Here, for example, is Ioan Gruffudd:
First, as the Regency-era Wilberforce in the film Amazing Grace…
Very Regency. Very appropriate for this blog.
Of course, when Ioan played Horatio Hornblower, he had a sidekick: Archie Kennedy. Hornblower was sort of young and sweet, and Archie was even more so.
There. Still very Regency. Very appropriate for this blog.
This past Sunday, my interests intersected in an interesting manner!
I went to a science fiction media fan convention… And Jamie Bamber was there.
Jamie Bamber, you say? Our Archie, at a science fiction convention?
Yes, he’s definitely been working on those muscles. (Not that I noticed or anything.)
At the convention, he actually talked about Horatio Hornblower, too! He said that had been his first acting job ever. (See? This post is highly relevant to the Regency!)
I noticed one other link to the Regency at the convention… Doug Jones, an actor who most often performs underneath intricate masks and make-up (he played Pan in Pan’s Labyrinth, for example), was there, talking about his upcoming role as the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four sequel.
Ooh. Looks like maybe he’s been hitting the weight room too. (Not that I noticed.)
Now, for those of you who will think this whole post is highly juvenile, and beneath the dignity of this blog — not that I’m mentioning any names (Janet) — I’ll just say, it’s very Regency.
In fact, I’m being remarkably restrained. Regency men “stripped to advantage” — and it’s not like I put a picture of Jamie Bamber shirtless here, or anything.
Can’t think how that happened.
Oh, it must be blogger acting up again.
Yeah, that’s it. Blogger did it.
Not my fault.
I had nothing to do with it.
So… Who’d have pictured our little Archie, sweet sidekick Archie, even more sweet and vulnerable than sweet-little-Horatio-Hornblower Archie, all grown up and looking like that?
So, here are your questions for the day: (answer any or all):
1) Why do so many Regency writers also read and write science fiction? Why do science fiction conventions have Regency dance? What is the connection?
2) Who’s cuter, Jamie Bamber or Ioan Gruffudd? (And how do they compare with Clive Owen, Matthew Macfadyen, and Gerard Butler?)
All answers welcome!
Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, in which hunky Lord Stoke never takes off his shirt
I recently saw Amazing Grace, a passionate (and romantic) film which does a nice job of turning the story of William Wilberforce’s late 18th century fight against the British slave trade into an entertaining movie with a beginning, middle, and end.
The film is by no means perfect. To turn Wilberforce’s struggle into a nice plot arc, there’s a lot of jumping forward and backward in time, which confuses some viewers.
These, of course, are likely to be met with the same reception they always get — some people will care more, some less, and some not at all. Some will say why bother at all it you’re not going to do it right? Some will mind the costume errors but not the other changes, and some will mind everything but the costume errors.
Overall, I really liked the movie.
We have Ciaran Hinds as Banastre Tarleton: angry, snide, sharply intelligent. (Second picture).
And because we can never have too many handsome, dark-haired actors, we also get Rufus Sewell as rebellious anti-slavery crusader Thomas Clarkson. (Third picture.)
And Michael Gambon plays Fox (fifth picture).
And for true Regency-fan coincidence (yes, you heard it here first! A Risky exclusive bon mot!), Wilberforce’s cousin Thornton is played by Nicholas Farrell…and Thornton’s wife is played by Sylvestra Le Touzel.
There, isn’t that amazing???? 🙂 (Just curious — is there anyone here as movie-obsessed as I, who sees something odd there?)
So these two actors played Fanny and Edmund falling in love in 1983, and they play a married couple here. Wonder if they had fun reminiscing?
As I said, I really loved the film. I loved its color, and commitment, and intensity. I loved that we saw sides of this period that we too seldom see. (The scenes in Parliament were all splendid.) And I loved the actors.
And though I don’t have a picture of her here, I liked Romola Garai’s performance as Wilberforce’s love interest quite a lot. Her character is intelligent, forthright, articulate, and Garai carries off both the dramatic bits and the lighter moments equally well.
What did bother me rather more was that Pitt and Wilberforce were sitting in the House of Commons together with the Duke of Clarence and “Lord” Tarleton. Yeah, just weird. And even weirder — the real Tarleton was never in his life a peer anyway! Years after the end of the movie, he was made a baronet — still not a peer, of course! But throughout the movie (and on the official movie website), he is consistently referred to as “Lord Tarleton.” And I really can’t think of a single good reason why. (I have thought of one bad reason… Aristocrats are by definition selfish and evil, so they supported the slave trade, so Tarleton had to be made a peer…???)
So… Have you seen the movie? Do you intend to?
Which actors or actresses in it would most tempt you to see it? Or would the setting or the subject most convince you to take the plunge?
All comments welcome!
Cara King, author of My Lady Gamester and movie fanatic