Category Archives: Austen Actors

Austen Men in My Life

Charles Bingley

Writers borrow from their own lives when they construct their characters and circumstances. I am at my most realistic when I insert a scene or person from my own life into the story, for I can feel the emotions and describe the events very well, especially if I was experiencing strong feelings when I lived it.

Austen men

Yesterday, I was thinking of that and of the very different Darcys Laura Hile and I have written. Her Darcys are playful. They banter with cheerful Elizabeth. My Darcys are kind and courteous, but they brood. They’re moody, and Elizabeth is by turns angry, sad, happy – she’s all over the place. Like me.

I have been told that I’m dramatic. I might be.

Anyhow, I now realize that I’ve combined Austen’s characters with bits and pieces of people I’ve known throughout my life. As I processed that epiphany, I began to think of the men (and boys) I’ve known and how bits and pieces of them have made it into my characters. I knew all of them well. Some of them were classmates, some were casual dates, some were/are friends or relatives, some were boyfriends, and one is my husband.

In fact, I have known all of the Austen men. Let that sink in. I was able to think through Austen’s characters and select the man I know/knew who fit that character. I knew Darcys, Bingleys, Hursts, Wickhams, Collinses, Edwards, Toms, Brandons, Wentworths, Tilneys, Knightleys, Churchills, Mr. Bennets, – all of them.

My first boyfriend was definitely a Bingley – sweet, kind, cheerful, well-liked, lovable, unfailingly polite, popular, and courteous. I dated him for three years and never heard a cross word from him, though I’m certain he heard a few from me. Unlike Austen’s Bingley, he was very intelligent and spiritual. I think that’s why my Bingleys are always smarter and more capable than the Austen original.

Is there a Bingley in your past?

For the next few months, I plan to trace Austen’s characters, male and female (yes, I knew those, too) through my life. Please feel free to join me.


Happy Birthday, Ciaran Hinds




There are many who admire that other blond guy as Wentworth. And that fella is prettier than a speckled pup in a painted wagon. However, I’ll still go with Ciaran Hinds as Frederick Wentworth.





Here’s another view, as Joe, in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.




Many happy returns of the day. 😉

An Austen Hero to the End

Today a wonderful actor died.

Alan Rickman was known for roles on the stage and in movies. As the day goes on, we will be adding to this post.

Some of our favorites are:

(Robin Helm) I will always think of Alan Rickman as the standard by whom all men playing the part of Colonel Brandon are measured. He was the perfect gentleman to capture Marianne Dashwood’s heart in the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. He exemplified kindness, intelligence, and lasting love, and his adoration of Marianne was present in every line he spoke.Colonel Brandon and Marianne

The actor was also very good at comedy, as is shown in this clip of Rickman as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film, Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves. I’ve included a YouTube video of one of his funniest scenes. Don’t we all love a man who can make us laugh?



Severus Snape from the Harry Potter films.  I loved Rickman’s voice. That voice inspired me to write a novel called Two of a Kind. I even sent it to a publisher. They rejected it, but I got some kind words about the plot. Odd fact, the lead character of that novel was called Kevin Doyle, which is the name of the actor who plays Mr. Mosley on Downton Abbey.

I chose Snape because I always go for the second fiddle. And in this case, it was the bad guy gone straight.

Thank you, Mr Rickman for all wonderful movies your career gave me. (Susan Kaye)

UPDATE: Bottle_ShockI nearly forgot one of his best roles EVER. A snobbish
British, French wine aficionado in Bottle Shock. Included in this comedy is a bonus: young, 70s, hippyish Chris Pine in tight jeans. And some great music.

I am late to the party for this tribute, but I’ve got to add one of my favorite Alan Rickman films: Galaxy Quest. It’s an affectionate parody of Star Trek (the original series) that now has a cult following of its own.

Rickman masterfully plays the dual role of Alexander Dane, frustrated actor, and the sci-fi television character Dr. Lazarus. His expression in the photo? Priceless. “By Grabthar’s Hammer,” you will be missed, Mr. Rickman. (Laura Hile)galaxy-quest

Cyberdating, Austen Style

Following Laura’s lead on cyberdating, I looked up some advice from Kimberly Novosel on Hello Giggles. Here’s Kimberly’s advice on how to select a man on a cyberdating site.

Any man who posts a picture of himself doing bicep curls: Ignore.

Any man who’s opening line to you is, “What were you for Halloween, a hottie?” ignore.

Run your own sort of IQ test. First portion: Writing skills. If his emails are casual or informal, that’s one thing, but if he uses run on sentences, incorrect grammar, or uses the phrase “hangin’ with ladies,” then that’s beyond informal. That’s uninformed. Test Two: If you ask his favorite book and he can’t even name a book, he’s out.

Watch out for the template. Make sure that the guy actually references your profile by looking for details. If he doesn’t, he’s giving you a stock answer because he’s usually rejected.

Using Kimberly’s advice, I’ve decided to have some Austen men write dating profiles and see if they pass the smell test. Can you guess which Austen characters these men are?

Austen actors

Bachelor #1

Hi, Babe. Today is your lucky day! Check out my workout video. How would you like to spend an evening hangin’ with my six-pack? We could watch the NFL channel while I tell you about my plans to open a line of gyms to help other men look as great as me. If I like you, I’ll let you invest in my business. Be sure to wear something hot and tiny. I don’t like to waste time unwrapping my presents. Oh, and bring dinner for two.

Bachelor #2

Madam, I am most anxious to meet a young woman interested in running my household. She must be lovely, industrious, intelligent, modest, frugal, soft-spoken, and willing to bow down to my employer in order to advance my career. If my employer dislikes you, I fear we shall not be able to pursue any sort of a relationship. If my employer approves, we shall marry quickly. I am tired of sleeping alone.

