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August 16 2006

Twenty questions with Jane Espenson. A lovely insightful read over at PopGurls. No love for Colin Firth as Mr Darcy but some interesting comments on how a writer reacts to message board criticism.

Nice interview. She says she's much funnier in writing than in person, and while that's probably true, I still think she can be pretty funny off-the-cuff. Her commentary for FF ep "Shindig" has some moments, and I think they come automatically from her unique comic perspective rather than her delivery or timing.

I love this & agree -- I'm so tired of folks currently doing Regency or Victorian pieces and re-working them so that the characters are more "modern" or earthy or open & suchlike -- they weren't and I don't think they should be.

"15. Which movie/TV version of Pride and Prejudice is the best one?

The 1985 BBC production with David Rintoul as Darcy is my personal fave. Also, have to give it up for the old Laurence Olivier one. These two Darcys capture Pride perfectly. I think there's a modern impulse to put some earthiness in Darcy that he simply doesn't have. He's above that."


ETA: Jane elaborates on her "10 Commandments for Spec Witers" from the interview in her blog from today. (Some of her advice can be adapted for everyday use, and not just in writing spec scripts...)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-08-16 23:42 ]
That's a really nice, entertaining interview. I am really fascinated by any advice any professionals have on writing, and Jane in particular. Although I don't write very much, it would actually be one of my dream jobs.

I think it would be horrendously difficult to attempt to write comedy. I can be funny on occasion, as most people can, but imagine having to write an episode of TV like "Triangle" and having to come up with so many funny moments. I do agree that there is a "science" almost to comedy- satire, word plays, visual comedy, double entendre, pop culture references, experimenting with language... but I think at the end of the day you can't come up with an equation for humour. At some point it's just whether it makes you laugh or not.

I can't imagine trying to write something that makes people laugh, whereas someone like Jane can do it almost effortlessly. I think she has the perfect balance between the science of it, and the part where she's just a really smart, funny lady. And of course the actors who manage to time a response or to gesture or say something just right.
Fun read. She seems like someone that you would totally want to drink margaritas with at the open air cafe. Smart people are sexy. (unintentional reference but too good to pass up, "you couldn't have figured that out...")
unsuspecting_dupe + banana_skin - friction = hilarity ^ 2

QED. ;-).

Nice set of questions and as usual JE responds with wit and wisdom (though i'm now expecting a recipe or lunch idea with everything she says). I dunno if she has this in the back of her mind for some point in the future but she should write a book based on her blog where she maybe takes apart one (or more) of her Buffy scripts to show the lessons in operation. I'm not a writer and i'd buy it (I know there're other similar books out there but i'd rather hear it from Jane and about Buffy).
Jane is so wrong about Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. ;)

Great interview.. She seems like such a lovely person, and she didn't mention PANGS?
Actually, I'm not sure it's Colin Firth she objects to, I think it's that version of the script -- which would make sense, as that's what she's all about.

"The 1985 BBC production with David Rintoul as Darcy is my personal fave. Also, have to give it up for the old Laurence Olivier one. These two Darcys capture Pride perfectly. I think there's a modern impulse to put some earthiness in Darcy that he simply doesn't have. He's above that."


I think Colin could have made a super Darcy -- with a better screen adaptation of the original material.
Ah, not Colin Firth as MARK Darcy...cuz he kicked a$$ as Mark Darcy.
I try to work in Colin Firth as Mr Darcy into almost every Whedonesque post I do. It's a thing, don't ask. This time it seemed work naturally.

Cause my other attempts, "Tim Minear lands new show. Channelling Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, Fox ok new pilot for Tim" and "Joss praises Nathan. Even though he's no Mr Darcy" really didn't seem work that well at all.
"Joss Whedon says he heard that Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy has a vague turnipy odor."

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-08-17 01:27 ]
"WW casting speculations may or may not include Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy."

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-08-17 01:28 ]
"Spike vs. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? In a Fight to the Death, Who Would Kick the Most Ass?"

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-08-17 01:28 ]
"When it became clear that Colin Firth would be too busy reprising his role as Mr. Darcy to even try out as Wonder Woman, speculation as to Whedon's final choice ineviably came back to Morgan Freeman."
"Spike vs. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy? In a Fight to the Death, Who Would Kick the Most Ass?"

Can I be Lizzie?
"Joss Whedon to cast Morgan Freeman as Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in 25th remake of Pride and Prejudice? (Why oh why can't the man ever do original material?)"

"Colin Firth to star as Mr. Darcy on a M----- F------ Plane?"

"Priyanka Chopra, beginning work with Snakes co-star Colin Firth (as Mr. Darcy), wishes she 'hadn't turned down Mr. Whedon's generous offer to star' as feisty Regency superhero Elizabeth Bennett."
"Colin Firth to star as Mr Darcy's father, Mr Darcy, in prequel to Pride and Prejudice"

Ah, I love Jane. Knowing she was going to be at the QM con made it all the more tempting to attend.
Her enthusiasm for her recipe for faux grilled cheese with mustard suggests to me that Jane might enjoy actual cooking. But there's no evidence from what I've read of her blog for that. Maybe she's had some bad experiences.
Ooh, Tetris love. Gotta love her.

Also, the fact that people read her blog just for the lunch descriptions is hilarious and awesome.
She's right, David Rintoul's Darcy is excellent as is Elizabeth Garvie's Lizzie (though the nitpicker that is me is pointing out it was from 1980 not 1985 - it was written by Fay Weldon, btw). And she has further gone up in my estimation not just because she's addicted to Tetris but also because she had to remove it from her computers.
But how is Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy related to Glory?
YAY! I knew there were all kinds of reasons to love Jane, not the least of which is her marvelous blog, but her appreciation of David Rintoul's Darcy tops it off.

While I'm not at all opposed to the Colin Firth eye candy, she right about the "pride" quality - and moley - I agree about Elizabeth Garvie, great Lizzy. Jennifer Ehli's Lizzy was too pert, IMO.
I knew there had to be other reasons I love Jane Espenson, and her smart eye for which P&P versions are best is a big one, not to mention her generosity in helping other writers, and loving lower-fat grilled cheesers. She probably also helps old people cross the street and is kind to animals.

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