Can you imagine what Pride and Prejudice would have been like if Colin Firth hadn't played Darcy? It very nearly happened.
Although the production team desperately wanted him, Colin felt he was the last person who should play the part. He thought he just wasn't sexy enough, and had major doubts about his ability to bring the character to life.
Colin said, "You really can't walk into a room and start acting your socks off, and doing all sorts of ambitious things, because Darcy wouldn't do that. But not doing anything is one of the most difficult things about acting."
It was the scripts that made Colin change his mind. Andrew Davies had managed to really bring the character to life.
Andrew explained, "One of the first things that struck me about Pride and Prejudice is that the central motor which drives the story forward is Darcy's sexual attraction to Elizabeth. He doesn't particularly like her, he's appalled by the rest of her family and he fights desperately against this attraction."
Although Jane Austen's book was told very much from Elizabeth's point of view, Andrew decided to make his version very much Darcy's story as well. He did this partly by inserting new scenes which showed Darcy outside the stiff social events, allowing the viewer to see more of the real man.
In Andrew's adaptation, Darcy's seen fencing with Bingley and, of course, swimming in the famous lake scene. The audience can see, before Elizabeth does, that there's a lot more to Darcy than the uptight snob he at first appears.
More on Pride & Prejudice