The Harry Potter star admitted her usual place of work was somewhere around the north west of England, so she felt lucky to get time in a hot country as the Simla-set Channel 4 series filmed in Penang, Malaysia.
She said: "I never get location work. It's usually Liverpool or Manchester.
"I loved the script, and had a very seductive letter from Charlie [Pattinson, the producer]. The story wasn't romanticised or nostalgic, there was a real edgy, gritty feel to it, and I'd never seen this subject treated like this before."
Julie plays Cynthia Coffin, the proprietor of Simla's British Club and queen of society gossip, in the tale about British people living in India in 1932 when the country was gearing up towards independence from the Empire.
She added that there were a few surprises in her character: "I was surprised to find out she's an East End girl. I didn't know people like that went out there, so the whole thing was new to me. I was completely ignorant and ill-informed. When [this period] has been portrayed in the past, it hasn't been balanced."
Indian Summers begins on Channel 4 on Sunday, 15 February.
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