The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: The Air Is Full Of Spices Edition

Standard

Northanger Abbey is up Sunday night, and Team Tilney trembles in anticipation, for whatever value one wishes to place on “trembles.”

Two reviews of the new film have been posted on PBS’ Remotely Connected blog. AustenBlog’s own Cub Reporter Heather L. has written a thoughtful and perceptive review that highlights what is enjoyable about the adaptation as well as why so many of us who love the novel were disappointed with it.

The challenge in adapting Northanger Abbey – or any Jane Austen novel – is to capture the wit and telling details which define a character or scene, and give such keen insight into human nature. These lift Jane’s novels above the myriad boy-meets-girl stories (even though they may share the same plots) and give her timeless and universal appeal.

[. . .]

It’s entertaining, but details that made the story special (and worth adapting in the first place) are gone.

We highly recommend that you check it out. Mr. Tilney would approve.

Fashion blogger Natalie Zee Drieu has a most harmless delight in being fine, and her review includes a Best Bonnets lineup.

The press coverage, unsurprisingly, focuses on the extra dash of Andrew Davies special spice that has been given to this new adaptation. And we just threw up a little in our mouth as we were typing that.

The New York Daily News seems to have swallowed the propaganda whole. (Now, do not be suspecting us of a pun, we entreat.)

“Northanger Abbey,” the first novel Austen completed, was not published until after her death, and Catherine in some ways feels like an early draft of later Austen figures like Elizabeth Bennet. But Catherine has a distinct character of her own, and her dreams reveal a restless, visceral spirit that some today will argue reflects Austen’s own.

*stares*

*blinks*

*squints*

*reads again*

No, it still says the same thing; we are not hallucinating.

For the record: Catherine is not a prototype of Elizabeth Bennet, as though Jane Austen wrote the same heroine six times; nor is she a portrait of the author (for crying out loud!). She is a parody of the typical heroine of the Gothic and sentimental novels of her time. She is a parody in her ordinariness and imperfections, and like Henry Tilney, we come to love her for them, not in spite of them. She is a brilliant creation from the wonderfully humorous and ironic imagination of Jane Austen, who was a genius.

We also are highly amused by the single spammy comment to the article! HA! (And you wonder why we have the Occasionally Overzealous Spam Filter on AustenBlog. Isn’t it worth getting caught occasionally to keep our little playground here free from that sort of thing? Not to mention keeping the Editrix from setting her hair on fire as she cleans 500 spam posts off the blog?)

Andrew Davies was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition (thanks to Alert Janeite Jenn for the heads up). We caught a bit of it but had to turn it off before it was over. It’s the usual “Jane Austen is all about sexy sex” stuff from what we could determine. You can listen to it at the link.

Alert Janeite Susan sent us a link to an article on the series in the latest issue of Newsweek, which is most remarkable for one of the first reviews of Miss Austen Regrets.

What trumps these three Austen adaptations is the series’ bonus, “Miss Austen Regrets,” a surprisingly good fictionalized biography. Beautifully acted—especially by Olivia Williams in the title role—it focuses on the last years of Austen’s life and displays a richness and wit often missing from the new films. Austen’s novels always end with a wedding, but this biopic opens with one, where the spinster Austen is a guest. As the happy couple—her niece and her bridegroom—burst out of a picturesque country church, they pass among the gravestones. The shadow of death isn’t far in this autumnal tale as it explores the question: did the author who wrote so magically of true love regret never marrying? “This is the real world,” Austen tells another niece. “The only way to get a man like Mr. Darcy is to make him up!” Yet middle-aged Miss Austen still loves to dance, to flirt (“I’m still a cat when I see a mouse,” she says) and, most of all, to match wits. She’s had some literary success, but she and her family, like many of her well-bred characters, suffer financial misfortune. As her novels do, this film points up the precarious position of women who lived outside the security of marriage to a man of means. The house she shares with her mother and sister resembles that in “Sense and Sensibility,” which will be the final PBS film. You may wonder how this new version compares with the first-rate 1995 Ang Lee-Emma Thompson movie. Then again, comparing competing Austen films has become half the fun.

That’s because you don’t have to moderate the “comparisons.” 😉 (Not that such considerations should hamper our discussion! Keep it lively, Gentle Readers!)

