TV

Then and Now: See the Cast of Pride & Prejudice Almost 30 Years Later

Image credit: Legion-Media

The cast of the 1995 adaptation aged like a fine wine… or a well-preserved Jane Austen novel.

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

Colin decided to become an actor when he was 14. He studied dramatic art at university, but for a long time, Firth couldn't achieve much success on stage and in the movies. The actor was 35 when he was approved for the main role in the adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Colin was the perfect choice for the role and managed to convey the arrogance, aristocratism, narcissism, and romanticism of the literary character, Mr. Darcy.

Since then, Firth's career has been on the rise. Five years after Pride and Prejudice was released, he starred as another Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary. His other notable films include Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, The King's Speech, and many others. The actor won several Oscars, Golden Globes, and a number of other important awards.

As for Colin's personal life, he had been happily married to the Italian producer Livia Giuggioli for 20 years, and the couple had two sons together. Recently, however, they announced their separation due to Livia's infidelity. By the way, in his early years before Pride and Prejudice, Colin had another son with his colleague Meg Tilly.

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet

Jennifer followed in her mother's footsteps and became an actress. She confessed that she had always adored Jane Austen's novel, and Elizabeth in particular — the actress wouldn't dare to dream that, one day, she would get a chance to play her favorite character in a movie. Jennifer's talented and heartfelt performance as Elizabeth Bennet was praised by both critics and viewers.

Ehle attained popularity through the BBC miniseries, but unlike Colin Firth, she didn't build a career in Hollywood but preferred to play in the British theater. The two actors met again 15 years after Pride and Prejudice, on the set of The King's Speech.

Interestingly, when the 1995 miniseries were shot, Colin and Jennifer dated for about a year. Fans of Mr. Darcy and Lizzy were thrilled to see the actors get married, but the star couple broke up. Jennifer soon married writer Michael Ryan, with whom she had two children.


Susannah Harker as Jane Bennet

Susannah was born into a creative family: her lineage included actors, artists, and writers. Pride and Prejudice was one of her most prominent works on TV: Harker played the main character's older sister. However, performance as Jane Bennet received more negative reviews because the actress' appearance didn't match her character's description in the novel.

Fortunately, the criticism didn't do much harm to Harker's acting career: like Jennifer Ehle, she enjoyed much professional success in the British theater. The actress was married to Iain Glen, also an actor, and they had a son together. Following their divorce in 2004, Susannah entered a number of relationships, but they were unsuccessful.

Crispin Bonham-Carter as Mr. Bingley

Crispin's major screen success was the 1995 miniseries. Unlike his famous cousin Helena Bonham-Carter, the actor decided to stay in the UK, where he became known as a brilliant theater actor.

In 2015, Crispin left his career in the theater and became a teacher of the English language and literature. Bonham-Carter is married to Katherine Julian Dawnay, with whom he has had four sons.

Polly Maberly as Kitty Bennet

Polly is also known to many viewers specifically for her role in Pride and Prejudice.

After the miniseries, she had a few minor roles in TV series, but most of the time, Maberly was engaged in theater productions.

Julia Sawalha as Lydia Bennet

Julia played the Bennets' younger sister Lydia, whose elopement with Mr. Wickham threatened her family's honor and social status. Sawalha was great in her role in Pride and Prejudice, but her fame was short-lived: she didn't receive many acting offers and soon left the career.

However, Julia's life still attracted attention from the press, and she even had to sue several media outlets for fake reports about her private life.

Adrian Lukis as Mr. Wickham

Adrian portrayed Lydia Bennet's lover Mr. Wickham.

Lukis is a famous and successful actor, starring in British, American, and Canadian productions.