Fictional Characters I Would Date: Part Ten

Edward Fairfax Rochester from “Jane Eyre”

I will be the first to admit that I am a latecomer to the Jane Eyre party.  I had not read the book and didn’t know much about the plot (probably explains why I did not understand The Eyre Affair AT ALL).  Then I got the 1997 A&E version from Netflix.  It was pretty good.  I liked the story and LOVED the setting.  I was not fond, however, of the guy playing Rochester.  He yelled all of his lines which made him sound like Daddy Warbucks from Annie.  But I liked it enough to pick up the book.

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  It was super romantic and I really loved the character of Jane.  Then I decided to try another version of the movie and watched the 2006 Masterpiece Theatre with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens…….well…….wow.

Jane Eyre

Now, whenever I read Jane Eyre, Toby Stephens will always pop into my head.  He is the perfect Mr. Rochester.  Some might say he is a little too attractive to play the “ugly” Mr. Rochester, but seriously….who is really going to complain about that?

I would date Mr. Rochester because I totally dig the dark, brooding, tortured thing he has going on.  I know it is such a cliche but I do not care.  He sits around and scowls most of the time he’s onscreen, but that is okay, because that makes it even better when he gives Jane a little smile.

And even though he is gruff on the outside, he is such a teddy bear on the inside.  He takes care of Adele even though she is not really his responsibility.  He also sees right through the horrible Blanche Ingram, which is something that most guys could not do.  And the fact that he falls for Jane is incredibly sexy.  Brains and personality over beauty!!!

I also adore the fact that even though he would be so much better off if Bertha just disappeared, he puts himself at risk just to try and save her (at least in the movie, I can’t remember if that happens in the book).

Okay… if you haven’t seen the Masterpiece version of Jane Eyre, you need to go run and do it right now!!!  In my humble opinion and being the expert that I am (having read the book, ahem, a week ago) it is the perfect adaptation.  Thankfully, it doesn’t spend too much time dwelling on the non-Rochester parts (the Reed house, Lowood School, and Morton).  And those parts are made interesting by the fact that Georgie Henley plays Jane (you may remember her as Lucy from the Narnia movies) and the guy who plays St. John is freaking gorgeous (but you are still wondering what Rochester is doing the whole time he is onscreen).  Ruth Wilson is absolutely phenomenal as the older Jane.  When you first see her, you say, yep….she’s plain alright, but by the time she’s been onscreen for an hour you see how beautiful she is.

Mr. Rochester

And Toby Stephens……well……….ummmm….yes please!  I honestly wouldn’t care if he had a whole army of people locked up in the tower.  Ex-girlfriends, mistresses, wives, housekeepers, illegitimate children……I would not care.  I would totally run away to the Mediterranean with him.  But I do not have Jane’s high moral standards.

Here’s one of my favorite parts of the movie.  I was happy to see that most of the dialogue is lifted straight out of the novel.

I am very glad that I finally joined the rest of the world and understand the awesomeness of Jane Eyre.  Mr. Rochester will now take his place right up there with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightly.


P.S.  If you are like me, and feel the need to purchase this wonderful DVD, and if you love extra features like deleted scenes and commentaries and the like DO NOT buy the regular version on Amazon because it has no extras.  If you want the special features (which includes some good interviews with Ruth, Toby, and the director and screenwriter) you must buy The Bronte Collection.


8 Responses to “Fictional Characters I Would Date: Part Ten”

  1. 1 ngtjill September 28, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    So I added this to my Netflix queue when you were talking about it this weekend, but I’m bumping it up after seeing the pictures and video! 🙂

    I’m happy you added another installment of “Fictional Characters…”! It’d been awhile and I missed it.

  2. 2 Megan September 29, 2009 at 6:48 am

    So glad you discovered Jane Eyre! It’s one of my favorites. And I totally agree about the Masterpiece version, a perfect adaptation. ~Megan

  3. 3 ngtjennifer September 29, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Yes Jill, it has been a very long time…but hopefully I will do a lot more. I am so glad you are going to watch it and I hope you love it as much as I do (but I’m not sure if that is possible!). Just wait till you see the fire scene and the scene where he asks her not to go……..whoa…..amazing!

    Megan, I’m so glad I discovered it too…..who knew this awesome thing was around all this time and I hadn’t read or watched it yet.

  4. 4 Diana September 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I’ve owned the book Jane Eyre for years and still haven’t read it. Maybe I’ll make it a goal to finally give it a go.

  5. 5 ngtjennifer September 30, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Yes Diana, you should definitely give it a try!

  6. 6 Cynthia von Buhler October 11, 2009 at 12:42 am

    I loved this mini-series too. The woman who played Jane was perfect. Jane Eyre is possibly my favorite book ever….or maybe Vanity Fair…hmmm….what about Charles Dickens? Oh well, it is a bloody good book. Cheers, CvB

  7. 7 Sarah November 18, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve been in love with Mr. Rochester since my mom gave me the book when I was eleven, and didn’t know what I would think of a portrayal of him in a movie since I’d never seen one…but Toby Stephens was perfect. Mmmm. Yes, perfect.

  8. 8 lizzy May 4, 2010 at 1:38 am

    LOVED this version of the show. But the entire time it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t figure out where I had seen Jane before. It turns out I haven’t seen her anywhere, but I swear she is the female version of Chris Colfer in Glee! Seriously!

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