It is a truth universally acknowledged that when it comes to watching Pride & Prejudice, there are two firm camps: You either prefer Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 TV series, or Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film.
Of course, the two actors certainly aren’t the only ones who’ve played the controversial character onscreen over the years, but general consensus tends to come back to a preference of one of these two portrayals—even the actors themselves agree.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Colin Firth has elaborated on the friendship he now shares with Macfadyen after working on new film, Operation Mincemeat, together.
Acknowledging that he knows both he and Macfadyen aren’t the only ones who’ve played the iconic role, he admitted that Macfadyen’s portrayal is the best he’s seen.
“I finally understood the character! I had to write a fan letter. Definitely my favourite Darcy,” he said of seeing his performance.
Macfadyen also recalled speaking to Firth about playing Mr. Darcy—albeit briefly.
“I remember saying there is this sort of weird pressure that comes with playing stuff like that,” he said of the role.
“I think we touched on that briefly, but we didn’t talk about it.”
They had plenty of other things to talk about, however. Firth has labelled his relationship with Macfadyen as a full-blown “bromance” these days, explaining to the publication that they began with “shallow chit chat”. They also had a tendency to “wear the same clothes” according to Firth.
“Sometimes it’s just an instinctive ease,” he described.
“This wasn’t a blind date. We had a project to do. So I think a lot can spin off from just having this common endeavour.”
In another interview, Macfadyen revealed that Firth was a big influence for him when he was an aspiring actor in his teens.
“When I was sort of thinking about the possibility of being an actor when I was a teenager, Colin was a big influence,” he explained to HeyUGuys.
Operation Mincemeat is a British war drama directed by John Madden—it uncovers a British deception operation during WWII in order to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. If you want to see both Firth and Macfadyen (AKA Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy) together onscreen, it’s in cinemas now.