Time to take a poll! Please answer any or all of these three questions, about the pictured film and television portrayals of Austen characters at the end of this post! (Or you can pick someone who’s not pictured!)
1) Which of these Austen characters, as played by the specific actor, do you think has the most of what Janet calls “essential hotness”?
2) Which would you find it easiest to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with?
3) Which would you most like to marry? (This of course takes into account your answers to questions 1 and 2, but also practical matters — like who your in-laws will be, and just how disgustingly wealthy he is.) 🙂
Just put your answers in a comment — you can explain your choices if you like! I’ll keep tabs on how voting goes, and soon we will know who are the hottest, the dreamiest, and the most marriageable cinematic Austen heroes!
If any gentlemen are here, you can vote on which hero you’d most like to be! And yes, you may take into account who you would get to marry, just how disgustingly wealthy you would be, and whether or not you have to have Lady Catherine de Bourgh as your aunt!
Cara King, MY LADY GAMESTER, Signet Regency 11/05
more Jane Austen movie info at www.caraking.com!
All right, I know it’s probably tacky to answer your own post, but I’m doing it anyway!
1) I think I might award top “essential hotness” points to Jeremy Northam as Knightley. He is so gorgeous! For the actors themselves, I probably find Alan Rickman hotter, but in my mind that’s moderated a bit by Brandon’s flannel waistcoats, and his stupidity in falling for Marianne when Elinor is clearly more his type. 🙂
2) I could fall truly, madly, deeply in love with Ciaran Hinds’s Wentworth. Ooh, love a man with deep emotions and passions, all held in check by strong pride. And he’s hot too! 🙂 (At least in this movie. Not in everything.)
3) Who would I marry? Might be the hardest. Maybe Colin Firth’s Darcy…but then I’d have Lady Catherine for an aunt, and I’d have to hang out with Miss Bingley a lot. But in that version of P&P, Darcy has an awfully nice home… 🙂 Okay, what the heck, I’ll say Firth’s Darcy!
Hmm, well I’ve always been partial to David Rintoul as Darcy as that was the first production of P&P I saw – even have it on video 🙂
BUT, I can’t deny the hotness of Colin Firth in the role. And am curious to see how Tom MacFadyen does – I love him from MI-5.
Only ever seen one production of Persuasion, and agree with Cara about Ciaran Hinds.
And Jeremy Northam goes without saying *g*.
Great blog, BTW – I’ve added it to my sidebar 🙂
Wow, what an … um … decorative post!
Tough, tough choices. I must give an honorable mention to Alan Rickman, who has definitely been growing on me. Matthew MacFadyen looks so promising, but I need to see him in more than just trailers to be sure.
So… going to my top three: Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth (love his restrained passion), Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightly (gorgeous and also adorable in how sweet he is to the poor Bates ladies), and Colin Firth (my current and possibly undefeated favorite Mr. Darcy).
Answering these questions is like choosing between chocolate with hazelnuts, chocolate with caramel and chocolate with raspberries.
But in the end, I think it’s Colin as Mr. Darcy for all three. How I can I resist those brown eyes, that voice, those “beautiful grounds at Pemberley”????
1) essential hotness I have to give to Ciaran Hinds, even though Colin Firth is better looking. Something about the restrained passions Cara mentions.
2) Oh, I would definitely fall in love with Mr. Proud (have I mentioned enough I love the alpha male?!?), Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth, definitely.
3) I’d marry Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy in a heartbeat, and spend countless hours tormenting his aunt because I’d have him wrapped around my little finger. Ha!
But, like Elena says, it’s like choosing chocolates. I love Laurence Olivier, too, he’s fabulously sexy as Mr. Darcy. Great poll, Cara!
1. Essential hotness, Colin Firth every time.
2. See above.
3. See above. Plus on the wealth and great house and grounds, and tendency to strip off and throw himself into the pond. Minus on the probable insane jealousy of the housekeeper, Bingley, Miss Bingley, and the annoyingly accomplished sister with the bug eyes.
