Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Presumably such great costumes and locations helped
in terms of preparation and performance?
A: The costumes are great because they kind of tell you
how to move, how to walk. You can’t sit in britches like
I’m sitting in now, for instance. [Well you could, but it
would be quite uncomfortable].
And being in the locations themselves is great, it’s less
of a leap of the imagination if you’re standing on the balcony
at Chatsworth than if you’re in an aircraft hangar somewhere.
Q. How did you go about approaching the character of
A: I find Darcy very sympathetic, I find it heartbreaking
that he’s seen as very haughty and proud – and he
is those things – but he’s a young man who is still
grieving for his parents.
He’s from an ancient family and has this huge responsibility,
but it seemed to me that he’s still trying to work out who
he is and how to be in the world. I found that very interesting,
and I found him very sympathetic.
Q. Did you go back to novel?
A: I hadn’t read the novel before we shot the film.
He is based on the script.
Q. Do you think modern viewers will view Darcy differently?
A: Maybe. I think Darcy is a young man who is given this
huge responsibility and that can be experienced by young men now.
The shock of Lydia eloping with Wickham, at the age of 15, is
as shocking to us now as I’m sure it was then. I don’t
think it’s changed that much.
Matthew Macfadyen: I think looking at it now,
Darcy would seem much more snobbish in our understanding of the
word than he would then. To somebody like Darcy, it would have
been a big deal for him to get over this difference in their status,
and to be able to say to Lizzie that he loved her.
We would think it was incredibly snobbish and elitist, but it
wasn’t for him. It would have been a big admission, and
he would have found it very vulgar. It’s a bigger divide
than it would have been then is what I’m saying.
Q. Do you think that's because that sense of duty is
alien to us now but not then?
Q. Are you conscious of the Darcy effect, given the iconic
place he holds in literature and, of course, the effect it had
on Colin Firth's career?
A: I don’t know, I don’t know what to expect.
Joe Wright [director]: I think we made this film
without considering previous adaptations. The television version
was made ten years ago now, and the film version was made in 1946.
We really did make the film in a little bubble of our own, and
I don’t think we were really thinking about anything outside
of what we were doing each day. Maybe now it will start.
Q. When taking on a role like this, do you feel a responsibility
to a classic?
A: I sort of approached Darcy as I would any other part.
You’d never play Hamlet, for example, if you started worrying
about who’s played it before you. The same with a lot of
parts. That’s the nature of it, you just get on with it.
It’s a wonderful part.
Q. You inject a lot of humour
into the character of Darcy. Was it a fine line making sure that
the balance was just right?
A: I don’t know. Looking back I can’t remember,
I can’t analyse it like that. There is something of the
ridiculous in Darcy because he thinks very deeply and seriously
about things, and he takes himself very seriously. As young men
tend to do I suppose. So there is a bit of darkness, which Lizzie
punctures so cleverly. I just had a bash and hoped for the best.
Brenda Blethyn: The only scenes I saw Darcy play
were the ones that I was in with him, I didn’t see the ones
that I wasn’t in until I saw it at the cinema quite recently.
I thought it was wonderful the way the audience warmed to Darcy
in the same way that Lizzie did.
They awakened to him, there was something more going on there.
One feels the aloofness of this man coming into that dance hall.
And totally warming in the same way that she did. It was lovely.
Q. How was the horse-riding?
A: There wasn’t that much horse riding!
Joe Wright: It’s another period convention,
just because it’s a period film everyone has to be seen
on a horse. But at the time walking was very popular, it was seen
as an outdoor pursuit.
Macfadyen: Obviously I’m brilliant at riding
horses, I was born in the saddle. [laughs]
Q. Did you get to keep the bust of Darcy?
A: I’m waiting to be offered it. I don’t
know where it is.
Wright: Actually the Duchess of Devonshire got
it. it’s on display at Chatsworth.
Q. Did it seem like Joe’s first feature to the
Macfadyen: Not at all.
Brenda Blethyn: From the early frames we knew
we were in very good hands, we could see the way he’d set
up the shot, inhabited the shot, so right from the very earliest
scenes we knew were in very, very inspired hands.
Macfadyen: Joe is an actor’s director.
There are plenty of directors who aren’t that interested,
but Joe likes actors I think, he’s interested in the process
of it. So it was a treat, it really was.
Rosamund Pike: You can get quite self-conscious
at times, there’s this business of your close up coming
up, but in that big ball scene he put three cameras on it. And
in lots of the dinner scenes too, so you wouldn’t actually
know when your moment was coming.
That’s why it’s got that lovely unaware quality to
it, you really did feel it’s being observed. I think it’s
because people didn’t know they were being watched really,
that’s what you get, this window on life.
Joe Wright: We had two weeks rehearsal, so we
kind of got to know each other quite well. We’d all kind
of spent a lot of time together before we started.
Related stories: Read
Keira Knightley interview
Joe Wright (director) interview
Brenda Blethyn interview
Pride and Prejudice
feature (Keira Knightley)
Special feature: The
challenge of casting and shooting
Watch clips from the film