HERE’S the actor who will play Mr Darcy in a new TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
Elliot Cowan is currently starring as Henry V at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.
He will portray Jane Austen’s romantic hero in ITV Granada’s Lost In Austen – described as an “ingenious re-invention” of her original novel.
It features modern day heroine Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper), who swaps places with Elizabeth Bennett (Gemma Arterton).
Other cast members include Hugh Bonneville and Alex Kingston as Mr and Mrs Bennet and Lindsay Duncan as Darcy’s aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Filming started yesterday in Leeds and Yorkshire.
Elliot, 31, begins shooting his scenes later this month.
“There will be some overlap when I’m doing Darcy by day and Henry by night, so it’s going to be a little hectic,” he told me.
Colin Firth recently admitted he fears he’ll never escape the Darcy he created in BBC1’s 1995 adaptation.
And Elliot thought the part would not come up again after the 2005 big screen version, which featured Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy.
“I was so excited to get the role.
“I loved the film and thought, ‘Oh well, that’s my generation’s version of Darcy. That’s done and dusted.’”
ITV Controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes says: “Lost In Austen has the high production values of period drama. Its sumptuous period locations, costume, carriages and props are juxtaposed with Amanda Price’s very modern lifestyle.
“The cleverness of the script will appeal to Austen aficionados and attract a new audience to this beautiful love story.”
Elliot’s Shakespeare stage play received a box office boost last week when it was mentioned in a Coronation Street storyline.
It saw Sally and Kevin Webster, plus Fiz and teacher boyfriend John, visit the Royal Exchange to see Henry V.
“That’s the sort of publicity you can’t buy,” said Elliot.
“It’s going really well – it’s a great production in a perfect theatre.”
The online version of today’s MEN news story is here.
Henry V @ the Royal Exchange
Henry V: The MEN Review
Pride And Prejudice: The 1995 BBC Adaptation