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Transcript of Joe Wright's P&P DVD Commentary (Part 2)

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Here's more of JW's Director Commentary (from P&P DVD). Continuing the transcript
from part 1.

[Arrival at Netherfield] 

I was trying to give the impression that
Darcy was shocked into staying put...
...by the sight of her.

Matthew needs to do so little to get a story across, he's just...
...he's so subtle.

God, it must've been boring living in those times.
You just sat around.

And you see the Bennet girls' costumes in contrast to the Bingleys',
and Netherfield as a house, and you get an idea of
their social status.

I always think Mary looks a bit like a bat.


I never know where to put a camera when I'm shooting carriages pulling away 'cause there's no emotion to drive it.

[Darcy's flexing his hand]

But there's the emotion.

[Mr. Collins pays a visit]

Mr. Collins is normally so obnoxious and pompous
and to play him as someone who's very uneasy in his skin was,
I think, a really clever thing to do.

Dinner-table scenes are really difficult and annoying to shoot
because it's all about eyelines and whoever's looking at whoever's looking.

He's all about sex, Mr Collins, really.
Or, rather, sexual frustration.

[Ribbons Shop]
Checking out his arse.


[Darcy bumps into Wickham]

They're both appalling riders, Matthew and Simon.
And terrified of horses.

[Lizzie & Wickham] 

This is the very last scene we shot.
And we were losing the light as well.
So that Rupert here has got far too much electric light on him.

So the fact it was raining meant we set the scene under a tree,
whereas I wouldn't otherwise.

The idea that Sinead the maid was always singing in the film
was something that sort of just developed

[Netherfield Ball]

This is actually one shot.

The idea that all the women should be dressed in white at this ball was Jacqueline Durran's idea.

I kept trying to find a way of getting the toilets into this ball
cos in our research we found out that if you were a lady at a ball,
um, well, you would've spent the whole day eating or drinking diuretics to stop you going to the toilet.
Then when you got to the ball, you just have to hold it in
cos there wasn't any plumbing or sanitation.
whereas the men could all dash off into the bushes.

Mr. Bennet is always watching Mr Collins.
He doesn't trust him at all.

This is one take and it all just went a bit messy and wrong.
And we ended up using it cause I think it works well.

Tom looking for her in the background there.

He's a lovely dancer, Matthew.

I like Charlotte watching Mr. Collins there.
She's got a plan, you see, Charlotte.

This is a gag that Matthew and Tom made up together.
I especially like the elbow there.
That's just..physical comedy at its best.

That's Talulah singing live in front of all those people,
it was her first acting job.
She'd never done any acting before in her life.

camera tilting down here is an excuse
to get us to Mrs Bennet's feet,
but it tells the story of Mr Bingley and Jane at the same time.

Right now, Keira is running like a sprinter through that hallway
just behind there, you've just missed her,
to get to her next position.
Everyone's running from one position
to another behind the scenes.
And then trying to look calm when they get there.

This is an idea of Tom's, the flower, that he uses in his proposal again.

lt was originally conceived as a montage, that sequence,
a succession of lots of shots,
and the idea to make a montage in one shot,
was something that came to us quite late.

[Collins' proposal]

They're all hungover.

No one actually listens to him.
The only one who listens to him is Mary.
Cos Mary's actually in love with Mr Collins
and wishes that he'd asked her.
But he is too stupid to notice.

Carey Mulligan, Kitty, put on a lot of weight
cos I used to get her to eat in every scene.
She's now about two stone lighter.

I also really like the ham there as well.
Marriage as meat.
There's something sad about Mr Collins.
There's no goodies or baddies.
I think he brings great pathos to it as well.

Look, you see, there, Mary.
She's asking for it. Please, ask me.


["Stranger to one of your parents"] 

Keira had paparazzi trying to take photographs of her
while we were shooting this scene.
Really rude.
But then they'd scuttle round and hide under another bush.

[Caroline's letter to Jane]

So many letters in a Jane Austen book,
which are really difficult things to dramatise really.

Bonnets are just too cliched for Jane Austen.


[Charlotte's confession to Lizzie]

This is a scene written by ... the dialogue was written by Emma Thompson.
It feels like it was written by an actor.
It gets under the skin.

This whole swing sequence was never in the script.

[Lizzie visiting Charlotte] 

There's a First World War, uh, monument
underneath that Egyptian needle there.
It was covered over by the design department.

I focused too much on the horse and not enough on the house,
but I was a bit impressed by the horse at the time.

I think it was a really nice choice of Claudie's to have Charlotte change and become impressed by Lady Catherine
and to kind of get involved in Mr Collins's set of values.

The idea that they're happy together,
that they've found some way of living...
Perhaps much later in life she'll look at him and wonder
whether she did the right thing, but right now, she's happy.

[Rosings and Lady Catherine]

I like that feather on her head as well.

His weak knees.

Judi here does this ...that turn of the head
which focuses the shot and I think that's why she's a genius.

And I like the way Mr. Collins curtsies
and then realizes he's curtsied
and doesn't know quite how to stand up again.

I didn't know how to get Mr. Darcy into
the room, so I just had him appear.
Am I giving too much away?

This was the first day of filming, this scene.
And I don't think l've ever been more terrified in my life.
Especially with Judi Dench on set.

And my first feature and a dinner party scene
which l've already told you is... ...not the nicest scene to shoot.

And also because the walls are all painted
and very precious, obviously,
we couldn't attach anything to the walls,
so it was a nightmare to light.

Paul, my editor, is very proud of the choreography of the soup spoons.

There's lots of fives in this film.
The candles remind me of the five daughters.

That's Keira's first day and she comes in and just, uh,
has to challenge Judi Dench.

Tried to make the parrot look like Lady Catherine talking.

The gentlemen there look like the upper class, middle class and the lower class.

Anne, of course, is in love with Col. Fitzwilliam, not Darcy at all.

I really like how bad a pianist Elizabeth Bennet is in this scene.
And I think it makes her human.

Part 3 is coming shortly, so come back for more!



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