Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Take on a Future Pride and Prejudice Cast

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most well-known and most-loved novels of Jane Austen. My favorite film adaptation so far has been the BBC/A&E version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I seem to love the TV adaptations better-I love when there are episodes so that the story doesn't get rushed along. That was the major flaw with the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen. It had alot of potential, but the story moved so quickly it seemd confusing at times. Anyway, I was thinking that it would be interesting if the BBC decided to make yet another version of Pride and Prejudice (you know they will eventually). So I thought up a huge list in my head of potential actors/actresses who could play the roles. So here is a list of who I would love to see as these beloved characters. I'd love to get feedback on actors you would like to see in these roles too. I'll just do the main characters because it would get too complicated if I included minor ones.

1. Richard Armitage as Mr. Darcy. He has always been my first choice. If you've seen him in "North and South", you can definitely see the comparisons between Thornton and Darcy. Richard's a little busy right now filming "The Hobbit", but I would absolutely love it if he played Darcy if Pride and Prejudice was ever re-made!!

 2. Lucy Griffiths as Elizabeth Bennet. It's funny, because Lucy Griffiths and Richard Armitage actually played opposite each other in the Robin Hood BBC tv series. Lucy is so pretty and would bring just the right amount of spunk and dignity to play Lizzy, and seeing her act with Richard again would be fun.

*Update* I recently read on a fansite for Lucy that her dream role would be to play Elizabeth Bennet. I didn't even know about this when I wrote the post-isn't that funny? Guess it's meant to be. =)

3. Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Bennet. I am torn between 3 actors for Mr. Bennet, but I immediately thought of Bonneville because he has sort of played Mr. Bennet before. He was in a spin-off of Pride and Prejudice, "Lost in Austen", and was very convincing as Lizzie's father. He can play such diverse characters too-he was the cruel husband in "Daniel Deronda" but played a kindly earl in "Downton Abbey".

Anthony Head as Mr. Bennet. Anthony Head is my second choice-I am more used to him playing slightly mean and stern roles ("Merlin", "Doctor Who") but I bet he could pull Mr. Bennet off.

And last but not least, Bill Paterson as Mr. Bennet. He played Mr. Gibson in "Wives and Daughters" and has played in several other BBC productions such as "Little Dorrit". I think he would be a perfect fit, and now that I think about it more, I might consider him more than Anthony Head and Hugh Bonneville.

4. Francesca Annis as Mrs. Bennet. I think this picture says it all. =) Annis has played in "Wives and Daughters" as Mrs. Gibson, and she was honestly the only person I could think of who could play Mrs. Bennet in a snooty but hilarious way. The actress in the Colin Firth version was by far the best Mrs. Bennet, so I think it will be hard to top her.

5. Keeley Hawes as Jane Bennet. I was having alot of difficulty thinking up an actress to play Jane. I really liked Rosamund Pike in the latest "Pride and Prejudice" as Jane-she was pretty but at the same time quiet and sweet. Keeley Hawes is beautiful and I believe she could play a convincing Jane, even though we're all used to seeing her as the extroverted Cynthia in "Wives and Daughters".

*Update* After 2 friends told me they were having some trouble seeing Keeley Hawes play Jane, I thought Sophia Myles might be a possible solution. I also thought she might play Mrs. Hurst, but maybe Keeley and she could switch roles? I'm not sure if she would be too "blonde" for the role. Jane does always seem to be blonde in the movie productions of Pride and Prejudice, but maybe her hair could be dyed to more of a dirty blonde. The funny thing is, is that Sophia played in a production of "Nicholas Nickleby" with J.J. Field (who I suggested as Mr. Bingley) and Keeley Hawes acted with Anthony Howell in "Wives and Daughters", and both were love interests of the gentlemen. It would be funny if each one got matched up again. =)

6. Ruby Bentall as Mary Bennet. Ruby is best known for her role in "Lark Rise to Candleford" as cute Minnie, but she also played Mary in "Lost in Austen". She's a perfect fit and I think it would be hilarious if she reprised her role.

7. Olivia Hallinan as Kitty Bennet. Olivia has played Laura in the hit BBC series "Lark Rise to Candleford". It would be fun to see her as one of Lizzie's sisters.

8. Holliday Grainger as Lydia Bennet. She was the only sister I really couldn't figure out. I originally thought Karen Gillan from "Doctor Who" would make a good Lydia, but then I thought of Holliday Grainger. I think she would actually really fit in with the Bennet family. And I could see her being silly and flirty. She also really looks like Olivia Hallinan-they could be sisters! For those of you not familiar with her, she has been in "Merlin", "Robin Hood", and other BBC dramas.

9. J.J. Feild as Mr. Bingley. I am SO excited about this possibility!! Remember him as Mr. Tilney in "Northanger Abbey"?? He would be the perfect Mr. Bingley, and I really wish a movie producer would read this post so he or she could start making phone calls now, lol.

