By Jennifer Abella
When you watch Jane Austen TV and film adaptations, are you often saying to yourself, “Hey! It’s that guy/lady! I’ve seen him/her somewhere….”? Here’s quick look at some of the actors in various “Mansfield Park” adaptations and where you might have spotted them in the past.
1983 TV adaptation
1. Edmund: Character actor Nicholas Farrell has appeared in films such as “Chariots of Fire” and “The Iron Lady” and guest starred in TV shows such as “Call the Midwife.” Austen adaptation alert (AAA): He was Mr. Musgrove in the 2007
adaptation of “Persuasion.”
2. Maria: Samantha Bond plays Aunt Rosamund in “Downton Abbey.” She was also in the recent TV miniseries “Home Fires,” about the Women’s Institute’s efforts to help on the home front in World War II Britain. AAA: She played Mrs. Weston in the 1996 adaptation of “Emma,” with Kate Beckinsale.
1. Edmund: Jonny Lee Miller has appeared in not one but TWO of these “Mansfield Park” adaptations: The 1983 miniseries as little Charles Price (it’s hard to spot him) and the 1999 film, where he plays Edmund. AAA: He’s Mr. Knightley in 2009’s “Emma.”
2. Fanny: Frances O’Connor starred in “The Importance of Being Earnest” alongside Reece Witherspoon and Colin Firth. You might also recognize her from the TV series “Mr. Selfridge,” about the man behind the famous department store in London.
3. Yates: Charles Edwards’s filmography includes “Philomena,” with Judi Dench. On the small screen, he played Michael Gregson on “Downton Abbey.”
4. Lady Bertram: Lindsay Duncan has appeared in “Birdman” and “About Time.” On television she has guest starred on “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock.” AAA: She played Lady Catherine de Bourgh in “Lost in Austen.”
5. Mary: Embeth Davitz has starred in films including “Europa Report” and “Junebug” (filmed in North Carolina), as well as guest starring on “Mad Men” on TV. Tangential AAA: She played Natasha — a rival for Mark Darcy’s affections — in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (inspired by “Pride & Prejudice”).
6. Henry: Alessandro Nivola also appeared in “Junebug” as well as “Selma” and “American Hustle.” AAA: He can be glimpsed as Mr. Dixon in the 1996 adaptation of “Emma,” with Kate Beckinsale.
7. Mr. Rushworth: You might know Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham, from “Downton Abbey.” On the big screen, you can see him in “Monuments Men” with George Clooney, and “Paddington.” AAA: He also appeared in “Lost in Austen” as Mr. Bennet and in “Miss Austen Regrets” with Olivia Williams.
2007 TV adaptation
1. Edmund: Blake Ritson has an extensive list of TV credits, including “Da Vinci’s Demons” and the reboot of “Upstairs, Downstairs.” AAA: He plays the odious Mr. Elton in the 2009 adaptation of “Emma.”
2. Fanny: Teen UK pop star turned actress Billie Piper co-starred on “Doctor Who” for two seasons, “The Ruby in the Smoke,” an adaptation of a Philip Pullman novel, and now can be seen in “Penny Dreadful.”
3. William: Joseph Morgan is the star of the CW show “The Originals” and also played a sailor in “Master and Commander” with Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany.
4. Tom: James d’Arcy has appeared in the second season of “Broadchurch,” alongside David Tennant, who played Tom Bertram in the radio adaptation of “Mansfield Park.” He also played a sailor in “Master and Commander” with Russell Crowe. D’Arcy can now be seen in the TV series “Agent Carter.”
5. Mr. Rushworth: You might recognize Rory Kinnear from his roles in the James Bond films “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall” and “Spectre.” He also has appeared in “Penny Dreadful” and “The Casual Vacancy” on HBO.
6. Mary: Hayley Atwell is the star of TV’s “Agent Carter.” Other credits include: “Brideshead Revisited” and “The Ruby in the Smoke” with Billie Piper.
Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow@nextjen on Twitter.