Mr Darcy is the quintessential British romantic hero and one of two central characters in Jane Austen’s late-regency novel Pride and Prejudice.
Tall, dark and handsome—not to mention exceedingly wealthy—Darcy’s initially haughty manner is softened when his proposal of marriage is rejected by Elizabeth Bennet, the novel’s protagonist.
There is something magical about a relationship that starts off on the wrong foot.
Mr Darcy’s “pride” clashes with Miss Bennet’s “prejudice”.
But when the two overcame their predispositions, they were a love match made in heaven.
Two British actors of the last 20 years have become synonymous with Mr Darcy—Colin Firth in the BBC’s 1995 TV Series, and Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 British film directed by Joe Wright.
Reviews of the 1995 TV Series were overwhelmingly positive on both sides of the Atlantic.
John O’Connor of The New York Times said Colin Firth “brilliantly captures Mr. Darcy’s snobbish pride while conveying, largely through intense stares, that he is falling in love despite himself”.
The official A&E Network magazine summarized a year later that “critics praised the lavish production, audiences adored it, and women everywhere swooned over Darcy. So much, in fact, that newspapers began to joke about ‘Darcy fever.'”
Joe Wright, director of the 2005 film, called Matthew Macfadyen “a proper manly man … a great big hunk of a guy”. He said he didn’t want a “pretty boy kind of actor”.
Entertainment Weekly’s Alex Bailey agreed, remarking that Macfadyen was “sensational, with a noble profile just this side of surly and a plummy voice of such sullen quietude that you see how Lizzie might take it as dismissive.”
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Featured image is a composite of images from norika21, flickr.