The way she's running, you would think the Borg Queen was chasing her or something

Standard

We were very much amused by the latest YouTube madness: a parody of the final part of Persuasion 07, with Anne running through the streets of Bath accompanied to the music from, in turn, Chariots of Fire, Benny Hill, and Run, Lola, Run.

Thanks to Alert Janeite LauraGrace for the link!

Alert Janeite Julie sent us a link to a rather amusing page on the PBS Complete Jane Austen site: The Men of Austen. First the command: Show the Men! Oh, if it were always that easy!

We were further amused by the “personal ads” for each gentleman. For instance, Henry Tilney’s interests are listed as: “Reading, dancing, fashion, shopping, storytelling, spending time with my sister.” *falls over laughing* Poor Henry! Don’t worry, your acolytes still love you even amidst your undeserved public humiliation. Nonetheless, we chose Tom B. as “Our Man” because of his artistically flowing locks. Yum.

The only article not a rehash of everything we’ve heard before was in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, which included this tidbit:

The bottom line is this. If you’re a fan of Austen’s feisty females (and millions are ), you’re in for a treat each Sunday night for the next three months.

Or maybe not.

I watched three of the preview DVDs with an Austen aficionado of my most intimate acquaintance and she informed me the productions were “uneven.” I’ll have to take her word for it since I’m no great Austen expert.

Wow! He committed actual journalism. How refreshing.

Persuasion (2007) and The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: Everyone's Got An Opinion Edition

Standard

Welcome to all the new (and delurking) visitors to AustenBlog! We’re really enjoying the lively discussion of the new adaptation of Persuasion. As a compare and contrast, here’s the opinion and discussion thread from the original broadcast in the UK last year.

Fellow-ette is liveblogging each of the broadcasts, starting with Persuasion.

9:45 Me: “Where have we seen Wenthworth before?” My boyfriend, “In an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog?” Snark. UPDATE: True Answer: He played St. John Rivers, and Jane Eyre dumped him for Rochester/Ciaran Hinds in the ’97 Jane Eyre. Which is weird because he’s now lost out to Ciaran in two (count’em, TWO) separate categories.

Ouch!

The New Yorker has a rather snarky article (but snarky in a way that makes us roll our eyes–we’ve heard it all before, ripped bodices yada yada yada) It’s mostly interesting for one of the first reviews of Miss Austen Regrets.

And now we come to “Miss Austen Regrets,” a ghastly misfire—one does enjoy finding a use for that phrase now and again—which presents Austen in the same reductive way that is often resorted to when an inadequate imagination sets about dramatizing an interesting woman’s life. Austen comes across as witty, disappointed, proud, smart, a symbol, a cautionary tale, a heroine, a loser—everything but a person. (It’s a Judy Davis role, played here by Olivia Williams.)

Jane Austen inspires girls for many reasons, one of which is that they sense that, as a Times piece about “Becoming Jane” put it last year, an Austen heroine is “not afraid to be the smartest person in the room.” Any girl who watches “Miss Austen Regrets” could only be very, very afraid of such a fate.

Hmm! We’ll see in a few weeks. 🙂

The Washington Post has an article anticipating the new adaptations, with the usual commentary about “purists:”

Fans of Austen constantly argue over which of her books is best, as do fans of the screen adaptations. Purists will be picky — arguments erupted recently about whether it was remotely feasible to ever see an Austen heroine dancing a waltz.

Most likely not, if you were wondering. 🙂

Kate on MSN’s TV Blog wonders why Jane Austen can’t be more like Gossip Girl?

So, basically, I think Persuasion was ridiculously abridged and made caricatures of its characters. Why couldn’t it have been more like”Gossip Girl”? “Gossip Girl,” seriously? Well, it’s another adaptation of a book in the same vein: manners, treachery, boys, clothes. The pilot of “Gossip Girl” did an excellent job adapting the manners and mores of the books into a one hour drama, and the show has continued to be excellent. It’s not a 100% faithful adaptation, but maybe that’s what makes it great.

Never having seen Gossip Girl, we have no idea.

