Austen Awards: The Hunks

We've finally reached perhaps THE most important of the Austen Awards. The hunks. It is time to find who is the most desirable of all of the wonderful heroes in Jane Austen adaptations. Vote for your favorite versions of each character and let me know who is your favorite of all the hunks in ALL the categories. Plus, find out which hunk you'd end up with. Ready!? Okay!


The Character: The cousin of Fanny Price who is immediately bewitched by Mary Crawford then does a 180 at the end of the story to be in love with Fanny.

Best Portrayal: 

This is REALLY tough to pick, but mostly because I'm ambivalent to both of them. I think Blake Ritson's version might be a little more kinder...but he kind of reminds me of a vampire. Johnny Lee Miller is more attractive, but might as well have been a cardboard cutout he's so bland. I honestly don't even know who to pick here... I'd be better off flipping a coin really. I guesssssss I'll go for personality over looks this time and pick Ritson, but really don't care one way or another.

Worst Portrayal:

See last entry. Worst is best and best is worst. There's no difference here for me. Really the character isn't my favorite, so I don't know who could really make me love him.

Worth Mentioning: N/A. We've covered everyone.

Which Edmund Bertram do you prefer?

Blake Ritson (Mansfield Park 2007)
Johnny Lee Miller (Mansfield Park 1999)
Neither! She should end up with Henry Crawford
Please Specify:
quiz tool


The Character: The love interest of Elinor Dashwood who loves her too, but is bound by duty to a previous engagement to a woman he is no longer in love with.

Best Portrayal:

This is tricky because the version I am by far the most familiar with is Hugh Grant's take in the '95 version...but he is without a doubt the weak link in the film (nor does he and Emma Thompson have the greatest chemistry.) Yet, he's kind of serviceable and works well enough. But I suppose if I had my choice between Dan Stevens and Hugh Grant, I'd pick Dan...so I'll pick him here too even if I don't remember much about the 2008 version.

Worst Portrayal:
I feel guilty labeling anyone in this category as the worst because none of them were that bad. None of them were that good either, but that's kinda more due to the character than the performances.

Worth Mentioning: We already discussed Hugh Grant, but the two modern versions in Scents and Sensibility and From Prada to Nada are fine (if forgettable) enough. 

Which Edward Ferrars is your favorite?

Hugh Grant (Sense and Sensibility 1995)
Dan Stevens (Sense & Sensibility 2008)
Brad Johnson (Scents and Sensibility)
Nicolas D'Agosto (From Prada to Nada)
Please Specify:
Do Quizzes


The Character: Mr. Darcy's best friend who is immediately bewitched by Jane Bennet in Pride & Prejudice. He is a sweet, well-intentioned man who is just a little too easily persuaded. 

Best Portrayal:

Hmm. This one is a hard one. There seems to be two ways of playing Bingley to people. Usually by making him too silly, or too bland. I like the silly Bingleys, but I understand that's probably not how the character should be... Some solid Bingleys are the '95 version and the Lost in Austen version...but I think I'm going to bestow this honor upon the Lizzie Bennet Diaries version.

Worst Portrayal:

Hmm. Has anyone played him truly badly? Some might hate Simon Woods for being too goofy, but I like him so I'll give him a pass. I think if I had to pick one I'll go with the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies version. He wasn't really that bad, but kinda came off as a weak pretty boy. He doesn't seem equal to his Jane.

Worth Mentioning: I already mentioned Simon Woods' lovable goofball take, but Ben Gourley made Bingley even MORE of a lovable goofball, if possible. His Bingley is adorable, even if he's a little bit dumb. Also Naveen Andrews in Bride & Prejudice is pretty good too.

Which Mr. Bingley is your favorite?

Simon Woods (Pride & Prejudice 2005)
Ben Gourley (Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy)
Douglas Booth (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies)
Christopher Sean (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries)
Tom Mison (Lost in Austen)
Naveen Andrews (Bride & Prejudice)
Crispin Bonham-Carter (Pride and Prejudice '95)
Please Specify:
personality test


The Character: An older man who is instantly smitten with Marianne Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility. Unfortunately, he has to stand by and watch her be romanced by another man, then have her heart broken before she'll give him the time of day.
Best Portrayal:

Could this go to anyone but Alan Rickman? Like really? Could it? He claimed this role and I really doubt that anyone could ever take it from him.

