Friday, October 12, 2012

Jennifer Ehle and Period Acting

Jennifer, accompanied by Boots and Bag, participated in a panel discussion on Saturday, October 6th, as part of the New Yorker Festival.

Rebecca Mead moderated the panel of four period actors: Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 mini-series production of “Pride and Prejudice”; Cherry Jones, whose period credits include Tony-winning performances in “The Heiress” and “Doubt”; John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling on “Mad Men”; and Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on “Downton Abbey.” The panel was held at Acura at SIR Stage37 at 10 A.M.

Sadly, the discussion is not one of those offered as a video at the festival website (What Were They Thinking?!), but there are some photos and eye witness comments to share.

(Photo © 2012 Instagram via Sarah DeFilippis ‏@deflippers )

Annika A ‏@AhmedA01 posted this photo with the note: "the utterly amazing Jennifer Ehle!"

 (Photo © 2012 Instagram via Annika A ‏@AhmedA01 )

Two shots from from the fabulous set of 29 photos of Jennifer at the event, posted at Zimbio and also at Getty

 I'd love to know what she and Dan are saying!  Maybe we should have a caption contest.   (Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images via Zimbio)

And this, well ... just the usual gorgeousness.   (Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images via Zimbio)

Although there is no video or full transcript of the session, some folks who attended passed on some of what was said.

Rebecca Mead (@Rebeccamead_NYC on Twitter) posted some comments on Twitter.

  "Jennifer was smart and thoughtful and lovely"

  "Also loved learning that Jennifer Ehle wore a different scent for each of the three parts of "Coast of Utopia" and, when asked about that: ' 'Was it another way to help her become the different character?', Rebecca added: "exactly. a wonderful detail of how to get inside a character."

Also tweeting from the event: Versha Sharma (@versharma on Twitter), who tweeted excerpts from the discussion:

   "Jennifer Ehle: writer Andrew Davies' script notes help lighten up the period text...notes about Mr Darcy having an erection!"

   "Jennifer Ehle: never like the term period drama, Pride & Prejudice is more period comedy or romantic comedy"

   "I think Jennifer Ehle just said 'you want to ship it' about Matthew and Mary on Downton Abbey"

   "Jennifer Ehle: When Colin and I saw the first few episodes of P&P, we both thought, 'oops' "

   " Ehle and Firth were so unimpressed with their performances, they thought 'hopefully we won't be in the country when it comes out' "

June Thomas (@junethomas on Twitter) live tweeted too and shared the following (including that SOMEONE has lost a P&P script). 

   "Most desirable artifact in culture: Based on Jennifer Ehle's description: Andrew Davies' script for Pride & Prejudice. Marginalia!"

   "She is so lovely up close. Said she watched P&P before the music was added and thought it would be a flop!"

   "She also said that first couple of episodes came without music. She watched them with her husband and mother, & they all thought it was a failure. Something changed when the music was added."  [Yes, she wrote 'husband', but that hardly seems likely at the time (1994-1995), unless she was thinking of her as Mrs. Darcy!]

   "She also mentioned that screenwriter Andrew Davies used irreverent directions and comments in the script, which she had lost."

   "She noted that 'period drama' should also include comedy and melodrama, and that it was often great literature, like Austen."

June wrote further about the panel discussion at Slate's Culture Blog, including:
Jennifer Ehle said that when she played three characters in Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia, she wore a different perfume for each one. When she first took to the stage with co-star Brian F. O’Byrne, “the color drained out of him.” It turned out that one of the perfumes was the same scent as the candle he burned every night when playing suspected child molester Father Flynn alongside Cherry Jones in Doubt.

And Other Things  reported that HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. television rights to Oscar®-nominated director Liz Garbus’ feature documentary film LOVE, MARILYN.
And on that subject, in a Variety Review of that film, Dennis Harvey wrote:
"Probably most effective in their straightforward readings are Jennifer Ehle, who gets a fair amount of screentime, and (perhaps surprisingly) Lindsay Lohan, who does not."

This Hufingtonpost entry includes some photos from the set of Zero Dark Thirty back in March.  (Yes! She's in them!)

An article at discusses Robocop filming in/near Toronto in September. SuperHeroHype has some set photos, none of Jennifer, though. And another source has Robocop Set Photos ... also none of Jennifer. I hope she's actually in it, or this blog is going to look very stupid.

Possible Non Sequitur Section

It's hay ride season, everyone! Enjoy!