Hollywood Today has an interesting take on last night’s TV faceoff between Persuasion and The Sarah Connor Chronicles:

Under Terminator canon, the answer seems obvious. In ‘T2: Judgement Day,’ Arnold says, “I am a cybernetic organism, living tissue over metal endoskeleton.” But, is it prudent to trust the word of a murderous machine? Maybe not. A robot is a machine that resembles a human being and is often subject to another’s will. A cyborg is a human being whose functions are controlled or aided by mechanical or electrical systems. The Borg are clearly cyborgs, augmented humans under collective self-control. Terminator, on the other hand, is an autonomous robot controlled by Skynet. If the external living tissue of Terminator qualify it as a cyborg, then the external mental control exerted over Ann Elliott’s actions in ‘Persuasion’ should qualify her as a robot. However, ‘Persuasion’ is far from being the story of a robot.

Have to agree with that! Thanks to Alert Janeite Lisa for several of these links.

We have lots of other non-movie stuff to post, which we will do tonight, so stay tuned, Janeites! And a reminder: we’re really busy so the spam filter is freaking out a little. Be patient if you get caught–we are keeping an eye on things and will get you out eventually!

One down, five to go

Standard

Persuasion has been broadcast here on the east coast, and we know not everyone ordered Region 2 DVDs or caught stray satellite signals last year *cough*, and we’re very interested to know what those who are seeing it for the first time thought. Or even if you’re not seeing it for the first time.

Please let us know if you’ve read the book–we won’t make fun of you, we’re just interested to compare reactions between those who have read the book and those who have not.

Our most immediate thoughts: they didn’t do a bad job with exposition of the Year Six romance nor of setting up the Anne-Wentworth-Weasel Boy love triangle, it certainly ticked along at a breathless pace, the Cobb scene was much too quick for the importance of that scene, Tony Head is a scream, we liked Mary better this time, the ending is a disaster, THEY MESSED UP THE LETTER OMGBBQ, and really it should have been two episodes.

<pedant> And that’s the Royal Crescent, not Camden Place. </pedant>

<pedant> And that concert was NOT at the Pump Room. That was rather obviously the Upper Rooms, exactly where it was located IN THE NOVEL. Which the location managers seemed to figure out. Sheesh. </pedant>

A note: We’re getting slammed today, so please be patient if you’re caught in the spam filter–we are keeping an eye on things and we’ll get you out, never fear!

The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: Information Overload Edition

Standard

Sally Hawkins as Anne ElliotWith Masterpiece Theatre hanging its hat rather desperately on The Complete Jane Austen to introduce its new brand to the world, the media coverage is, as expected, rather overwhelming.

First we must point out PBS’ Remotely Connected blog, which will feature guest reviews of each film from the online Austen and blogging communities. First up is Ms. Place of the Jane Austen’s World blog on Persuasion. Laurel Ann has the lineup of future guest reviewers–some familiar names in that group. 😉

The LA Times discusses the Masterpiece rebranding.

The only way to alter such an iconic series is “very carefully,” said John Boland, chief content officer for the Public Broadcasting Service.

It had been obvious that “Masterpiece Theatre” needed to rethink its image in light of revolutionary changes in television and media, said Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of “Masterpiece Theatre” for the last 22 years. Studies had shown that viewers identified the series with PBS, admired its high quality and consistently drew a respectable 1.8 to 2 average household Nielsen rating. The series was beloved by an ardent fan base — as evidenced by numerous parodies, including “Mouseterpiece Theater,” “Rastapiece Theater” and “Master P’s Theater.” It was the most cited reason why people became members of their local public television stations and, most significant, the reason they stayed. But lately some viewers have become confused by shifting time slots and mixed expectations.

“What we wanted to know was why aren’t more people watching it and what would it take to attract a younger audience?” said Bob Knapp, president of Neubrand, a marketing and brand consultant. Viewers had told researchers they perceived the series as a “dusty jewel that was hard to find in the PBS crown,” Eaton said. They wanted to know whether to expect “Jane Eyre” or Jane Tennison, “Bleak House” or “White Teeth”?

The result was a compromise between changing everything or changing nothing, Knapp said, the literary equivalent of “brand new look, same great taste.”

It should be noted that a point is cleared up that troubled a few of us: Continue reading

The Complete Jane Austen News Roundup: Our Kingdom for Some Duct Tape Edition

Standard

We are a little concerned, as Alert Janeite Cinthia, who alerted us to the broadcast of Persuasion (2007) in Mexico last weekend, noticed that some scenes were cut from the original broadcast on ITV. She did a little investigating, and discovered that all of the films being presented on Masterpiece Theatre will have some scenes cut, though full versions will be available to those who purchase the DVDs. We suppose those of us suckers who donated money to PBS in support of Masterpiece Theatre don’t deserve full versions. We are exceedingly put out. It’s not like they need the time for advertisements, and several of the films are too short as it is. Remember, Masterpiece Theatre Is Made Possible By Viewers Like The Editrix, Who Has The Premium Coffee Cup To Prove It.

