Before there was Augustus Waters, Noah Calhoun and Christian Gray, there was Mr. Darcy. A perfectly dark but handsome literary figure who has been loved by several women over the centuries, Darcy perfectly embodies the type of man many of us seem to covet. You know this one, it’s a mystery to understand, he comes across as distant (a giant jerk), but there is something about him that makes us turn pale despite our instinct to dismiss him completely. The thing we love most about Mr. Darcy? She really isn’t a moron, but a beautiful, caring, and generous creature who learns from her past mistakes and whose initial distance and cold shoulder were truly her way of fighting the enormous growing love for Elizabeth Bennet. We love Darcy for Darcy, but we love her too because it gives us hope that these hot brats that we can’t help but get attracted to are really so jerky because they’re just plain in love with us. Perfect logic? I think so. As we continue to meditate on our real life Darcy as men we can re-read Pride and Prejudice time and time again, or we can watch one of the many adaptations of the tale that have hit both the small and the big screen. For your enjoyment, here is our definitive ranking of the Darciest of the Darcys screen.
5.) Laurence Olivier (1940)
Okay, we’re going back to one of the original film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novel. While there are two versions of Pride and Prejudice that stand out much more among the rest (we’ll get to that later), we can’t forget some of the original cast of Darcy. One of the most popular British actors of his time, Olivier was a quintessential Darcy, watching the role and perfectly nailing his cocky air and the tactless way he proposed to Elizabeth the first time around. While Olivier was good at the role, it made it easy to remember that he was just playing the role, not quite blending in with the character to make it a super memorable movie watching experience. Check out a clip of Olivier as Darcy here.
4.) Matthew Rhys (PBS Death comes to Pemberly, 2013)
Not only the novel by PD James Death comes to Pemberly A compelling spinoff from the classic novel, the PBS adaptation of it provided us with an incredible Darcy. Rhys is near perfection in his portrayal of the famous character, playing a good Darcy in his marriage. The PBS miniseries allow Rhys to cover all the expanses of the Darcy we know and love so well, swinging between the mellow loving man and a serious figure facing murder on his land. You can’t help but want to give him a hug as he becomes more and more stressed by the events that have happened. Marriage and fatherhood made Darcy as sexy and alluring as ever. Check out this clip and drool over handsome Rhys in action.
3.) Colin Firth (Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones Diary, 2001)
Ok yes, this is not a traditional portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy, but the character of Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones Diary is based on Austen’s lead man. And anyone who is a fan of Mr. Darcy can easily see the similarities. He’s a very wealthy and prominent figure in society, a pretentious little brat, very attractive and drives us crazy in a good way, goes out of his way to constantly help Bridget without wanting to take credit for it, loves her ” just as it is “and is the definition of chivalry. Firth was no stranger to the character of Mr. Darcy, having portrayed him in the 1995 BBC miniseries, and brought the same qualities to his modern take that made us love him on his first try. Naturally, I must have watched the movie halfway through this writing and have fallen in love with the wonderful Firth for the thousandth time. If you don’t melt after watching this talk, something is wrong.
2.) Matthieu Macfadyen (2005)
Here we are, the two best Darcys. And it is seriously so difficult to choose between these last two leading men, but our winner is ahead of the second for reasons which we will discuss in a moment. In second place, we have Matthew Macfadyen. Having lost my Pride and Prejudice virginity to the 2005 movie, I wanted my first Darcy so badly to be my favorite. Macfadyen is really fantastic in the role, only being beaten by our winner by a few minor details. Of course, he’s beautiful in a slightly choppy way. Her accent knocks you off your knees and you literally feel the coldness of her cold shoulder towards Elizabeth at first. But it’s his performance as such a miserably man that really grips your heart. The secret looks, the grabbing of Elizabeth’s hand as he puts her in his car, the way he literally seems to be in pain if he has to hide his feelings anymore by telling Elizabeth… butterflies. Yet the most perfect moment as Darcy? Macfadyen emerging from the fog to tell Elizabeth once more how he feels. Watch this, rewind, watch again, repeat. Bravo, Macfadyen, Bravo. We love, we love, we love you.
1.) Colin Firth (BBC miniseries, 1995)
And the Darcy’s Darciest is without a doubt Mr. Firth. Like I said, Firth and Macfadyen are literally neck and neck in the competition, but with the BBC miniseries having almost four hours more on the 2005 film, there’s a lot more to Mr. Darcy to appreciate. Firth’s performance is flawless overall. It’s as if by divine intervention Ms. Austen herself had thrown him in the path of a casting director as he truly is Mr. Darcy come alive. Those smug looks, the softening of her beautiful brown eyes out of love, the delivery of famous lines such as “I love you.” The most ardently. “Sigh. And of course, the ultimate tipping factor, the thing I would be hurt the most for if I didn’t mention it. That glorious, glorious lake scene. Oh Colin, ugly, ugly Darcy.
So there you go guys, the best Mr. Darcys around. You have all left your mark on one of the most beloved fictional men and provided us with some wonderful visuals, thank you gentlemen. Hoping that someday we can all find our own Mr. Darcy. And until then, let’s be happy to have so many fantastic versions to get our imaginary solution with.
TDQ Tags TDQblogger019