Bachelor #3

I am not looking for a wife, nor do I seek companionship. However, if you have sufficient money, social status, beauty, and intelligence, I may condescend to meet you. Please provide proof of all of the above in your response.

Well, ladies? Name the bachelors.




We decided to see it …

My husband and I had no intentions of going to the movies on Valentine’s Day. There has been so much hoopla about 50 Shades of Grey we didn’t want to get caught up in it. But, we went to an out of the way theatre we like. And though we were late we got great seats.

The opening was engaging and pulled you in. Even though the characters are somewhat stereotypical, they had some unique quirks that made you want to follow them.

The story is really about testing the limits of endurance, of the characters and the audience at times. There is definite physical violence but most of it is psychological and emotional to be honest. It is a movie that makes you question yourself and what you might do if placed in the same circumstances.

We went to see American Sniper two weeks ago and there were scenes that made me want to leave the theatre. I’m proud to say I hung in then, and I think it was apt preparation for this movie.

Many of the scenes are over-the-top, not very plausible, and out-and-out silly. But, with this sort of material the film needs that self-awareness and camp to keep from exhausting the viewer.

I do have to say that one scene was particularly sad, and a little disturbing. When Samuel L. Jackson shoots Colin “Darcy” Firth in the forehead and he falls to the ground in front of the church, I was pretty stunned. Firth’s character was the glue that held the plot together to that point. Fortunately, Mark “Knightley” Strong’s character, Merlin, stepped up and took over this funny and excessive spy thriller.

KingsmenKingsmen, The Secret Service is violent, funny, tongue-in-cheek, and vulgar in funny and tasteless ways. Considering Hollywood has been trapped in a Jr High locker room for decades, what else can we expect? Millions of heads explode on screen to the 1812 Overture, the villain dies by artificial limb, and the young hero saves his mum from a scummy boyfriend. The clothes are great as well.

I can’t recommend this movie to most of the people I know, but if you don’t mind frat boy humor with a British accent, Kingsmen may be for you.

Dishonorable Men

Dishonorable: bringing shame and disgrace on someone or something; lacking respect or ethical principles.

History is a funny thing. It makes heroes of horrific people and villains of honorable men. I have always been interested in the different ways people view the same thing. So much can color our perception of a person or historical event.

For most of the country, the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865. In the South, particularly South Carolina and Georgia, people who have lived here for generations feel differently.

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman

The most dishonorable man I can think of who is now deceased is William Tecumseh Sherman. My father hated Sherman with a passion, and he told me stories, passed down by word of mouth, that aren’t in the cleaned-up history books. What is in the books gives credence to what my father said – Sherman was a vicious, cruel man who took pleasure in destruction. In early 1864, Lincoln made Sherman supreme commander of the armies in the West and Grant ordered him to “create havoc and destruction of all resources that would be beneficial to the enemy.” A couple of months later, with 98,797 troops and 254 cannons, Sherman began the Atlanta Campaign, declaring Atlanta to be a military encampment and eventually burning the city to the ground. He was allowed to do what no other military leader had done in our country against our own people. His men were encouraged to pillage and burn Southern homes, raping the women and killing at will. In his March to the Sea, Sherman cut a sixty mile wide swath through Georgia, destroying everything in his path. On December 23, 1864, Sherman sent a telegram to Lincoln stating that he was presenting him the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift. Following that, he went through South Carolina and North Carolina, right by the house in which I grew up. The house was spared because his soldiers used it. The orders came from Grant, but Lincoln allowed it in order to end the war.

I’m glad that the South lost the war. Had we won, our country would have been splintered and weak. However, the ends do not justify the means. There is plenty of dishonor to go around in our country’s history.

Actors who have portrayed George Wickham

Actors who have portrayed George Wickham

No Austen man comes close to the level of dishonor exhibited, in my opinion, my Sherman, but I’ll choose another military man from her works to stand by him.

George Wickham, selfish, self-centered, grasping, and despoiler of innocents is, to me, the most dishonorable of Austen’s characters. If you have limited yourself to watching the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, you lack a full picture of his villainy. Read the book or watch the 1995 miniseries for a more complete sketching of his character.

Honorable Men – Husbands

My Mr. Knightley

My Mr. Knightley

My husband is an honorable man. He is faithful, hardworking, honest, funny, talented, intelligent, handsome, kind, humble, compassionate, and lovable. He’s known throughout the community as a dependable, pleasant person who will readily help those in need. He’s also read the Austen novels, and he watches all the film variations with me, quoting fluently. He’s handy, too. If he can’t fix it, throw it away. He has always been a wonderful husband and a superb father to our daughters.

However, he does have one fault; he’s not a good gift giver. For Christmas, he gave me an alternator for my car and had it serviced. Not exactly a ten on the romance meter. (Rest easy, ladies. I bought my own Christmas presents from him and put them under the tree. He also bought me a few more presents when he saw that I was less than thrilled. I received a portable battery charger for my phone. (Now that’s romantic, right?) In short, I married Mr. Knightley, not Mr. Darcy.

The Mr. Knightleys

The Mr. Knightleys

Mr. Knightley is a great favorite of mine, obviously. He does what is right; he does his duty. He’s down-to-earth and sensible. In short, it’s possible that after 38 years of marriage, he could give Emma an alternator for Valentine’s Day and wonder why she isn’t thrilled. It’s also probable that after he realizes she’s disappointed, he would choose another gift, just like my Mr. Knightley did (and he might make the same mistake again in going for practicality over romance).

That’s fine with me. I’d rather have an honorable Mr. Knightley than a romantic Frank Churchill any day.