Duct Tape Now that we’re good and cranky, it’s time for the Two Minute Andrew Davies Hate. We really don’t hate him, of course, but we probably would be a lot less cranky if he would just shut up. Nothing a little judiciously-applied duct tape couldn’t fix.

This popularity surrounds someone who wrote only six books, following plots that now seem standard.

“All the basic stories are in all kinds of trashy romantic novels,” says Andrew Davies, who adapted four of the six novels for the PBS project. “(A) young girl who has disadvantages (and) things in her way gets a man who’s probably rich, handsome, loving, etc.”

Oh, that Emma Woodhouse, she was so disadvantaged.

Some women played music or sang or read. The key Austen characters — especially Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” — spent much time outdoors.

“She runs everywhere,” Davies says. “She’s got an excess of energy. I think that running everywhere in Jane Austen is a key for being highly sexed, having not enough to do with your body.”

Can somebody please show us all these examples in Pride and Prejudice where Lizzy is running? Not the movie, the book. Please show us. She walks a lot, and when walking to Netherfield to see Jane, she walks at a “quick pace,” but she’s certainly not “running everywhere.”

Matt Roush at TV Guide likes Persuasion well enough.

Strike, schmike. This winter, my favorite TV writer may just be the immortal Miss Austen.

The Capital Times has an article…

They play the piano forte.

They hide their affections for those brooding sorts.

They know their own minds and love to read.

They are the island of common sense in a sea of idiotic relatives and acquaintances.

They speak of “understandings” and “attachments.”

And they’ll be all over PBS this winter and spring.

Just as there’s been no escaping Jane Austen’s heroines in popular culture the past few years, they’ll be coming weekly as PBS’ “Masterpiece Theatre” kicks off “The Complete Jane Austen” on Sunday with a lush production of “Persuasion.”

…as does The Phoenix.

The idea behind most recent Austen adaptations (including the 2005 Pride and Prejudice) seems to be that Jane’s old-fashioned sensibility needs to be updated to suit modern tastes. The irony is that it’s her old-fashioned sensibility that made her popular in the first place.

Not necessarily for everyone. 🙂

The Guardian profiles Olivia Williams, who plays Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets.

She admits the plate-spinning of balancing work and parenting did send her “a little bit crazy” in the summer, when she was working on a forthcoming BBC film called Miss Austen Regrets. In an interview last year, Williams criticised the “lazily colloquial” script. But, as with so much else in her life, the finished film proved to be “different from what I envisaged, which is wonderful. It’s much more intangible than your average biopic, the choice of shots gives it a very European feel. It showed me how much I still have to learn.”

About film, or about media training? 😉

Since the Golden Globes have been, for all intents and purposes, canceled, we would imagine quite a few viewers might turn to PBS. Prepare to be boarded, Janeites!

Thanks to Alert Janeites Anna and Lisa for the links!

Persuasion 2007 to be broadcast on Canal 22 in Mexico

Standard

Alert Janeite Cinthia from JACastellano, the Spanish language Jane Austen discussion list, let us know that Persuasion (2007) will be broadcast on Canal 22 tonight, Sunday, January 6, 2008, at 22:00 Mexico City time. (Central Time in the U.S.) Don’t forget to come back and let us know what you thought of it!

The Austenpalooza is nearly upon us

Standard

Some might say the Austengeddon, but they are clearly glass-half-empty types. 😉 Though we are less than thrilled with many of the adaptations being broadcast, no matter how you look at it, Masterpiece Theatre Classics’ presentation of “The Complete Jane Austen” will bring a lot of attention to our favorite author, which is never a completely bad thing. We think. We hope. 🙂

Entertainment Today has a preview with a schedule and information about each film in the series. Also there’s a new photo from Miss Austen Regrets.

So what has brought about the Renaissance for the 42-year-old English novelist who died in 1817? Maybe because she was very smart, very strong, and knew how to tell a good story. Some folks say what she wrote was like Sex and the City in the 18th century.

