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movie franchise. But the actress is the lead in the BBC\'s new series
, which is an adaptation of Australian writer Joan Lindsay\'s 1967 mystery novel of the same name –and it seems as though she was everybody\'s first choice to play the part.
"The reason I took the role is that [the show\'s director] Larysa Kondracki wrote to me and said, \'I need an actress who can be terrifying but also bring vulnerability. I think you can do that,\'" Natalie told
Dormer plays a rather nasty headmistress called Hester Appleyard, who has fled to Australia to start a new life for herself. However, things begin to go awry when some of the schoolgirls go missing, and Hester\'s past begins to catch up with her.
"She\'s run away from a past life and constructed herself as something else. But when a massive tragedy, like the girls\' disappearance happens, you realise how flimsy that is," said Dormer.
She continued: "Hester certainly becomes destabilised – and that\'s fun to play, someone losing their mind. That\'s Hamlet, that\'s Blanche DuBois – that\'s a gift as an actor."
However, even though this new BBC series, which is going to air on BBC2, will be set in the past, Dormer was adamant that it shouldn\'t be thought of as a costume drama. The actress feels it shares more with the sci-fi genre.
"It\'s not a costume drama – it\'s helpful to think of it more in sci-fi terms. Just because there\'s horses and corsets, it\'s actually got a more psychedelic, non-linear tone to it."
was shot in and around Melbourne in Australia, but Dormer didn\'t see this as an excuse to have a nice time filming Down Under.
Dormer was actually a huge fan of the novel before being offered the role – she\'d read it twice already. And she saw this as an opportunity to showcase the high-quality television that Austalia is capable of producing.
"One of the reasons I wanted to do the job is that it\'s Australia\'s first punt at saying, \'We can make prestige drama to a high-production value too,\'" Dormer explained.
"It\'s the first time I\'ve been to Australia, so for me there was no acting required – to see the Australian landscape for the first time and to be hit between the eyes by that… It is incredibly powerful and majestic. It\'s epic."
Season one has already aired in parts of the world and garnered some positive buzz reviews. However, will there be a second series even though it was intended to be a one-off? Nobody, including Dormer herself, is ruling out the possibility of doing a second one.
. They intended it to be a one-off, but then, by demand, [it did come back], so you never say never. Who knows? I\'d go back to Australia, though. Of course I would!"
The six-part series airs this Wednesday (July 11) on BBC2, at 9.05pm.
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