The 10 Best Mr. Darcys: From Favorite Films to Books

    He's bewitched us, body and soul—on the page and on the screen.

    We’ve got Mr. Darcy on the brain lately. And who can blame us? He's one of those literary heroes who has transcended the page to become a cultural icon. Stubborn, proud, and hopelessly in love with Elizabeth Bennet, he’s one of our favorite parts of Pride and Prejudice—and one of our favorite book boyfriends ever.

    There’s a reason Jane Austen is still popular over 200 years after her death—her books are filled with complex characters, and she crafted intriguing love stories that practically set the standards of our own real-life romances. This is also why we’ve seen so many adaptations of Austen’s work over the years; we want to spend time with her stories again and again, in any kind of form.

    All of those retellings and adaptations have given us a variety of Darcys to choose from. And while Austen’s original will always hold the most special place in our hearts, we most definitely have our favorite interpretations of him. So here’s our definitive ranking of the top ten Mr. Darcys—from books and the screen—who perfectly capture Jane Austen’s classic brooding hero.

    Agree with our ranking? Let us know who your favorite Darcy is!


    Colin Firth in BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series

    Photo Credit: Colin Firth in "Pride and Prejudice", via BBC

    Firth has become synonymous with Mr. Darcy thanks to this classic miniseries that is still, hands down, the best Pride and Prejudice adaptation out there. Firth’s Darcy is all dark-eyed and heavy glances, and he stares at Elizabeth like she hung the moon (and also like he wants to see what’s under that corset). In our opinion, his portrayal always be the one to beat.

    Watch the miniseries on Amazon 

    Matthew Macfadyen in Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

    Photo Credit: Matthew Macfayden in "Pride & Prejudice", via Focus Features

    Those smoldering eyes! We’re kind of obsessed with Macfadyen's awkward, visibly lovesick Darcy. Wright’s directing doesn’t hurt either, with all those sexy shots in the rain and the palpable chemistry between Macfadyen and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth. Macfadyen’s Darcy feels a little softer than Firth’s, but that slight sensitivity (as well as the requisite brooding) endlessly wins us over.

    Watch the movie on Amazon 

    Mr. Darcy in Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    Buy Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife at Amazon

    Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    By Linda Berdoll

    Whoa man, this is one hot Darcy. Linda Berdoll continues the story of Pride and Prejudice in her sexy take on what married life is like for the newlywed Darcys. Let’s just say there’s a lot of bedroom action. This is the take-charge, sexually adventurous Darcy that you always suspected was under those starched collars and staid manners.

    Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

    By Linda Berdoll

    Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary

    Photo Credit: Colin Firth in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason", via Universal Studios
    Buy Bridget Jones's Diary at Amazon

    Bridget Jones's Diary

    By Helen Fielding

    Book or movie, we don’t care! We adore Mark Darcy in any form (although the Colin Firth movie version is definitely dreamy). Helen Fielding’s novel may be only loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, but her Darcy is still pretty iconic, especially since she based the character on Firth’s mini-series version of Darcy. The wealthy lawyer is definitely as stoic and standoffish as any Darcy out there, made all the more dramatic by Bridget’s constant awkward and embarrassing moments.

    Watch the movie on Amazon 

    Bridget Jones's Diary

    By Helen Fielding

    Mr. Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley

    Photo Credit: Matthew Rhys in "Death Comes to Pemberley", via BBC
    Buy Death Comes to Pemberley at Amazon

    Death Comes to Pemberley

    By P.D. James

    We clearly have a soft spot for stories that continue Austen’s classic tale, mostly because we just can’t get enough of Darcy or Elizabeth! Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James, is another favorite, delivering a Darcy who’s a little older but clearly still prideful. BBC One tackled the TV adaptation, and we’re e specially drawn to Matthew Rhys’s angry, more passionate version of the endlessly brooding Darcy.

    Watch the show on Amazon 

    Death Comes to Pemberley

    By P.D. James

    William Darcy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

    Photo Credit: Daniel Vincent Gordh in "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries", via Pemberley Digital

    It’s a little embarrassing how many times we’ve watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern YouTube version of the classic tale. But Lizzie and William are just so charming, and the vlogging premise still feels fresh and original. William is a bit of a robot in this version (or so Lizzie likes to tell him), but it makes all that hidden passion even more exciting.

    Mr. Darcy in Mr. Darcy's Diary

    Buy Mr. Darcy's Diary at Amazon

    Mr. Darcy's Diary

    By Amanda Grange

    There’s something so delicious about getting Darcy’s point of view, especially around Elizabeth and how/when he fell in love with her. That’s exactly what we get in Amanda Grange’s retelling of the classic tale, diving deep into Darcy’s head and letting us actually see the enigmatic man’s thoughts. It’s hard not to fall for a Darcy this open – though, let’s face it, sometimes the mystery surrounding his true feelings is half the fun!

    Mr. Darcy's Diary

    By Amanda Grange

    Fitzwilliam Darcy in Eligible

    Buy Eligible at Amazon

    Eligible

    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    Modern day adaptations are always fun, and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible sets the story in present day Cincinnati. Her Darcy is a neurosurgeon this time, and as pompous as any good Darcy should be. Though he might be a little too rigid for a modern day story, the relationship between him and Elizabeth feels exactly right.

    Related: Pride and Prejudice Gets a Modern Makeover in ABC’s Eligible 

    Eligible

    By Curtis Sittenfeld

    Will Darcy in Bride & Prejudice

    Photo Credit: Martin Henderson in "Bride & Prejudice", via Miramax

    This adaptations wins all the points for creativity, setting the classic tale in a modern day India, complete with Bollywood style dancing. Aishwarya Rai definitely shines as Lalita Bakshi, the version’s Elizabeth Bennet character. Martin Henderson, who plays Will Darcy, is handsome and sweet, but he doesn’t really have the same edge that we’ve come to love in our Darcys. Still, the two have tons of chemistry and the new setting is pretty awesome.

    Watch the movie on Amazon 

    Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    Buy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Amazon

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith

    What’s better than a brooding Darcy? A brooding zombie-fighting Darcy! The book version hits a lot of the same beats as the original tale, just with brain-eating monsters thrown in for good measure. We’ll take Darcy anyway we can get him—especially if there’s lots of sweaty fighting going on.

    Watch the movie on Amazon 

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith


    This article originally appeared on BookTrib.

    BookTrib.com, “Where Readers Meet Writers,” is a network for readers and writers to make a connection and keep books alive in a distracted world. Created by Meryl Moss Media, a literary PR firm with a successful 25-year track record.

    Featured still from "Pride & Prejudice (2005)" via Focus Features

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