None of those folks would be associated with this blog, we believe.

Miss Austen Regrets (airs Feb. 3) is a film biography starring Olivia Williams. It dramatizes Jane Austen’s lost loves and reveals that the authoress wrote from personal experience. It explores how she played the courtship game, and how the “happily ever after” eluded her.

Oh please, Jane, no. Please no. *sticks fingers in ears, sings “la la la la la, we can’t hearrrrrrrrrr youuuuuuu!”*

Denial is not just a river in Egypt, you know.

PBS is positioning the series with educators, and has produced a Teacher’s Guide that might also be available to the non-teachers among us, and also has featured the series on its PBS Teachers website. (Thanks to Alert Janeite Diane for the link.) For the many students, both high school and university, who read AustenBlog, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of JASNA’s 2008 essay contest, which incorporates the four new adaptations in the series, and has some pretty nice prizes, including free registration and two nights’ lodging for the 2008 JASNA AGM in Chicago.

Austen film events in Washington, D.C., New York City, Kansas City, and Denver

Standard

With the Complete Jane Austen gearing up on PBS, everyone seems to have Jane Austen films on their minds, and there are several events coming up dedicated to Austen film adaptations old and new.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is having a special event, “Jane Austen Goes to the Movies,” on Wednesday, January 30th at 7 p.m.

Jane Austen has become one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters, with both feature films and television mini-series to her credit. Independent scholar and lecturer, Virginia Newmyer, examines the dramatization of the novels, and whether 20th-century scenarios have improved on the renowned author. The discussion, illustrated with images, interprets the ways in which Jane Austen wove the enduring questions of power, money, and social class into her romantic comedies, and how the themes have been transferred to the screen. Several films and videos are considered, including: Sense and Sensibility (1995 feature film), Pride and Prejudice (1980 BBC mini-series, 1995 BBC/A&E mini-series), Mansfield Park (1993 feature film), Emma (1996 feature film), Clueless (1995 feature film), and Persuasion (1995 feature film). In addition, both Becoming Jane, the 2007 feature film as fictional as the novels, and The Jane Austen Book Club, very different from the book, are included.

Tickets for this event are $20, but if you call and mention that you are an AustenBlog reader, you can get them for the member price of $15! La!

Alert Janeite Jen K. sent us some information about upcoming events sponsored by JASNA’s Greater New York region, kicking off this week. First is a pre-broadcast screening of the new adaptation of Persuasion, this Tuesday, January 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Wollman Auditorium at the Cooper Union. The event is co-sponsored by Penguin Books.

JASNA New York also is co-sponsoring (with Borders) post-broadcast discussions for each of the six novel adaptations on the Mondays after broadcast at several locations in New York and Connecticut.

Another very exciting New York area event (though it’s not listed on JASNA New York’s website, but Jen posted details at The Republic of Pemberley) is a screening of the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion with a discussion featuring Ciarán Hinds, who of course played Captain Wentworth in the film, and possibly Corin Redgrave, who played Sir Walter Elliot, discussing the film with Foster Hirsch of the Brooklyn College Film Department and Rachel Brownstein of the CUNY English Department. The event will be at Brooklyn College on Monday, February 4, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gershwin Theater, Brooklyn College Campus.

All of these events are free and open to the public.

We previously mentioned “Jane-uary” at the Kansas City Public Library, and as part of that endeavor the library will have a film series called “The Reel Jane Austen” featuring some of the big-screen adaptations, nicely balancing the small-screen versions on PBS. The series will include P&P 1940 and 2005, S&S 1995, and Emma 1996. (No Persuasion 95? Quel dommage!)

In conjunction with Rocky Mountain Public Radio, Audrey Sprenger of the Denver Central Library will present a film and lecture series, Jane Austen, Literature’s Posthumous It Girl.

Created to supplement Masterpiece Theatre’s winter telecast of The Complete Jane Austen, this short cinematic and academic course will chronicle Austen’s slow but steady rise in popularity since the late 1800s, compare her to other It Girls like aviator Amelia Earhart and actresses Jean Seberg and Brigitte Bardot, critique Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, a Hollywood Teen Re-Make of Austen’s Emma and finally, explore Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club, a fictional take on why Austen’s work and persona still endures.

