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The most promising actress to emerge from England since Emma Thompson, AMANDA ROOT (Anne Elliot) has been a leading member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for over five years. At the RSC, she portrayed Juliet opposite Daniel Day Lewis in "Romeo and Juliet," Cressida with Ralph Fiennes in "Troilus and Cressida," and the lead role of Neorza in "Tell Me Honestly," a short sketch written and directed by Kenneth Branagh for the Royal Shakespeare Festival.

"Persuasion" marks Root's first leading role in a film. Since completing it, she played the role of Miss Temple in Franco Zeffirelli's "Jane Eyre," and portrayed a documentary filmmaker whose marriage goes on the rocks, in Stephen Purvis's "In the West," which was lensed in Texas. Root has worked twice before with "Persuasion" director Roger Michell at the RSC: on "The Constant Couple" and on "Some Americans Abroad." She also teamed with Michell on the acclaimed BBC drama "The Buddha of Suburbia."

Her other theatre credits with the Royal Shakespeare Company include: "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Today," "The Merchant of Venice," "Macbeth," "The Man of Mode," "The Constant Couple," "Some Americans Abroad," "King Lear," "Love's Labours Lost" and "The Seagull." In the West End, Amanda starred in "The House of Bernada Alba" (with Glenda Jackson and Joan Plowright) and "The Dragon's Tail." She also appeared on stage in "The Fairy Queen," "Caesar and Cleopatra," "The Plough and the Stars," "The Devil's Disciple" and "Once In A While The Odd Thing Happens."

Amanda Root starred as Miss Mounsey in BBC-1's four-part series "Love on a Branch Line." Her other television credits include "Time for Murder," "Ladies in Charge," "World's Beyond," "Mary Rose," "The House of Bernarda Alba," "The Man Who Cried," as well as Roger Michell's "The Buddha of Suburbia."

"What I think is hard in any film adaptation of a book is that you might have a whole chapter written about your character's feelings, and then you get a couple of scenes on the film in which you don't say anything. And yet somehow you have to get across how she's feeling. That's the hardest thing. To strike a balance between sharing too much or sharing too little, but actually getting the message across.

You might notice that Anne Elliot doesn't say as much as the other people in the first half of the film, and that's right. It's right that she doesn't say a lot, because that's the kind of woman she is.

Anne's had to deal with an awful lot of pain because she lost the man of her dreams. She also left him not through her own will but because she was persuaded that that was the right thing to do. That's part of the tragedy in a sense, that she has coped with it. She's somebody who accepts her life as it is, and fully prepared to settle down to spinsterhood, and die an old maid. She doesn't expect Frederick Wentworth to come back, and if he didn't she would have a relatively happy life, but he does comes back, and she has to readjust. She is now a much more mature woman, and I think she would not make the same choices again, although she has to respect the choice she made when she was younger.

Anne Elliot had to squash the romantic side of her nature for years. The best thing about playing her is bringing that part of her back to life again. She is genuinely kind and generous, good and noble without ever becoming precious or whimsical. Despite the fact that her heart has been broken, she is remarkably strong, courageous and selfless. She never feels sorry for herself, she manages to put her feelings aside and remain positive."

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Last modified 21-September-1995.
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