The Art Of Persuasion

ARE Jane Austen novels just for girls?
That’s what Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones thought before he starred in a new ITV1 adaptation of Persuasion.
You might have read the interview with him here in yesterday’s MEN.
Well, below are just a few of his thoughts which I couldn’t squeeze into the feature.
“I have found with Austen that it’s lots of women going on about wanting to find a husband – as a man, it wasn’t something that interested me,” confessed Rupert.
But Jane Austen knew that a chap – just like a lady – can change his mind.
“When I saw the modern love story of the two characters in Persuasion – everybody’s been in a situation where there’s somebody that they love, who they don’t think loves them. I had it at drama school.

“There was somebody who you really fancied but they don’t fancy you, and you’re being thrown together again and again. I think that’s something that everybody can relate to.”
Having both wept into our hankies, we moved on to his reaction to filming in Bath – where Jane lived.
“It was fantastic. And the reaction from the residents in Bath, they were so excited. We had huge crowds while we were in Bath. Jane Austen being made in Jane Austen land is quite something.
“My main tactic as Captain Wentworth was to flirt with everybody apart from Sally Hawkins, who plays Anne Elliot…as a lot of men do. The one you fancy is the one you don’t speak to.
“I loved the reservedness of the characters. There’s all this emotion bubbling underneath that’s not allowed to come out.”
And his final verdict on the new TV version of Persuasion? “It’s so much better than certainly I anticipated it would be. It’s a triumph.”
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