Dakota Blue Richards: 'It will break my heart' to see another actress play Lyra

Endeavour star Dakota Blue Richards has said she still feels close to her character in The Golden Compass and it will break her heart to see another actress play the role in the new BBC series.

Dakota, who now plays Constable Shirley Trewlove in the Inspector Morse prequel, said she credits Lyra, her role in the big screen adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book, for her current success in the ITV series.

She had never acted professionally before she starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in the big-budget film at the age of 13 in 2007 and now is part of a cast that includes Shaun Evans and Roger Allam.

She told the Press Association: “I didn’t have aspirations to be an actress before I got the film. I didn’t think it was possible so didn’t consider it.

“I thought kids who wanted to be film stars were in the same category as those that wanted to be princesses and I was so happy to get that part because I loved that character in the books. It wasn’t really about the acting.

“Part of me thinks I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I hadn’t pursued acting after the film. It’s a tough industry and you have to be resilient.

“It’s only since I got Endeavour that I have been working on one job and knowing what my next will be.”

The BBC have announced they are planning to adapt Pullman’s trilogy of books and Dakota said it will be painful to see someone else take on Lyra.

She said: “Part of me feels like it will break my heart a little bit. It feels like so much mine, even now. She is like a friend I have carried along on this journey.

“Every job I do I’m reminded she is the reason I’m here and without Lyra there would be not acting career at all. She was the inspiration. I keep talking about her like she is a real person.

“But I wasn’t the first person to play her and there is no reason I should be the last.”

Dakota, 22, said she now feels settled in with the cast and crew of Endeavour and is looking forward to learning more about her character.

She said: “She is not being introduced any more, but we still don’t know much about her. It’s rare to see anything outside work, but I definitely have a sense of who she is and what her family might be like.

“I get the sense that maybe she lost somebody who is quite close to her.

“She is so ambitious when women weren’t supposed to be and so she might have been brought up in a pioneering household, not to be restricted because she’s female. Maybe she is trying to make somebody proud.”

Series 4 of Endeavour is available now on DVD and from iTunes.

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