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P&P (2005) For Dummies: More Fans FAQ Answered

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted and updated more about this. So, here we go...time to bring this back!

Continuing a series of articles here for our Frequently Asked Questions (aka P&P 2005 for Dummies) section answering at least most of your questions...

The first
50 were already posted, I believe almost two years ago or so. 5 More FAQs with Q&A are posted here.

READ on! All you ever wanted to know about the 2005 Oscar® Nominated film, Pride & Prejudice (the cast, characters, and more!) ...

51. Towards the end of the movie, Mary was seen through a window (with sister Kitty) reading an excerpt from a book. What was the name of the book that she was reading? 
"...must be free from all insincerity. She only can address herself effectually to the feelings of others whose mind glows with the warmth of sensibility and whose arguments result from conviction. She must feel the influence of those passions and emotions which she wishes to inspire..." (Mary Bennet)
The name of the book is Elements of general knowledge: introductory to useful books in the principal branches of Literature and Science (scroll down to Eloquence 110 to read this same excerpt, but with a "he" and not a "she as Mary read in the film) By Henry Kett
52. Did the cast do rehearsals prior to filming the P&P movie?
Yes, according to a Joe Wright interview, they did...for 3 weeks!

Yes. We had three weeks of rehearsal. Which is a lot. It’s a terrible thing that actors don’t get paid for rehearsal. They’re always complaining and say that they’ll turn up for the second or third reading. I was very strict with them all, and said they had to be there for three weeks. When actors arrive on set, they always eye each other up trying to work out who’s going to be the weakest link, and who’s going to be competition, and working out whether they’re going to snog each other. Starting the dance rehearsal first broke the ice and ensured they all made complete fools of themselves, and laughed a lot. That was a good galvanizing exercise. Unfortunately, you can’t do that in films where there isn’t any dancing. Two weeks of acting rehearsals are about conversations, especially where the families are getting to know each other. I specifically cast the actors because of their mix on as well as off screen. I really enjoyed the shooting process, and I enjoy bringing groups of people together and seeing how they get on. Jena, who plays Lydia, for instance, is an extraordinary girl who emancipated herself from her parents at the age of fourteen, she’s very Californian and out there. Then there’s Talulah Riley, who plays Mary, and she is one of the most conservative English girls I have met in my life, who by the age of nineteen has decided which day she’s going to be married on, even though she’s never had a boyfriend. Then there’s Donald who’s this great patriarchal figure, and Ros [Rosamund Pike] with her great intelligence, and Kiera, with this extraordinary energy. Putting all these characters together was really exciting. We talked about who we were, and spent a lot of time in improvisation workshops, rather than rehearsing the scenes as you would in the theatre. Finally the Bennet house was ready, and we made sure the set was dressed. We lit fires so it had the smell of a real home: it was a fully working house that had a 360 degrees real. We went down there and spent a few days playing sardines, and just mucking about in the house so that they could claim it as there own house. They each had their own bedroom and a space of their own. Tom Hollander also played sardines and claimed that when he was in a cupboard with the five Bennet sisters it was the happiest day of his life. The job of a director is about creating an atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and are able to express themselves freely and where they are not afraid of trying things out.
53. How did P&P screenwriter Deborah Moggach decide which scene (from her script) to keep or discard in the film?
Here's what Deborah Moggach said (via The Script Factory):

You have to be true to the integrity of the book and to Jane Austen, but then you also have to be quite ruthless. What you don’t see, you don’t miss, but in Pride and Prejudice what you don’t see probably everyone is conscious of because so many people know the book practically word for word. I know masses of people who re-read it every year! But from the beginning, this is Elizabeth’s story. And by focusing on Elizabeth Bennet and what’s happening to her, and her grueling and difficult journey, certain things slough off as you go along. Jane’s trip to London, we don’t need to know. Although I did write those scenes with Jane in London, they weren’t needed and Lydia’s shenanigans with Wickham in London weren’t shot at all.
54. How were the main actors cast in the Pride & Prejudice film?"
The next decision was to cast the actors according to their characters' ages in the book. A young cast for the story about first love. The hunt for Elizabeth became easy once Tim (Bevan) said "Go to Montreal and meet Keira. If you like her and she likes you, you have a movie." We went, we loved her, Keira said "yes," and we had a movie. The search for Darcy was a long one. We meet everyone, but there was never really any doubt that it would always be our first choice, Matthew Macfadyen. Three of our teenagers had never acted before: Carey Mulligan ("Kitty"), Talulah Riley ("Mary"), and Tamzin Merchant ("Georgiana"). Balance was required, so along with Keira, we cast Jena Malone, at nineteen a veteran of more than 20 films. Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Judi Dench added weight and experience to our youthful cocktail." (Paul Webster, P&P producer via P&P Online Companion Book)

Also, read more about Joe Wright On Casting P&P '05 Actors!


55. How did director Joe Wright decide on casting Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy?
He was one of the first people I thought of when I read the script. He’s brilliant and one of the best actors we’ve got. I then went on a world trip looking for Mr. Darcy, which was exhausting and pointless as we came full circle back to Matthew. When Matthew and Kiera were together, they were better than when they weren’t together. They made each other better actors. I also wanted a manly man, not a boy band pretty boy. Lizzie had come to an age in her life where she appreciates proper men rather than boys who look like girls. I wanted someone of the right age. My first thought was that I wanted to cast all the actors at the ages that Austen wrote them. The emotions only seemed real to me when they were experienced by very young people. Darcy is twenty eight, he’s a young man who hasn’t hit the plateau of his thirties yet. He hasn’t quite hit the comfortable position were he knows who he is. Matthew approached the role as an actor in search of a character, rather than as an icon. Darcy’s parents died when he was quite young, I like to think in a tragic accident late one night, so he woke up one day to find the huge responsibility on his shoulders of the estate and the nine hundred livelihoods that depended on that estate, so he had to quickly put on the suit of manhood that didn’t quite fit him. That’s why he is the way he is, and the story is about a girl who teaches him how to be a gentle man. (Joe Wright via Script Factory)

“I had never seen the TV dramas or the film, so I was able to look for the Darcy I had in my head -- and Matthew Macfadyen was the only one for me. Darcy is 28, and Matthew was 29 when we were shooting. I had no interest in casting just a pretty boy; Darcy is more interesting and complicated than that. He’s a young man who has less than ideal social skills and a huge responsibility. His parents have died and left him with a massive estate and a younger sister to take care of, and my sense is that he has had to grow up too fast. Matthew has incarnated Darcy as that complicated layered person who isn’t easy in his skin and who isn’t easy to love, yet who is a good person with a sense of honor and integrity. Matthew, unlike many actors, is not vain, and so was not afraid to be disliked by an audience at the beginning of the story; we have to dislike him because we are seeing him through Lizzie’s eyes. And we grow to love him as Lizzie does. (Joe Wright)

Read more about MM's casting from a previous related post:
Joe Wright On Casting P&P '05 Actors

More will be posted here soon! Keep checking this topic for more in the upcoming blog entries!

Comments

  1. I love a film's backstory. Sometimes it's more interesting than the movie.

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