Meet the cast of Great Expectations
BBC One's new Dickens adaptation boasts an epic cast.
There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations over the years – but perhaps not quite one like BBC’s new version before.
The six-parter has been written by none other than Steven Knight of Peaky Blinders and SAS Rogue Heroes fame and, as anyone who saw his 2019 adaptation of A Christmas Carol will have guessed, is a much darker and grimier take on Dickens' novel.
Olivia Colman, Fionn Whitehead and Shalom Brune-Franklin lead the cast in the new adaptation, though Colman recently revealed she almost turned down the role.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press at a recent Q&A for the series, Colman said that at first, she "kept going 'No, no'". She said this was "because a couple of my good mates had played it and I thought 'Oh no'".
However, Colman added: "And then I realised that in art world, loads of people have played Richard III. It’s okay. Actors do that. And then I saw Steven’s take on it, I read the scripts – in general I never say yes before I’ve read the script. And I loved it. Everything in Steven’s hands is just heightened and made better."
But who else stars in the series and who do they all play? Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of Great Expectations.
Great Expectations cast
Here are the main cast members and characters in Great Expectations. Read on below for more info about who they are and where you've seen the actors before.
- Fionn Whitehead as Pip
- Shalom Brune-Franklin as Estella
- Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham
- Ashley Thomas as Mr Jaggers
- Johnny Harris as Magwitch
- Hayley Squires as Mrs Sara Gargery
- Owen McDonnell as Mr Joe Gargery
- Laurie Ogden as Biddy
- Matt Berry as Mr Pumblechook
- Trystan Gravelle as Compeyson
- Rudi Dharmalingam as Wemmick
Fionn Whitehead plays Pip
Who is Pip? Pip is an orphan, living with his sister and brother-in-law, who yearns for a greater lot in life and eventually gets a chance to become a gentleman, thanks to Miss Havisham.
Where have I seen Fionn Whitehead? Whitehead is best known for his roles in the Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk, the Black Mirror interactive film Bandersnatch, the film Emily and an episode of Inside No. 9.
Ashley Thomas plays Mr Jaggers
Who is Mr Jaggers? Mr Jaggers is a corrupt and powerful lawyer living in London.
Where have I seen Ashley Thomas? Thomas is known for his roles in Top Boy, Them, The Ipcress File, 24: Legacy, Black Mirror and more.
Olivia Colman plays Miss Havisham
Who is Miss Havisham? Miss Havisham is a mysterious and eccentric woman who offers to teach Pip to become a gentleman.
Where have I seen Olivia Colman? Colman won an Oscar for her role in The Favourite, and has also appeared in films such as The Lost Daughter, The Father, The Lobster, Hot Fuzz, and Murder on the Orient Express. Her TV appearances have included major roles in series such as Broadchurch, Peep Show, The Crown, Heartstopper and Landscapers.
Shalom Brune-Franklin plays Estella
Who is Estella? Estella is the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham who helps to teach Pip how to become a gentleman.
Where have I seen Shalom Brune-Franklin? Brune-Franklin is best-known for her roles in Doctor Doctor, Our Girl, Roadkill, Line of Duty and The Tourist.
Hayley Squires plays Mrs Sara Gargery
Who is Mrs Sara Gargery? Mrs Sara Gargery is Pip's sister and ward.
Where have I seen Hayley Squires? Squires is known for her roles in films such as I, Daniel Blake, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, and In the Earth, as well as series such as Collateral and Adult Material.
Johnny Harris plays Magwitch
Who is Magwitch? Magwitch is an escaped convict who has a chance encounter with Pip.
Where have I seen Johnny Harris? Harris previously appeared in Steven Knight's adaptation of A Christmas Carol, and is also known for This is England '86, The Salisbury Poisonings, War Horse, Dorian Gray, RocknRolla, and Atonement.
Owen McDonnell plays Mr Joe Gargery
Who is Mr Joe Gargery? Mr Joe Gargery is Pip's brother-in-law and the husband of Sara.
Where have I seen Owen McDonnell? McDonnell is known for his role as Niko in Killing Eve, as well as for appearances in Death in Paradise, Silent Witness and The Bay.
Laurie Ogden plays Biddy
Who is Biddy? Biddy is Pip's childhood friend.
Where have I seen Laurie Ogden? Ogden is best known for her role in 2021 film The Colour Room.
Matt Berry plays Mr Pumblechook
Who is Mr Pumblechook? Mr Pumblechook is Joe's uncle who brings the family an offer from Miss Havisham.
Where have I seen Matt Berry? Berry is best known for his roles in comedies such as The IT Crowd, What We Do in the Shadows, Year of the Rabbit, and Toast of London, as well as appearances in The Book of Boba Fett and films such as Christopher Robin and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Trystan Gravelle plays Compeyson
Who is Compeyson? Compeyson is an escaped convict who has a feud with Magwitch.
Where have I seen Trystan Gravelle? Gravelle is best known for his roles in Mr Selfridge, The Terror, A Discovery of Witches, Baptiste, Britannia, Quiz, and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Rudi Dharmalingam plays Wemmick
Who is Wemmick? Wemmick is Mr Jaggers's assistant.
Where have I seen Rudi Dharmalingam? Dharmalingam is best-known for his appearances in series such as The Lazarus Project, The Split, Our Girl and Doctor Who.
Great Expectations airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Sunday 26th March at 9pm. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.
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