Gentleman Jack on BBC: Suranne Jones reveals INJURIES from gruelling Anne Lister days

Gentleman Jack is a period drama about the wild life of Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones) and although she may be a woman in the 1800s, she is anything but typical for the time. 

The tomboy landowner refused to act as a “lady” should in that historical period and instead lived a true life as a strong woman.

Anne’s costume is far from normal for a woman in 1835 Halifax; she shunned the typical dresses in favour of black, functional, pieces and chose to decorate her masculine haircut with a top hat.

However, the amount of pieces Suranne had to wear for the role seemed to cause her some issues while filming.

Suranne spoke at the Radio Times Festival earlier this year, and told a jam-packed BFI audience how physical Anne was and how that had an impact on her.

She said: “She does a lot of walking, she does a lot of jumping, claiming up things – she’s very physical.

“I had so many clothes on and the summer was very hot. 

“I started to get welts because you shouldn’t behave like Anne behaves in a corset.”

Thankfully, there was an option to make Suranne’s life a little easier on set and it was all down to ballet.

She revealed: “Our costume designer told me about a ballet corset and it gives you leeway to do things Anne Lister could do.”

Anne lived in Halifax’s Shibden Hall and was there for an exciting time for the estate as its wealth of coal mines was about to be exploited.

She quickly realised she could make money off the valuable substance and set about finding a buyer.

Writer, Sally Wainwright, discussed the pitfalls, revealing: “She was going into a man’s world. 

“She knew her estate was valuable because of the coal and she wasn’t going to just give it away; she was going to make money off it and she was going to run rings around people.”

The Happy Valley creator added: “She was phenomenally intelligent. She loved information. She read as prolifically as she wrote.

“In a way, what you see in the storyline, she picks up a lot of information and can turn it around easily.”

At screening for Gentleman Jack, Suranne told press including Express.co.uk what it was life filming Anne’s lesbian sex scenes. 

“We did all that work and then actually, it’s the physcoholical intimacy what we went for.

“There was a lot of looks we could do that would speak volumes. 

“We were comfortable with one another and we didn’t have to be gratuitous in any way.”

Gentleman Jack airs this evening on BBC One at 9pm. 

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