Eddie Redmayne as Jack
Photos: Egon Endrenyi
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Just as millions of readers have been taken by The Pillars of the Earth, cast members say they have also been forever transformed by their work on the film. Actress Hayley Atwell, who plays a resourceful young woman on a mission to restore her family's title, says she will never look at the buildings of her hometown the same. "Now, walking around London, it's kind of made my awe for this city so much greater," she says. "This is the city I was born in and grew up in, and you look around and think, 'This is the work of man, and what man is capable of is extraordinary.'"

Eddie agrees. "The thing about the cathedral is it's never finished. It's never going to be completed. All these great cathedrals in Britain still, and across the world, have mason yards attached to them, and they're constantly working because the thing always needs upkeeping or renovating or changing," he says. "It's this idea that you never see the thing finished, so actually it's all about creating selflessly for the next generation and for a greater good. And I certainly felt that story or that focus in the book and in the miniseries is kind of incredibly optimistic about humanity."

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