Given that before you started on the show, Ashley [Clements, Lizzie Bennet], Laura [Spencer, Jane Bennet] and Mary Kate [Wiles, Lydia Bennet] had all “played” Darcy, how did that affect your performance going into it?
I used all of those as information for me. It wasn’t the only information I had, but it was something I knew I had to make work. When I came in I said okay, there’s all these things that people have said about me, and there’s a number of impersonations about me, so I have to incorporate those into my characterisation or the story doesn’t make sense. Because then they’re all doing a really bad impression of me and it doesn’t really make sense.
So that was how it influenced me, I said okay, I have to justify those. But luckily all those actresses had done their work too, and they were doing impersonations of a person who was really very put together, and didn’t understand, and was robotic, and appeared to be callous, they did a pretty good job. It was definitely not the only thing I used. I definitely paid attention to those characterisations.
I watched the 2005 movie right before I went in for the audition, I researched it, I started reading Pride and Prejudice – I took information from as many places as I could. But the biggest influence was the episodes that had already been made, because that set the tone, I knew what tone the show was, and the writing in the episodes I was actually doing. I used them but it was not the only thing I used.
You and Ashley have relatively few scenes together in the show, how did you go about establishing a rapport with each other?
That’s one of the primary challenges of acting in general. It’s funny because there’s this conflation between character and actors that happens a lot for the fans, when really it’s like Ashley and I, that’s the work that we’re doing. Part of the work is putting this relationship between these characters together. Me and Ashley are very different people from our characters, so obviously our relationship is very different too.
Establishing the rapport, it’s about figuring out the thoughts that your character is having about the other character, and finding those things in the other character that are so attractive to you. Ashley and I have also gotten to spend so much time together that we developed a way of working together, and communicating about the show, and luckily Ashley and I are very much on the same page about Darcy and Lizzie’s relationship, so it’s easy for us to bounce ideas off each other.
But a lot of developing a rapport in a relationship is just rehearsing, working on it, finding it together. It’s not always something you can control and do with your head, it’s a process, it’s something you find with someone else.
Read part 2 of our interview with Daniel Vincent Gordh tomorrow, to find out about his Darcy audition, his thoughts on the DVD Kickstarter and upcoming mini-series, and his answers to your twitter questions.
Image credit: Daniel Vincent Gordh