Favorite Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Garvey, 1980 Pride and Prejudice
Ms. Garvey was for a long time my favorite Lizzy. A pretty and talented actress, her interpretation of a lady like Lizzy was wonderfully natural compared to the other 1980's BBC adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. When I think of her portrayal of Pride and Prejudice's famous heroine, I fondly recall her sparring conversations with Lady Catherine de Bourgh. There was fire in this Lizzy's eyes. Elizabeth, who is aging remarkably well, will be present at JASNA's annual meeting in Philadelphia. Lucky us.
Jennifer Ehle, 1995 Pride and Prejudice
A pretty and healthy looking Lizzy with the striking eyes so admired by her dashing Mr. Darcy, Jennifer was present in almost every scene of this 6-hour adaptation. One of Jennifer's more memorable scenes is when she is standing at the piano with Georgianna Darcy, who is playing. She and Colin Firth share a look that so perfectly captures their changing feelings for each other, that I very often use an image from that scene to represent her character.
A major film star today, Keira was just beginning to make her mark as an actress when she took on the role of Lizzy. Her interpretation of Lizzy is as a feisty and tomboyish young woman who prefers to dress in plain clothes. The rain scene, in which Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy proposes was made memorable by the crackling chemistry between the two actors. Even as her Lizzy is repelled by the way Mr. Darcy chose to propose to her, she is sexually atracted to him.