Kate Beckinsale was thrilled director Whit Stillman wanted to cast her as a "tricky female" again in new movie 'Love & Friendship'.
The 42-year-old actress plays Lady Susan Vernon in the period romantic comedy - based on Jane Austen's 1871 epistolary novel 'Lady Susan' - and is reunited with the filmmaker and Chloe Sevigny who all worked together on 'The Last Days of Disco'.
In the 1998 comedy/drama, Beckinsale took up the role of Charlotte Pingress, an icy character who was "outgoing but controlling and dominating" to those around her.
And in her new role as widowed mother Lady Susan, Beckinsale gets to try her hand at being "ruthless, ambitious and cunning".
Praising Stillman for being "so good at writing tricky females", she told the Daily Mail newspaper: "Obviously, every time he writes one, he asks for me - which is worrying! I'm choosing to take it as a compliment."
Beckinsale - who split from her husband Len Wiseman in November 2015 - very much enjoyed the freedom of playing such a feisty and "sparky" character.
The 'Underworld' star thinks Lady Susan would have had a very different life if she'd been a modern woman.
She mused: "I read the novella after the script. (I was captivated by) this wonderful, sparky strong woman.
"She's got an ease in herself. She doesn't think she's doing anything wrong. I think she generally feels that people are a bit stuffy and stupid.
"It's very refreshing for a heroine from that period of literature not to be punished for being ruthless, ambitious and cunning. She has her cake and eats it, which women in history rarely do."
'Love & Friendship' also stars Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel and Jemma Redgrave.