Clip: Blossoming Romance
Relive the blossoming romance that involved Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax and Emma.Watch Frank Churchill fall in love
The cast and crew chat about characters, costumes and camera angles. Enter the world of Jane Austen and see what went on behind the scenes in the filming of Emma.
CHARACTER PROFILE: EMMA WOODHOUSE (ROMOLA GARAI)
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." She has no need to marry, being head of her own household, and having plenty of money, but she delights in matchmaking those around her – and credits herself with being very good at it, despite Mr Knightley's scepticism.
CHARACTER PROFILE: MR KNIGHTLEY (JONNY LEE MILLER)
Mr Knightley is Emma's only social and intellectual equal in Highbury, living at Donwell Abbey, a rambling country estate a short walk from Hartfield. He has known Emma since she was a baby, and there's an easy familiarity between them. He is an individual, quick-witted, with a dry sense of humour – often used in sparring with Emma. But he also has a strong moral compass – and at times he strongly disagrees with Emma over her behaviour.
CHARACTER PROFILE: MR WOODHOUSE (MICHAEL GAMBON)
Mr Woodhouse is described by Austen as a valetudinarian – old before his time. He lost his wife when his two daughters were very young, and has developed an extremely nervous disposition. He is a loving and kind father, but he worries constantly, especially about health. He hardly ever leaves Hartfield, and hates the thought of Emma ever leaving him.
Character Profile: Harriet Smith (LOUISE DYLAN)
Harriet is a parlour boarder at Mrs Goddard’s School. She has been sent there to be educated by her father, who remains anonymous, because Harriet is his “natural daughter” – ie: she’s illegitimate. Being a parlour boarder means that she has stayed on at the school to help out with the other girls. She’s pretty, but in reality, she has little prospect of marrying a gentleman. Emma, however, is sure that Harriet’s anonymous father must be a gentleman, and takes her under her wing.
CHARACTER PROFILE: MISS BATES (TAMSIN GREIG)
Miss Bates is the daughter of the vicar of Highbury, who died many years ago. She has never married, and now never will. Without a husband to provide an income, she faces ever increasing poverty. Despite her woes, Miss Bates has a perennially cheerful disposition. She fills any silence with incessant talk.
CHARACTER PROFILES: MR ELTON (BLAKE RITSON)
Mr Elton is the vicar of Highbury. In the early 19th Century, the post of vicar could be given, inherited, or bought, and conferred a certain social status, as well as an annual income. Mr Elton is a dashing young man, aware of his status in the village, and his eligibility. He’s charming – perhaps, at times, a little too charming.
CHARACTER PROFILES: AUGUSTA ELTON (CHRISTINA COLE)
Mrs Elton is rich, and a good catch for Mr Elton in many ways. But she’s also vulgar, interfering, and one-upmanship is second nature to her. She arrives in Highbury keen to prove her social standing, and immediately puts Emma’s nose out of joint.
CHARACTER PROFILES: MR WESTON (ROBERT BATHURST)
Mr Weston is an eternal optimist, despite the fact that his life has not always run smoothly. He married young, to a woman who spent all his money, who was disowned by her family, and then died, leaving him with Frank, his two year old son. He agreed for Frank to be adopted by his wife’s estranged sister, who insisted that he change his name to Frank Churchill. Frank has lived in the lap of luxury ever since.
CHARACTER PROFILES: ANNE TAYLOR / WESTON (JODHI MAY)
Anne has been Emma’s governess since her mother died when she was a baby. More like a sister than a governess, Anne is wise and caring, but devoted to Emma, and perhaps a little indulgent. When she marries Mr Weston, she is worried about leaving Emma on her own at Hartfield.
CHARACTER PROFILES: FRANK CHURCHILL (RUPERT EVANS)
Frank is a ball of energy, charming, mischievous, and spoilt. He has been kept at his manipulative Aunt’s beck and call for most of his life, and often seems to be called back to her bedside whenever he ventures away – although it is never entirely clear whether this is just a convenient excuse for not visiting Highbury and his father. At his worst, he could be a rogue – and he seems to delight in gossiping about Jane Fairfax.
CHARACTER PROFILES: MRS BATES (VALERIE LILLEY)
Where Miss Bates talks non stop, her aged mother, Mrs Bates, never speaks. She sits quietly in the corner of the room, or is wheeled from place to place by Miss Bates, revealing very little of what she really thinks of their situation.
CHARACTER PROFILES: JANE FAIRFAX (LAURA PYPER)
Jane left Highbury as a toddler, to escape poverty and live with the Campbells. Captain Cambell knew she would be a good companion for his only daughter, Miss Campbell. Ever since, Jane has excelled at everything a girl should, and Miss Bates has bored Emma rigid with Jane’s virtues at every opportunity. Now Jane has reached the age where she must leave the Campbells and return to Highbury, but what is the real reason for her return?
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