Jane Austen‘s pride and prejudice It is one of the most popular love stories. With the novel first published in 1813, the story is now over 200 years old. You don’t achieve this level of enduring love and affection without it being beautifully written and timeless. For anyone who has yet to meet these characters, the story follows Elizabeth Bennet, whose mother is desperate to get her daughters married and secure a fortune. When Elizabeth meets the notorious Mr. Darcy, she is immediately repelled by his seemingly egotistical attitude. Slowly, the pair come together and are forced to re-evaluate their unfair first impressions of each other.
Because the story is consistently incredibly popular, it has been adapted many times since the advent of film and television. As early as 1938, there was a TV adaptation, and the first movie version came only two years later. Unfortunately, many of the early TV versions, including the previously mentioned 1938 version, have been lost to time and are not available to watch anymore. With all these adaptations, Mr. Darcy has been played by many actors over the years, to greater and lesser success. Here’s every actor who’s played them in a file pride and prejudice adaptation, rank.
14 Lacey Chabert – Pride and Prejudice and Purpose
The last place among the Darcys goes to Lacy Chabert Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe. This gender-based Hallmark adaptation includes Darcy as a working woman who returns to her hometown and meets cute childhood friend Luke. Although it would have been fun to see a woman in the role of Darcy, this is not the case. It is likely that the filmmakers thought that a woman with these personality traits would be highly undesirable for this type of film. So, what we have instead is the tame banter between the two love interests and not much pride or prejudice in sight.
13 Michael Radi – Christmas at Pemberley Manor
Michael Rady features Mr. Darcy as Christmas at Pemberley Manorwhich is an adaptation of The Christmas Collection from pride and prejudice to the Hallmark Channel. Here, Elizabeth is an event planner who has been sent to a small town to organize a Christmas festival that she wants to take place at Darcy Pemberley Manor. There isn’t much here to connect the central pair to the characters they’re based on. They look like a classic romantic movie hero and love more attention than the Elizabeth and Darcy we know and love. Radi isn’t terrible, but he doesn’t have much to work with.
12 Ryan Pavey – Mr. Darcy Unleashed
Ryan Pavey stars as Mr. Darcy in another updated Hallmark adaptation pride and prejudicetitled Unleash Mr. Darcy. The setting is an upscale New York City dog show where this version of Elizabeth and Darcy are vying for the same crown. It’s exactly what you’d expect it to be, if you’re a fan of Hallmark movies it’ll be right up your alley, but for many viewers it just doesn’t measure up to the larger budget adaptations. Paevy’s performance is fine, he’s blunt enough to pass as Mr. Darcy, but his performance lacks depth.
11 Orlando Seal – Pride and Prejudice (2003)
In a Mormon-themed version of the pride and prejudiceOrlando Seal as Mr. Darcy. Set in modern-day Utah, this version finds Elizabeth at university, fixated on her education rather than finding a husband like her peers until she is inevitably torn between Darcy and Wickham. Seal’s comedic timing is lacking, and his performance isn’t helped by the film’s unfortunate pacing. His take on Darcy is more awkward than smug, and while this is in keeping with 2000s trends, it doesn’t make for the best version of Mr. Darcy.
10 Elliot Cowan – Lost in Austin
In an interesting take on the source material, Elliott Kwan plays Mr. Darcy Lost in Austin. This show finds a contemporary woman to love, Amanda Price pride and prejudice, She accidentally switches places with Elizabeth as she tries not to spoil the original story. Kwan seems to have a slightly better understanding of Darcy as a character rather than just an archetype than those previously mentioned. However, the focus of this show is very much on Amanda, so Darcy wasn’t given much time to shine.
9 Sam Riley – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies He finds Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy, a colonel who hunts zombies here. The title tells you everything you really need to know, it’s almost the same plot, but with the added threat of zombies. It aims for a mixture of the funny and the scary but falls short of either. Riley’s performance is totally fine, and it falls in line with Darcy as a character, but it doesn’t really bring anything interesting to the table. Furthermore, the added zombie element drowns out anyone’s efforts in any real characterization.