I adore Alan Rickman but there are the flannel waistcoats, the jowls spilling over the collar, and endless poetry reading sessions. And Jeremy Northam, well, yes he’s very good looking, but wouldn’t you get tired of all that essential niceness? Besides, he’s liable to give you a good talking-to if he thinks you overstep the bounds as Queen Bee of Highbury. He does, however, have a very nice pair of Irish wolfhounds. I like Ciaran Hinds but I get seasick.
However, there’s another category you forgot, or possibly were too delicate to include–whose mistress would you like to be? Consider the candidates:
The Mr. Crawford character from Mansfield Park–he has such a naughty look in his eyes. Colin Firth, it goes without saying, and rich enough to set you up in fine style. Similarly, L. Olivier, and the new Mr. Darcy might be ok if he was cleaned up a bit. Oh, and I could always be Ciaran’s bit of fluff ashore. Hugh Grant might be quite frisky once he was away from Elinor, but unfortunately, he just couldn’t afford me…
Janet, as far as Darcy’s sister goes, no problem — in no time at all she’ll be married off. (Heck, she’s so eager to be married she’s already running off with any remotely attractive guy.) 🙂
As far as Jeremy Northam’s Knightley being too nice — surely any wife worth her salt could bring out as much naughtiness in Knightley as she pleased… 🙂 And though he might be inclined to scold his wife every now and then — it always seemed to me the moral of EMMA was that in the end Emma gets whatever she wants, without really reforming at all — and that includes what she wants from Knightley! 🙂
(Okay, that’s probably too many smileys for one short post, but I can’t help it — it’s obviously my essential niceness overwhelming my typing.) 🙂 (Oh no, not another one!) 🙂
1. Jeremy Northam’s Knightly…cute as a button, and with such a strong character. As for the part, it took me a little while to accept him as Knightly because he looked so young, but I finally convinced myself that he could pass for 36. Besides, I wanted to see him as Knightly. 😉
2. Jeremy Northam again. He is principled, kind and caring, and he is so with everyone. I also love his sense of humor. “Please don’t shoot my dogs…” Plus, I can see him being quite the passionate man with the woman he loves.
3. Definitely Jeremy Northam’s Knightly. I wouldn’t be comfortable at Darcy’s level in society–I’d hate being a hostess, taking care of a house that big or a herd of servants, and dealing with high society in general. But I wouldn’t mind at all being Mrs. Knightly in a small town–just rich enough and prominent enough, not to mention who my husband was.
I’d have to be thirty years younger, too. I hope that comes with the bargain!
As a masculine gentleman of the male persuasion, I guess it is my task to say which of these Austen heroes (or villains) I would like to be. Which is a difficult decision, needless to say. However, here are my thoughts:
1. Edward Ferrers (as depicted by Hugh Grant): an amiable chap to be sure, but poor and, well, a drip. No.
2. Colonel Brandon (as depicted by Alan Rickman): a sterling fellow, and probably capable of delivering an excellent cutting remark; but I don’t think I could cope with marrying Marianne. And flannel makes me itch.
3. Knightley (as depicted by Jeremy Northam): a pillar of the community, and all the fresh fruit you can eat. And there is Gwyneth Paltrow’s neck to consider. But I’d have to move in with her ailing father, who will probably continue ailing for another thirty years.
4. Wentworth (as depicted by Ciaran Hinds): ah, this is more like it. A swashbuckling man of action, with a good stash of prize-money under his belt. And Anne is one of my favorite Austen heroines, and I liked Amanda Root’s version of her very much. Definite potential there!
Still, on the negative side: he’d probably spend a lot of time at sea away from his wife, in the company of a bunch of unwashed and, er, frustrated British sailors.
5. Darcy (as multiply depicted). OK, his aunt and friends are of dubious desirability, and his in-laws are going to be just as bad; but on the plus side of the ledger, he’s filthy rich and has an enormous house. And he gets to marry Lizzie, whose my other favorite Austen heroine.
