Thursday, October 26, 2006
Jane Eyre (Part 3) - Meet Edward
When I first heard that Toby Stephens was to play Mr. Rochester, I thought, "Who the heck is he?" Well, I went over to IMBD and lo and behold, I have seen him before. He played the the Korean-cum-White Boy baddie in Die Another Day. Believe it or not, one of the few things I remembered about this film was how impressed I was with the actor who played Gustav Graves. In fact, in the scene above, if you listen to the commentary on the DVD, they were quite astounded by the depth of acting. I recall thinking that this was one of the better bad guys that I've seen, and I actually liked his evilness.
As I had mentioned earlier, Mr. Rochester is my favourite hero because he's so passionately in love with Jane. I love Toby as Mr. Rochester. Like Ruth Wilson, he brings so much depth, charisma and emotion to the character. Toby made Mr. Rochester alive in my mind. So, here are my impressions of Mr. Rochester as I was watching Jane Eyre.
Mr. Rochester is creepy. I've noted that on at least three occasions, Rochester knows exactly where Jane is, even if she thinks he doesn't. I suppose when you're newly in love with someone, you always know where that person is. You tend to be hypersensitive when it comes to that other person. Rochester's "Jane-radar" was going waaay off the scale. At least twice, he pops out from nowhere. Similar instances are in the book, but watching it as it is portrayed really gave me the creeps, I thought he was stalking Jane.
Mr. Rochester has bad hair. I have decided that I don't like the long hair. I don't know whose idea it was to give him long hair, but I thought at times he looked about 50 years old, and one time, I though he was actually constipated. I blame the hair for that. Plus, Toby kept on having hair accidents off-set. What you see are hair extensions, and they would fall out once in while, and at the most inopportune times. Poor guy. He would have looked much younger and better looking with short hair (Okay, Mr. Rochester is supposed to be not much to look at, but Toby Stephens is a very good looking man, so hence the hair comment. Gimme a break, I'm female).
Mr. Rochester is a big jerk. Really, it never occurred to me that how Rochester was treating Blanche and Jane was not right. Not only was he was being manipulative, but cruel even. It was the first thought that went through my head when I realized (after all these years) what Rochester really was doing with the whole house party thing. So thank you Toby for showing me what a jackass Rochester can be. And I still don't know what Jane sees in him.
Mr. Rochester is a magical cowboy. Okay, this has nothing to do with the character and everything to with the actor. I've noticed that when Toby is walking, he looks like he's swaggering. Either his shoes hurt him, or his breeches are too tight, but I always think he's in pain. This is not a slight on him, merely an observation, so please don't flame me. As for the magical part, his mother's none other than Maggie Smith, and at least once, I thought I saw the McGonagall glare. Hey, it's in the genes. (I think he looks a bit like her, and probably where he got his chiseled good looks).
But really, Toby is an excellent actor. I've been watching clips of some of his other work that he's done, and I'm thinking, "Wow! This guy is really, really good!" If you don't believe me, click here for the clips; just be careful that you avoid the Jane Eyre ones as they contain spoilers. So I'll be watching a lot of Toby in the near future.
Don't go yet, still more coming...