THE HENLEY STANDARD
26 September, 2013
THE day that Colin Firth almost broke his nose while filming his infamous “lake” scene in Pride And Prejudice was told with great relish by the series director at a meeting in Henley this week, writes Janine Rasiah.
TV director Simon Langton, who lives at Christmas Common, revealed behind-the-scenes secrets during a question-and-answer session at the annual general meeting of the Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society at the Studio in New Street on Monday. Mr Langton, one of the society’s vice-presidents, admitted that filming the 1995 series wasn’t all plain sailing.
First of all, Firth very nearly missed out on the role that made his name. His agent had suggested he should concentrate on films, and the actor disappeared to a log cabin in Canada.
But producer Sue Birtwistle managed to track him down and persuade him to take the lead role in the series.
Mr Langton also revealed that Alan Yentob, who was then BBC1 controller, did not approve of Firth being cast in the leading role as he “didn’t think that he was sexy enough”.
Another calamity which threatened to derail production was the filming of the iconic scene where Darcy dives into the lake, which was filmed in a tank in Ealing. Langton had asked the production assistant to remove four blocks on top of the tank but he left one on.
While the first two shots went well, Firth misjudged his third attempt and banged his nose. Mr Langton said: “I thought it was game over — but luckily his nose was not broken.”