But which Darcy to choose? I think I would get tired of being black and white, and videotape has too little fidelity, so it’s pretty much down to Colin Firth and the new guy. While Keira Knightley is tempting, it looks like this guy hasn’t got the sense to come in out of the rain. Firth’s Darcy has the nicest house, and Jennifer Ehle–well, say no more. I guess Darcy it is!
However, I like to think that whatever choice I made, my essential hotness would shine through. 🙂
What a fun, fun post! I had to give this much thought, because, well, I really like them all. 🙂 Or almost all. That Knightley from the Kate Beckinsale EMMA was an ass (can I say that here?), and his hair was bizarre. Though he was good as Norfolk in that strange HENRY VIII miniseries on PBS. But I digress.
For hotness, the new Darcy has huge potential, but like Tess and Elena I will have to reserve judgement until I see the movie. 🙂 I do love Colin Firth (who doesn’t?), and Alan Rickman (hey, if I’m most like Marianne from that BBC quiz thing, I guess I need a steady guy around). But I think for hotness AND for marriage, I would have to say Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth. Such passion, such faithfulness! Such great uniforms! And as for whose mistress I’d like to be–Firth as Darcy. Loads of money, probably great sex, and no in-laws to worry about. No being mistress of Pemberley. I’d just as soon run a nice, cozy little place in London. 🙂 (OK, now I’ve rivaled Cara for smileys today!)
Quick question–if you were casting your own movie version of your favorite Austen book, who would you choose for the parts?
Wow, cast my own Austen movie — that made me think! (Heavens!)
Because it’s not been done well, I’d do NORTHANGER ABBEY, which is definitely one of my three favorite Austen books. 🙂
As Tilney, I’d have Hugh Dancy. He played Galahad in the recent (Clive Owen) King Arthur movie, and the prince in the charming film ELLA ENCHANTED. You can see a picture of him here:
And as for Catherine? Wait three or four years, and I’d cast Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movies. 🙂
Okay, I know it might be sacrilege, but can I say I think Jeremy Northam is kind of wimpy looking? He doesn’t do it for me at all.
As for casting of the Austen movie, that is way too hard. My mind is a sieve, except for when it comes to Clive Owen, who would probably only be good for Mr. Rochester, which was another discussion entirely.
Essential Hotness? Absolutely, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
I could fall in love with both Mr. Darcy and Colonel Brandon. But I’d choose Brandon as a husband. (I don’t think I could deal with Lady Catherine for long!)
Oh, good thinking on Hugh Dancey, Cara! He was just so cutie-patootie in DANIEL DERONDA that I could just eat him up with a spoon. 🙂 He’d make a great Regency hero.
And Clive Owen would make a terrific Rochester, Megan, I agree–but who would you cast as Jane in this particular version??
For those who want to know the running total, here it is by my count:
1) WHO’S HOTTEST? Votes:
Colin Firth as Darcy: 3
Jeremy Northam as Knightley: 2
Ciaran Hinds as Wentworth: 2
2) WHO’S MOST FALL-IN-LOVABLE? Votes:
Alan Rickman as Brandon: 1
3) WHO WOULD YOU MARRY? Votes:
Alan Rickman as Brandon: 1
Plus some non-specified votes, and one gentleman who would rather be Firth’s Darcy than any other hero. (Firth definitely did well in the voting!)
Any more votes…?
On behalf of gentlemen everywhere (but especially Hugh Dancy) I would like to officially protest the use of the term “cutie-patootie” by certain persons on this blog. Thank you.
And no, we men are not uptight. We’re just…uh…manly! Right. We have manly dignity. Yeah, that’s it.
I was talking about the casting of Clive as Mr. Rochester with the Husband last night, and he suggested Keira Knightley, and not just because of Closer. I said Jane is supposed to be plain, and he said that KK is so fine-boned it’d be fairly easy to make her look plainer with make-up. Angelina Jolie, not so much.