The Denver Central Library will have a free screening of the new adaptation of Persuasion on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2 p.m. to kick off the series.

Let the games begin

Standard

The Official AustenBlog Titanium Spork A season of Jane Austen adaptations on both sides of the pond begins tomorrow with the broadcast of a new adaptation of Sense and Sensibility on the BBC. The Times has an interview with Andrew Davies; the author amused us with her skepticism.

Ah, yes, the famously impudent manner in which Davies invents minor characters to “round out the plot” of the sacred Austen canon, and to make it work better as a screen dramatisation. He does the same by adding sequences that he hopes will give body and motive to the story. These are, of course, the bits that everyone remembers.

Perhaps his former career as an English teacher and university lecturer (at Warwick University) has given him the authority to rewrite Austen, as if she were one of his undergraduates whose work needed sprucing up.

As. If.

Darcy coming out of the lake was Davies’s most famous sexing-up moment; in this latest Austen adaptation, he has the rather weedy Edward Ferrars (played by Dan Stevens) feverishly chopping wood in shirtsleeves and a downpour. It’s a bit like a Georgian Abercrombie & Fitch advert.

Does he hope drenched period beefcake will once more get the ratings soaring? Of course, though he claims some of the more eye-popping moments happen by accident – the firm axe coming down on the pliable wood, and so on. And in the rain, for goodness’ sake. “I never thought about it as a Freudian metaphor,” he says. Oh come on! “I’m shocked,” he says, delighted. “It just happened to be pouring with rain.” Just as the wet-shirt scene with Darcy just “happened”? “That wasn’t deliberate either.” What? “I didn’t think he would keep his shirt on. I never thought a wet-shirt scene would be such a turn-on.”

(Incidentally, we think we stumbled across the wellspring of The Pond Scene a week or two ago. Let’s just say our John Thorpe jokes haven’t been as far off as some might think.)

The Western Mail also has an interview with Mr. Davies that covers much the same territory and gives us a clue as to the marketing frame that has been chosen.

Restrained and rational Elinor, and the wildly romantic, impulsive Marianne are respectively played by newcomers Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield.

“It’s thrilling to have such young, vibrant talent as the Dashwood sisters – and to have actresses much nearer their ages,” enthuses Davies.

“The sisters are 16 and 18 in the book, and 17 and 19 by the finish. Now Emma Thompson gave a great performance in the movie, but she was too old. And I think it was really just hope that casting Alan Rickman would do the trick for Colonel Brandon.

We’ve posted this before, but it bears repeating: Kate Winslet was 18 or 19 when she made S&S95. Charity Wakefield is 25, so presumably was 24 when she made this film. If that’s all you got, look out.

“Nobody who reads the book ever remembers that this schoolgirl gets seduced and has a baby.”

No, really, we can read. Really.

Davies is clearly happy with the space afforded by a three-part adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, the first episode of which transmits on New Year’s Day – perfect chocolate-box telly after all the festive exertions of late.

“Jane Tranter, the head of BBC Drama, asked me if I could get four hours out of it, and I said I’d try, but it makes a very natural three hours, in truth,” says Davies. “We did six 50-minute episodes for Pride and Prejudice, but there’s more story there. And the speed of narration gets quicker on television, almost every year.”

And yet there’s room for duels and seductions! Oh, there better not be anything important or interesting left out.

“Edward is dull, he’s hesitant. And Colonel Brandon just seems old, serious, and not very glamorous. Jane Austen doesn’t really convince us that Marianne would move from being so crazy about the young Willoughby to suddenly being in love with Brandon.

“So those two guys needed a lot of work, they both needed to be made to look much sexier, really. We needed to butch them up! Otherwise you’ll never believe that our lovely young heroines would fall for them.”

Interestingly, we very clearly remember sitting in the theater watching S&S95 for the first time. When Alan Rickman rode up, came up to the door, and sat watching Marianne play the pianoforte, we thought: Oh good, they made him sexy! Because we liked Colonel Brandon in the book very much. Because (it bears repeating) we can read.

“This is partly why I continue to do so well. The producers go, ‘This is a famous book, we’ve got Andrew Davies, that’s two parts of the equation – get a sexy-looking cast and we’re on our way’!”

*buries head in hands*

The Telegraph has an article focusing on the cast on the last day of shooting.

Thanks to Alert Janeites Belle de Jure and Lisa for the links!