Los Angeles - Kate Beckinsale relished playing a sexy and flirtatious character in her latest film.
The 42-year-old beauty stars in the Whit Stillman-directed rom-com Love & Friendship, which is based on Jane Austen's 1871 epistolary novel 'Lady Susan', and Kate admitted she loved playing the role of the scheming widow, one of the naughtiest characters created by Austen.
She shared: "I love Lady Susan, she's so funny and so unusual for that period in literature. I grew up with Jane Austen but I hadn't seen a character like that in Austen's work before.
"I'm used to her being funny and socially insightful, but Lady Susan is terrible and diabolical and cruel. When I first read the script I thought, 'Is this really Jane Austen, or has somebody just written in her style?' I hadn't realised she had such a naughty streak."
Beckinsale's character is extremely flirtatious in real-life and the London-born star admitted she loved playing a character who was so underhand, too.
She explained to the Daily Mail newspaper: "There's usually a kind of moral end note to a character like that but there isn't in this, and that's what sets it apart from a lot of other things. Lady Susan enjoyed and felt entitled to a certain amount of sexual and personal freedom that's not usually admitted to in those times.
"If she were transposed to a modern setting, I think she'd be fine. One of the things that's frustrating for her is that she's extremely bright, and in those days the options open to her were limited.
"In order to secure a future for herself it was important that she find a man who had money, so all her intelligence went into that as opposed to finding a career. These days she'd probably have a very high-powered job and several lovers."
Beckinsale is reunited with filmmaker Stillman and Chloe Sevigny who all worked together on The Last Days of Disco'.
Love & Friendship also stars Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel and Jemma Redgrave
Watch the trailer here:
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