When a fictional character is brought to life by an actor in such a way as to forever BE that character in the eyes of the public, real life sometimes gets proprietorial toward the art (i.e. Rocky Balboa and Sylvester Stallone).
Apparently, Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC production of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, has captured the hearts and imagination of viewers in just such a way. (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at Age 200: Still A Must-Read for the 21st Century). A statue of Firth as Mr. Darcy has been raised in Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park in London. However, the immortality of the 12-ft tall creation might be in question since it’s made of fiberglass and not a more lasting material. That’s because it’s a promotion for a new digital British TV channel called “Drama”.
But rather than a rendering of Firth as the impeccably attired, haughty, and unbending Mr. Darcy set in a ballroom or drawing room, the promoters have chosen a scene that Jane Austen might well have imagined, but never penned in the novel. It depicts Mr. Darcy from the waist up in his undershirt rising dripping wet from the more public venue of the lake in Hyde Park, a scene from the film which catapulted the actor to Britain’s “hot tomale” list. This is a far cry from his Oscar-winning role as the more subdued George VI in The King’s Speech (2010).
As for the statue itself, the sculptors seemed to put more artistic effort into recreating perfect pecs than in depicting Firth’s classically handsome “Darcy” face. The statue will make its last stand in Lyme Park.