8 Juan Antonio – Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta
lifelong adaptation, Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta, stars Juan Antonio as Will Darcy. This version of the story focusing on black characters is in high demand and it’s refreshing. Its script and production are far from perfect, but there are great performances here. Antonio Darcy is well behaved and has excellent chemistry with him and Lizzie from Tiffany Haynes. While this Darcy is instantly softer and lovable than usual, it’s still recognizable, these updos aren’t necessarily slam-dunk.
7 Martin Henderson – Bride and Prejudice
Gurinder takes chadha on pride and prejudice – Bride and prejudice Martin Henderson as Mr. Darcy opposite Aishwarya Rai as Lalita. This richly choreographed adaptation fully captures the spirit of Austen’s source novel. There is a real and interesting tension between Darcy and Lalita that many versions fall short of. Henderson is by no means the greatest Darcy out there, he’s not even the best part of this movie, but he carries up well. His performance contains quite a bit of bite rather than falling into general love interest territory.
6 Matthew Rhys – Death Comes to Pemberley
Not strictly pride and prejudice adaptation and over complement, Death comes to Pemberley It still features all of our favorite characters. He imagines a future in Darcy’s home where a murder has occurred. Where many Austenian adaptations suffer from deviating from the book, this one works well for forging its own path. Matthew Rhys does an excellent job as Darcy, maintaining details that feel faithful to the source novel, even with no direct references exploding. He and Anna Maxwell Martin have great chemistry and there’s not much to complain about here.
5 Laurence Olivier – Pride and Prejudice (1940)
Laurence Olivier shines Like Mr. Darcy in the first big-screen adaptation from 1940. This version is decidedly insincere and shameful in the face of Austen’s societal criticisms. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s charmingly fun. Both the costumes and setting may be faulty for the Regency time period, but that doesn’t hinder Olivier’s engaging performance as Darcy. In an original 1940 review in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther says, “Laurence Olivier Darcy, that’s all there is—the haughty, sarcastic Darcy.”
4 Colin Firth – The Memoirs of Bridget Jones
In another modern adaptation, Bridget Jones DiariesColin Firth plays Mark Darcy, a human rights attorney. This version is a great translation of the novel because it follows the same rhythm and arc as the original but in a way that makes sense in the present day. Firth has the perfect level of edgy awkwardness for the role but with an obvious layer of sensitivity underneath. He does an exemplary job of portraying Darcy in the modern day, which could be more challenging since the character would have to be a little different as a result of the change in period.
3 David Rintoul – Pride and Prejudice (1980)
The 1980 film adaptation starred David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy. This adaptation is very much by the book, with not much room for customization. For many Austinites, this is the best kind of adaptation, and the more sincere the better. Rintoul’s performance here is also very faithful. He manages to portray Darcy’s more sinister side when we first meet him and slowly warms up through the rest of the series. His flawless performance earned him a place high in the rankings, but he lost some of the heavy emotional punches of the story.
2 Matthew McFadden – Pride and Prejudice (2005)
2005 Amendment of pride and prejudice It is one of the most popular versions for a reason. Everyone involved was captivated by the delightful charm of the script, from the humorous to the romantic. It may not be the most accurate adaptation, word for word, but what matters is that they captured the essence of the story and its characters. Perhaps the most outrageous of all Darcy’s is Matthew Macfadyen, and it works for him. He manages to capture all the layers from his grumpy outer shell to his hopeless romantic heart.
1 Colin Firth, Again – Pride and Prejudice (1995)
First up, we have Colin Firth again, this time in the 1995 BBC TV version. This version is iconic for several reasons, not just the fact that it was one of the first outdoor dramas. Show writer Andrew Davies told the BBC, “We wanted a lot of energy in the show, and the writers justified it,” and that’s how we ended up with the famous lake scene. Firth has shown Darcy’s abilities twice now, but he’s never been more successful than here.