Daniel Vincent Gordh discusses his Lizzie Bennet Diaries audition, his involvement in new series Welcome to Sanditon, and more, in part 2 of our exclusive interview.
In part 1 of our interview, Daniel Vincent Gordh gave us the inside scoop on “Gratitude” – episode 99 of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, as well as his personal experiences on playing one of the most popular characters in fiction, and how he developed that steamy onscreen chemistry with co-star Ashley Clements.
In part 2 he shares about his Darcy audition, answers your twitter questions, and tells us exactly what he would do with an army of Daniel Vincent Gordh clones.
Can you talk us through your audition process?
That was a long time ago. I first learned about the show because I was working with a friend on an audition for Caroline. But once I had an audition, I was like “Wait a second. Isn’t Darcy a big part in this? How could they not have cast him yet? I was working on that audition a long time ago.” And then once I looked at the project I was like, “Oh, they still haven’t shown him.”
But I got the script, it was some version of episode 60, and I luckily had enough time to go into research mode, I immediately went okay, this is based on something that has been around a long time, and so I need to spend a few days just in absorption and research mode. So I did that, I gathered all the information, I worked the hell out of the audition, and then I came in. Ashley [Clements, Lizzie Bennet] was actually in the room, which I didn’t know and I was a little awkward about it. I was like, “Hey! I’ve seen you on the internet!” and she was like “…Okay.”
It was kind of funny because once I started working on the role, I felt this instinctive connection to it, where there were a number of things that were mentioned in the breakdown that felt really right for me, that really resonated with me. There was the physical description which they put in and which matched me. Then there was a weird mixture of confident and socially awkward, and somehow I was like I get this character – so I had an instinctive connection to it.
And then once I first read with Ashley, Bernie [Su, co-creator, executive producer, head writer, directer] looked at me for a second kind of quizzically, and was like “That was really good. You obviously understand the character really well. Let’s just do it again, was there anything you wanted to do different?” And I was like “There’s a moment that I’d like to go through and finesse,” so we ran it again, and Bernie to me always felt like “Huh. He seems to get it.”
Then I came in for another audition with a different version of episode 60, and episode 78, which they gave me with about 10 minutes to prepare so I cold read that one. But that was a month later, I thought I had lost the role already, it was a long time between auditions. That one went great too, and then it was a few weeks and I assumed I had lost it again, and I had another audition. At that point I could tell they were being very careful, that it really mattered who they cast.
It’s funny, because it happens on the show too, but usually when you’re working on a project, you don’t have these long hiatuses between playing a role. But there were months where I was not playing Darcy sometimes, and I was like “Well I hope I’m doing the same thing I was doing before.” There was these hiatuses where I was given a break from it, and I had to rediscover him every time.
So eventually I got the role, and it was probably the same day that I find out that a possibly recurring role on the show 1600 Penn, that I didn’t get the role. So I was like, “Okay, well, that’s nice.” I had been written out of that episode, I was thinking “Oh shucks,” and then “Oh wow.” It was one of those close the window, open the door type of things.
You mentioned the hiatuses – did you have any tricks to get back into Darcy’s head, or was it fairly instinctual?
I think the first thing that gets me into the Darcy mindset is physicality. I couldn’t play the role if I were wearing loose fitting clothing, and my shirt not tucked in. The first thing that is my entrance point to the character is physicality, which is often how I work. But for Darcy, that really puts me there quickly. It’s like I’m putting on a Darcy suit. There’s a certain kind of mannered and specific way that he moves and he interacts with the world, that allows me to get into the role instinctually without going straight into cerebral mode.