult even now to watch", touching on the abandonment of her daughter and the issue of post-natal depression.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: Mamma Mia's Lily James opens up on what made her "wince" about the movie

"You don't see that portrayed," Lily said. "[It's brave] to understand the reasons why and, I hope, to have sympathy and empathy and understanding for those choices and for them to be demystified and addressed and examined.

"There's a lot of stuff that feels so deeply important and brave to tell, especially in this setting at that time," she added. "Totally radical."

The Pursuit of Love, which also stars Andrew Scott and Dominic West, promises to raise questions "about freedom, about love and sex, and the mystery of the human heart."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are on the hunt for the ideal husband," its official synopsis reads.

"Their friendship is put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart, to increasingly wild and outrageous places. As social and political divisions split the nation, their diverging choices raise personal questions that remain intensely relevant today..."

The first episode of Pursuit of Love airs Sunday, May 9 at 9pm on BBC One.

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