Suranne Jones has said that she avoids roles that steal her soul and is devoting herself to challenging roles.

"You give your soul to roles like this and you fight for the character in a way because there's a cause to it all, and those are the roles I want more of in the future", she said.

In her latest role in Gentleman Jack for the BBC she plays the part of Anne Lister, a lesbian writer in the 19th century.

Lister once oversaw the digging of coal mines in Halifax, Nova Scotia and in her personal life endorsed same-sex marriage. 

Jones hopes that Gentleman Jack will have a modern feel, and show the strength of women in a man's world.

Lister, whose diaries have been adapted for the drama by writer Sally Wainwright, found a way to live with her eccentricities and sexuality in the Victorian era.

Jones said: "I hope our audiences will see this as a really modern period drama, which sounds odd to say, not only because of the story of the lovers but because we've got a woman in a man's world who presents herself in a way that she wants to present herself and doesn't conform to the norms of society."

Previously speaking to The Guardian, Jones said, "She wanted to marry a woman she loved and she talked about that in her diaries from the age of 16. That was amazing to me, that she knew just who she was."

Jones has been inspired by the part, and said the challenge of playing the complex figure is something she wants to embrace in future.

Gentleman Jack airs on Sunday night at 9pm on BBC One.