It works for me.
Actually, I think Angelina Jolie’s large bone structure can make her look borderline ugly with the wrong hair and makeup. I thought she looked quite unattractive in “Hackers” — she had almost no hair to soften her face… (Though with the right hair etc, I think she looks gorgeous.)
I could see Keira K as Jane… I think too much gentleness would be wrong — Jane was a fierce creature. If she’d been more gentle, I think her aunt might have warmed to her.
You know, I just re-read my last comment, and I see worded it too harshly. “Ugly” is certainly much too strong a word for what I mean. Just pretend that when I wrote “borderline ugly,” I actually wrote “ordinary.”
There. Now that I’ve remedied that, I feel better. 😉
I think ‘borderline ugly’ is the right word, actually. She can be that, now I think about it. And I meant King Arthur, not Closer–that’s Natalie Portman, another fragile brunette. But I think Angelina J. would still do a piss-poor job as Jane, I’m not sure she’s got the acting chops.
I think Angelina Jolie is an excellent actress, though I agree she’d be horribly wrong for Jane. 🙂 I totally couldn’t see Natalie Portman, either — she’s very method, I think, and does everything with the same little-girl voice. Keira Knightley I could really see as Jane E, though. She can be fierce, and vulnerable, and she’s angular enough to seem underfed. 🙂
Though of course one can’t always tell ahead of time! When I first heard about William Hurt doing Rochester, I thought it was ghastly casting — but was actually quite impressed by his performance. When I heard Ciaran Hinds was cast as Rochester, I was thrilled — but was less thrilled with the result. (And I won’t even mention what I thought when I first heard Ethan Hawke was doing Hamlet! But I quite liked his performance.)
I notice no one has commented on my imaginary casting of Emma Watson (Hermione in Harry Potter) as Catherine in NORTHANGER ABBEY (when she’s a few years older.) I presume that’s either because (a) it’s such brilliant casting everyone was struck dumb, or (b) no one’s reading this thread anymore. 🙂
I, for one, am certainly not!
1. Firth as Darcy
2. Oh, man… probably Rickman’s Brandon?
3. Wentworth. Oh, Wentworth.
Defo Jeremy Northam…he’s so sweet and handsome as Mr Knightly..
although i am bias as i just love him as an actor…he’s soooo (what’s the word?) Hot. Complete english gentleman.
Saw him in Journey’s end..fantastic performance. Note: See It!!!
and um Cara King, yes I agree with type casting emma watson for Catherine in northanger abbey…the question is who for Mr Henry Tilney…Northam??? ok that was too keen..
Isabella Thorpe would be a fun role to play though but which actress?
I haven’t seen Journey’s End — I’ll have to check it out!
I just re-watched the dvd of Emma, and I agree — Northam is so dreamy in it! Perfect comic timing. And a perfect smile.
So, as to our fantasy casting of “Northanger Abbey” — hmm… In isolation I could see Northam doing Tilney, but he’s SO much older than Emma Watson, that I don’t think I’d put them together. I’m not sure I can think of an actor off the top of my head to pair with her… I suppose possible Rupert Friend, who played Wickham in the latest Pride and Prejudice… He’s too handsome for Tilney, but maybe he could do it. 🙂 Or Gerard Butler in a friendly, jocular mood? (You see I don’t actually know too many young British guys…) Though come to think of it, Christian Bale could do it!
As for Isabella Thorpe — yes that’s a great role. How about Sleeveless Hussy herself, the most recent Miss Bingley, Kelly Reilly? 🙂
I’m glad you agree on Northam’s perfect smile, and Paltrow and him just look perfect together!
Yes I suppose if we are too take age at this exact time then perhaps they are too far apart, afterall he is 45!
Rupert friend…hmm yes I can see that. I really don’t know too many young male actors..wel i know a few but they don’t have one essential thing. talent.