*A friend of mine also suggested Anthony Howell (who I thought could play Colonel Fitzwilliam) as Bingley, and I would love to see this as well! I loved his role as Roger in "Wives and Daughters" and I think he would also make a good Bingley.

10. Christina Cole as Caroline Bingley. Cole has played Caroline in Lost in Austen, but I couldn't think of a more perfect actress to play Bingley's snooty sister. She just has a certain air about her that makes her ideal for playing more snobby characters ("Emma", "What a Girl Wants").

11. Sophia Myles as Louisa Hurst (Bingley's other sister). I was going between Christina Cole and Sophia Myles for the role of Caroline Bingley, but Christina is definitely the better choice. I thought this actress looked slightly similar to Cole, making her a good choice for the sister. Not completely happy with this selection-any thoughts or comments on who you would choose? In many movie versions Louisa Hurst isn't even included, which is a shame.

*Possible switch with Keeley Hawes*

12. Rupert Evans as George Wickham. Rupert has already played a Jane Austen bad boy in "Emma", so why not play another? His boyish good looks make him a perfect candidate for the role.

13. Anna Maxwell Martin as Charlotte Lucas. Martin played Esther in "Bleak House", and she immediately came to my mind because her character in Bleak House was very level-headed, much like Charlotte (well, except when she married Mr. Collins, lol). Speaking of Mr. Collins...

14. Blake Ritson as Mr. Collins. He played Edmund Bertram in "Mansfield Park" and Mr. Elton in "Emma". His role as Elton convinced me that he could play Mr. Collins more than adequately. And he even looks the part. =)

15. Tamzin Merchant-Mariah Lucas. Not much to say about this one, excpet that Merchant played Georgiana in the 2005 "Pride and Prejudice" version. I think she would make a good Mariah though and looks the age.

16. Julia Sawalha (yes, she played Lydia in the 1995 P&P version) and David Morrissey-Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. I honestly had no idea with these two-so feel free to suggest anyone else!

17. Felicity Jones as Georgiana Darcy. This is the 3rd time I have changed my choice for Georgiana. I can't seem to make up my mind, but I believe Felicity Jones, from "Northanger Abbey", would make a really cute Georgiana, And she could pass for Richard Armitage's sister as well.

Sarah Bolger as Georgiana Darcy.My other choice for Georgiana-which do you think is better? Bolger looks a little too young so that's why I thought Felicity Jones was a better choice.

18. Anthony Howell as Colonel Fitzwilliam. Remember Roger from "Wives and Daughters"? I think he would make a dashing colonel. ;)

*Another possible role for him is Mr. Bingley

19. Judy Parfitt as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. After I chose Judy Parfitt as the actress for Lady Catherine I found out she actually played this character in a 1970s Pride and Prejudice series--guess she just has a "Lady Catherine" look about her! hehe. She plays Arthur's cruel mother in "Little Dorrit" and seems to do very well in more severe roles, so Lady Catherine is perfect for her!

So this is my list of possible actors for a new "Pride and Prejudice"-there are a few characters I didn't include, like Anne de Bourgh and Mr. Hurst, but I couldn't think of anyone for them anyway. If you have any thoughts on who could play these characters I would love to hear them! What do you think of my selections? Who would you choose?


  1. Oh my! How do you know all these actors/actresses? I'm a little in the dark on many of them, but from the looks of it I like all your choices. Well, there was one I wasn't crazy about. For some reason, I don't like Keeley Hawes as Jane. I guess I can't get Cynthia out of my mind. This is a problem I have when I really click with a show or movie. I see the actor as the character too much. I think she'll always be a Cynthia type person to me and Jane is not. I need to get over it so I can see them in many different roles.

    But for the most part, all of those pictures hit me just right for all of the rest, even if I don't know them. But again, my Darcy and Lizzy will never change in my heart, lol.

  2. Oh, I forgot. I like Felicity better as Georgiana. How about the old Georgiana now? What a difference in character, huh? Is she evil or what?

  3. that's funny, I kept thinking the same thing when I was contemplating Keeley Hawes for Jane. I'm that way with actors and actresses too...if I see them in a certain role it's hard to picture them in anything else. Have you seen "Under the Greenwood Tree?" That has Keeley Hawes and she plays a character much different from Cynthia and more like Jane, which is why I thought she might work. Who would you like to see as Jane?

    I've seen so many BBC period dramas, and most of these actors/actresses have been in them, so that's how I know so many of the names. It's kinda fun, trying to put together people to be in a film...and I know in the future they'll remake Pride and Prejudice-it's seems to be a habit with this story. =)

    Haha, and the actress who played Georgiana (Emilia Fox I think)is playing such a different role in Merlin! It's funny how versatile these actors are.

  4. What a fun post, Sara. Though I don't know most of those people, since I've not watched several of the movies, I DO agree that Richard Armitage would make a great Mr. Darcy. He would actually be quite perfect in that role.

    Very lovely idea for a blog. I'll join in the conversation as I am able...I don't watch period dramas all that often, though, so I'm somewhat out of the loop. But, when I can intelligently add to the conversation, I will.

    Blessings to you!!