Matthew Rhys is playing Mr. Darcy in the upcoming three-part mini-series of P.D. James’ novel by the same name, Death Comes To Pemberley. The upcoming TV show is a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and picks up six years later.
Ever since landing the coveted role, there have been comparisons between Rhys and Colin Firth who played Mr. Darcy in the BBC 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. In the 1995 version, Firth became an international hear throb after his memorable Lake Scene where he takes a dip in the Pemberley pond and appears in a wet white shirt. (((Sigh))) It is a classic scene that makes hearts flutter whenever it is seen.
Unfortunately for viewers, but fortunately for Rhys, there will be no wet shirt scene in Death Comes To Pemberley. And Matthew Rhys doesn’t have to be compared to the incomparable – a daunting task for any actor. (Can you tell that Colin Firth is my Mr. Darcy? And I don’t want anyone to ruin Mr. Darcy, especially my Lake Scene.)
Rhys admitted that “playing an iconic literary hero is always a little problematic”.
He told the Radio Times: “Coupled with that, the fact that the aforesaid iconic literary figure has been immortalised by Academy Award-winner Colin Firth makes for a louder gulp.”
He said his Mr Darcy would be “more mature” and “a family man”, adding: “I can wholeheartedly say I won’t be competing with Mr Firth emerging from a lake in a dripping white shirt – thankfully – because I don’t think anyone can top him.”
Other actors who have played the role of Mr. Darcy include Laurence Olivier in a 1940 film adaptation and Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 film adaptation.
And don’t worry ladies, Rhys is single – although I don’t think he is ready to settle down quite yet.
“My mates who are in LA with their families or girlfriends have one main consideration: where does it shoot and for how long?
“I don’t have those considerations because I’m single. It’s lucky in a way – that I’m a bit late starting a family – not that my mum’s happy about it,” he said.
If you need a refresher on the Lake Scene in Pride and Prejudice:
As I reported just last month, the famous Lake Scene was recreated by a sculpture in the middle of the Serpentine to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice. Yes, it is that iconic and I am glad for it.