Anna Friel is looking for a lighter role.

Anna Friel

Anna Friel

The 42-year-old actress has recently portrayed a succession of "dark, heavy" characters, such as the mother of a transgender child in upcoming drama series 'Butterfly' and the titular troubled detective in 'Marcella', so she's ready for a change.

She said: "I'm going to lighten it up next time. Maybe it's time to find another ingénue."

Anna famously sparked outrage with a lesbian kiss on Channel 4 soap 'Brookside' but she's pleased with the progress made in the portrayal of same-sex romances on screen and she's hopeful 'Butterfly' will help herald a similar change for the transgender community.

She told You magazine: "Twenty-something years later I'm doing full-on lesbian scenes in 'The Girlfriend Experience' and no one blinks an eye. All it's going to take is time. Eventually people will have to be more accepting."

The brunette beauty did a lot of research for 'Butterfly', which she also co-produced and helped with casting and scriptwriting, and though she and fellow show chiefs were initially keen to cast a transgender actor in the role of Max, but ultimately felt it would be too upsetting for the young person.

She explained: "We wanted to find a transgender actor to play Max.

"But the story goes from when they first start to question their identity through into the transition.

"After much consideration, we decided it would be unethical to ask a transgender child to go back to what they've escaped from."

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