How to be a gothic heroinew

She’s the former star of teen series

Skins. Now Kaya Scodelario is tackling the darker role of

Catherine in Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold. Tom Dawson assesses the 19-year-old’s gothic credentials

You were in line to work with Red Road and Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold on Wuthering Heights, yet you missed your first audition for the role? How come? ‘I was incredibly nervous about doing a period drama. I thought that to play period you had to be English-looking and blonde and very well spoken, and have gone to drama school. I was worried that coming from Skins and having a Brazilian mother that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. ‘After I missed the first audition

Andrea rang me and asked if I wanted to meet up with her. It wasn’t like a typical audition. She just got me to talk about myself. I then went away and watched [Arnold’s last film, the social realist drama] Fish Tank and realised that her version of Wuthering Heights was going to be really dark and interesting.’

The ghostly Cathy is one of literature’s

quintessential tormented women. Did you feel under pressure playing such a well-known gothic


‘I didn’t read the book before shooting the film, and I didn’t watch any of the previous film or TV versions. Andrea said not to drive myself crazy worrying about how somebody did the role 20 years ago. We weren’t even given full scripts, just the lines the day before. Once it came out that the actor playing Heathcliff, James Howson,

14 THE LIST 20 Oct–17 Nov 2011