But while many of the characters have their roots in James’ fiction, some of them are completely new for the series, including the groundskeeper Jamie, played by Amelia Eve.
And Eve said she played a significant role in helping to create the character, with writer/director Mike Flanagan having been very open to collaboration.
“I was really lucky in that Mike was really wonderful and open to collaboration,” she explained to RadioTimes.com. “My character wasn’t based on any of the Henry James novels or any of the characters in Henry James’ work and so Mike was really open for me to contribute into what Jamie would become.”
Eve saids she went away and wrote a huge backstory for the character that included “every single day of her life what she’d been up to” and when she sent it to Flanagan he loved it, later including it in one of the series’ most key scenes in episode six.
“Jamie has this wonderful monologue in episode six and Mike included a huge amount of what I’d put in there in the monologue which was just incredible,” she said. “And for me doing the research and finding all that, that’s where I get pure joy.”
Describing her character, Eve calls Jamie “probably not the warmest person” explaining that she’s often more comfortable with her plants than with people, but she says there’s a good reason for this.
“The reason why she is so guarded gets explained as the show goes on and so you get to see the softer side of her,” she said. “And really she’s a good egg, she just cares a lot and she maybe cares too much – and that’s why she throws herself into her plants because they’re a safer space.”