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Tuesday, April 1

Is Sense and Sensibility star Dominic Cooper a Rake or Heart-throb?

Has Sense and Sensibility star Dominic Cooper inherited the Regency heart-throb crown from his Mamma Mia co-star Colin Firth? Reporter Rebecca Hardy of the Daily Mail thinks so. In an interview during the premiere of Sense and Sensibility last January in the UK, Cooper admires Colin Firth, but doubts that he is the one to take over the sex symbol mantle that was bestowed upon Firth after his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 mini-series Pride and Prejudice.

Fair enough. At least he has the sense to know when modesty is appropriate; - instead he reveals quite a bit about this personal life in between questions about his interpretation of Austen’s rake, John Willoughby.

Cooper shares that his character John Willoughby is a young man who made the wrong decision. He believes that Willoughby was truly in love with Marianne Dashwood and intended to propose marriage. Willoughby and Marianne do not have their own money, so he is dependent upon his inheritance from his aunt to live. His weakness is that he obeys his aunt, and throws her off.

The 29 year old actor is on the cusp of stardom, and has been grouped with several other up-coming British actors such as, James McAvoy, Ben Whishaw, Rebecca Hall, Emily Blunt and Hayley Atwell. (Jane Austen connections in 2007: James McAvoy stared as Tom Lefroy in Becoming Jane, Emily Blunt stared as Prudie Drummond in The Jane Austen Book Club, and Hayley Atwell stared as Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park .)

Classically trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), he appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and then originated the role of Dankin in The History Boys, at the Royal National Theatre. In 2006 he stared in the film of the same production to much praise and acclaim.

His dance card has been quite full as of late, and has three films in the queue; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Mamma Mia, and The Duchess co-staring Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, 2005). He is currently filming An Education, co-staring Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, 1995), Olivia Williams (Jane Austen, Miss Austen Regrets, 2008), Rosamund Pike (Jane Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, 2005), Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe, Northanger Abbey, 2007), Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot, Persuasion, 2007). Quite an Austen actor lineup!

I don’t quite agree that he is the next Regency sex symbol, having not been convinced that his portrayal of Willoughby in episode one of Sense and Sensibility last Sunday elevated him to that status, but he may surpise me in the future.

Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose


Anonymous said...

Dakin not Dankin

kaye dacus said...

I'm not crazy about Dominic, but this is the only thing I've seen him in so far, and he's not impressing me as Willoughby. I'd have to see him in something else to figure out if he has the staying power of a James McAvoy or Rupert Penry-Jones.

Katie said...

I personally believe that he is the ugliest austen adaption man I have ever seen. I also don't think that he was even very good at the part of willoughby. I really don't see what all the hype could be about him! give me the 1995 willoughby any day!

truth be told, I oved every other character in this adaption...besides Dominic. He really ruined it for me.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if the actors ever read he story before signing on for thier roles. Yes, I do think W loved Marianne, in his own way but as he himself points out, he couldn't fathom living without any money. He didn't "obey" his aunt - his aunt disinherited him because of the whole Eliza business!