Sunday, August 18, 2013

How BBC executives initially rejected Colin Firth for role of Mr Darcy because he had ginger hair

PUBLISHED: 13:10 EST, 18 August 2013
UPDATED: 19:56 EST, 18 August 2013

Near miss: Executives took some persuading that Colin Firth should play Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

Colin Firth almost lost out on the role that secured his leading-man status because TV executives thought his hair was too ginger for the dashing Mr Darcy.

The writer Andrew Davies, who adapted Pride and Prejudice for the BBC, and Alan Yentob, then BBC1 controller, didn’t want to cast Firth.Yentob at first believed he was not handsome enough to portray Jane Austen’s brooding hero.

It was decided to dye his hair a much darker shade shortly before production began in 1994.

‘I was doubtful about him because of his gingerish hair and Mr Darcy with that colour hair would not have been right,’ said Davies, who has also adapted classic novels including Bleak House and Middlemarch for television.

‘So, to be honest, I never saw him as a Darcy,’ he said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

The only answer was to dye his hair to a dark brown going on black for the part.’ 

The programme’s producer Sue Birtwistle, has also revealed that Yentob did ‘not think Firth was handsome enough’, recalling: ‘I had one of those very early clunky mobile phones, and Alan rang me when I was driving in a snowstorm to tell me that Firth was not good-looking enough as Darcy.’

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

No comments: