To many Jane Austen fans, Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy is the pinnacle of "Pride and Prejudice" dreaminess -- even with all his clothes on. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had been naked? Well, he almost was.
In perhaps the most famous (or titillating) scene from the BBC adaptation, Darcy wades into a lake with his clothes on. In fact, it's such a popular scene that it was commemorated with a 12-foot statue of a dripping wet Darcy. However, screenwriter Andrew Davies, who also adapted "Vanity Fair," "Bleak House," "Sense and Sensibility," and "Little Dorrit" for TV, told audiences at a recent literary festival that his version of Darcy was supposed to be in the buff.
Austen fans, get ready to scribble some new fanfic. According to Davis,
"The wet shirt scene was intended to be a total full-frontal nudity scene. Darcy was an actual man but he spent all his time being constrained by demands of society. He'd just spent weeks and months in London being polite with a group of stuffy people. He would have had a few hours in which he could be blissfully alone. It's a hot day, he arrives at this lake -- so I thought he would strip completely off and dive down and just become a creature, an animal, just for once..."
The screenwriter added that he didn't know the reason the nudity never made it in. "Maybe they felt it would have taken too long to get him undressed. They could have always cut to him standing on the bank diving in naked so it might have been something about Colin's anxiety about love handles or something."
Love handle speculation aside, Davies was rather pleased with the final product. And no matter how much more liberal TV seems in Europe, chances are good that it would have been difficult to sneak Firth's full monty past the BBC.
[via The Guardian]