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I love that Charlie is awkward, difficult and loud, says The Little Drummer Girl star Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh as Charlie (PA Photo/BBC/The Little Drummer Girl)
Florence Pugh as Charlie (PA Photo/BBC/The Little Drummer Girl)

TWO years since the nation was gripped by The Night Manager, the BBC is bringing another of John le Carre’s acclaimed novels to life.

The Little Drummer Girl is a passionate love story and deeply immersive thriller set in the late ’70s, in which actress Charlie discovers her holiday romance is actually an Israeli intelligence officer.

Soon, she finds she is immersed in the world of espionage and takes on the role of a lifetime, as a double agent.

Florence Pugh, who plays Charlie, admits the pressure on her is “obvious”.

(Jonathan Olley / BBC / The Little Drummer Girl)

“I have been given this role that everybody knows – the book is everywhere, and everybody’s read it,” says the 22-year-old.

“But I can’t let that affect me, otherwise I won’t get any sleep.

“I enjoyed making it – I got to work with such beautiful, amazing people, and also create a really complicated story.

“Right now, in the climate of the industry, we constantly look towards who are the greatest characters we can possibly play, and how good are they going to be at things,” she suggests.

“Actually, it’s just really lovely to watch someone up there dealing with all these things, not knowing how to do it, and being like one of us.”

She’s also embraced hearing some people say they found Charlie unlikeable in the book.

“I love that she is awkward, difficult and loud,” she adds. “We are getting to a point now where it’s OK for women to not be lovable and maternal and wonderful to look at, or constantly being the kind, caring person.

“And it’s cool to see someone who’s a little bit rough around the edges.”

The Little Drummer Girl, BBC1, tonight, 9pm.