Thursday, July 25, 2013

In which Fitzwilliam Darcy sends an email to Colin Firth and Matthew MacFayden


Subject: On playing me

Dear Sirs,  (and I use that term quite loosely since I understand that you are both “actors” who have made the rather humbling choice to join something I understand is called “Hollywood”),

You can be at no loss to understand the reason for my letter to you both. Indeed, your own hearts, your own consciences, must tell you why I now write.

My dear sirs (again, loosely, & etc.), you must apprehend that although I am not strictly what a person of scientific understanding might call “alive,” I am nevertheless not one to be trifled with. My character has always been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, not to mention my sizeable fortune (*cough* tenthousandayear *cough*), and my estate of literary proportions, the sight of which is reputed to unleash cupids arrow into the boso… I mean to say, the hearts of the gentler sex.

Whatever degree of insincerity your “professions” might demand of your characters, you shall not find me so. Indeed, no matter what my faults of address or temperament, I do not think you would find me, Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberly, ever donning the breeches and cravat of another and play-acting as if I were a “spy” – no matter how stoic faced (well done, that part, MacFayden, by the way, I heartily approve of stoic face). Far more ludicrous is the suggestion that I might ever undertake the outrage of impersonating the King of England! For shame, Mr. Firth, what golden trophy of glamour and greed can be worth such treasonous abasements?

So imagine my disgust and pain when a report of a most alarming nature reached me.  Though I would wish it to be a scandalous falsehood, it has come to my attention that not one, but both of you gentlemen have undertaken the task of portraying me on what I understand is called the “silver screen.”

Although you have both endeavored to capture my smouldering good looks and aforementioned stoicism with some degree of earnestness, I must protest several items of gross and fraudulent inaccuracy. For instance, Mr. Firth, my nostrils do not flare at every instance like some great priggish boor. And it was surely not necessary to be mooning like a besotted calf at that certain young lady in possession of a fine set of eyes, who had committed no other offence than to innocently turn pages for your sister as she played the pianoforte? For shame, sir, (and you will forgive the indelicacy, here – lady readers, do avert your eyes lest your retina and cornea burst into flames)—but do keep it in your breeches!

And as for you, Mr. MacFayden – those sideburns! That hair! Might I presume in your imaginary England, there has been some Victor-Hugo-like peasant uprising against grooming and cleanliness – and all the valets have been taken to the guillotine? (You see, I've kept abreast of news these past 200 years)  Really, sir, if you do not have a man-servant to do these simple tasks (and I am beginning to suspect you do not!) do endeavor to purchase a comb, and tuck in your untidy chest-hairs as best you can!

I leave, however, the gravest offense for last. Mr. Firth, what mental abberation convinced you that the hallowed halls of Pemberley should be polluted with what I can only describe as a gentleman’s “wet T-shirt contest” with a singular contestant? Indeed, I have received the alarming report that the ladies of your modern era are doing some thing called “rewinding” this “scene” to experience it in repetition ad nauseum! Corneas and retinas bursting into flames indeed!

This is not to be borne, sirs. Honour, decorum, prudence, nay, interest forbid it. As much of a tendre as I might have for a certain obstinant, headstrong girl, the same quality in gentlemen such as yourselves – ACTORS! – are upstart pretentions.

I belong, sirs, in the world of Miss Austen’s book. (If you are unfamiliar with this thing called a “book”, it looks like what you can an “ipad,” but with pages.) Kindly cease and desist your poor imitations, no matter how chiseled and stoic-faced or handsomely smouldering.

I take no leave of you, sirs. I send no compliments to your mothers, producers, or agents.

I am most seriously displeased. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy

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