Worst Portrayal:

Wilmer Valderrama in Prada to Nada. I don't think Colonel Brandon was ever supposed to be a gangster.

Worth Mentioning: There's the Liam Neeson Walking Dead lookalike in the 2008 version and Nick Zano in Scents and Sensibility. Both are okay. 

Which Colonel Brandon is your favorite?

Alan Rickman (Sense and Sensibility 1995)
Nick Zano (Scents and Sensibility)
Wilmer Valderrama (From Prada to Nada)
David Morrissey (Sense & Sensibility 2008)
Please Specify:
Do Quizzes


The character: The jilted ex-fiance of Anne Elliot, a woman who was talked out of marrying him even though she truly loved him, who meets her again years later in Persuasion. Captain Wentworth is a haunted man trying to escape his past, he's a total catch that wants to move on with his life, yet remains subconsciously loyal to his first love and can't quite seem to quit her. And he's increeeeddddibly romantic.

Best Portrayal:

Rupert Penry-Jones is a man anyone would kick themselves over letting go, especially in 2007's Persuasion. He's obviously beautiful, but he's also very tender. The look he gives Anne in the very last scene (improbable as his wedding gift may have been for those times...) is pretty much the most adorable thing. In the end, he just wants to make the one he loves happy.

Worst Portrayal:

If Rupert Penry-Jones is the winner in my eyes, that means that Ciaran Hinds must be the loser. He's not that bad, but not really anyone I'd be pining over for 7 years. I won't say it here, but my sisters summation of that film is perfectly illustrated in that gif.

Worth Mentioning: Only two major adaptations have been made, so that's all we can talk about for now...

Which Captain Wentworth do you prefer?

Ciaran Hinds (Persuasion 1995)
Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion 2007)
Please Specify:
trivia quiz


The character: The proud and prejudiced man with a secret heart of gold for the ones he loves that gets off on the wrong foot with Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice.

Best Portrayal:

When most people think of Mr. Darcy, Colin Firth immediately comes to mind. Just not my mind. He's a fine Darcy, but I much prefer Matthew McFadyen's nuanced and incredibly romantic rendition of the classic character. He softens the viewer (well the ones that are open to having a Darcy besides Firth anyway...) the same way he softens Elizabeth, where you're both falling for him at the same time. And by the end? Chills. He delivers his speech to Elizabeth in an incredibly cinematic way that basically makes everyone swoon.

Worst Portrayal:

The worst Darcy has to be Elliot Cowan in Lost in Austen. He's incredibly rude and not that handsome. He legitimately makes you want Amanda to end up with Wickham. Plus let's be honest...Amanda should not be in the equation for him to end up with at ALL. What kind of Darcy would go for her anyway??? The worst kind, that's what. But I'll finish this rant tomorrow in the heroines section. Though it IS funny when she makes him do the pond scene for her.

Worth Mentioning: I already mentioned the popular Colin Firth, but he's not the Darcy who started it all! That honor goes to Laurence Olivier. For modern Darcys we have Orlando Seale in Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy and Daniel Vincent Gordh in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Orlando is pretty decent, while Daniel kind of has an awkward hipster vibe to him...which is how they wrote the character so he definitely works for that adaptation. Plus FINALLY getting to see him after all the time spent wondering what he'll be like is THE BEST. There's the version in Death Comes to Pemberley which shallow internet people like myself loathed since they thought the Darcy was too haggard. In PPZ we're treated to a Darcy with an insanely rasphy voice, but eventually like most Darcys he grows on you. Also there's Martin Henderson's decent, but forgettable take in Bride & Prejudice

Which Mr. Darcy is your favorite??

Sam Riley (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies)
Matthew McFadyen (Pride & Prejudice 05)
Daniel Vincent Gordh (Lizzie Bennet Diaries)
Matthew Rhys (Death Comes to Pemberley)
Colin Firth (Pride and Prejudice 1995)
Elliot Cowan (Lost in Austen)
Laurence Olivier (Pride & Prejudice 1940)
Orlando Seale (Latter-Day Comedy)
Martin Henderson (Bride & Prejudice)
Please Specify:
Do Quizzes


The character: Emma's longtime friend, mentor, and secret admirer in Emma. He's loving and kind, but doesn't shy away from putting Emma in her place when she does something wrong...in hopes of teaching her lessons to become a better person.

Best Portrayal:

There are three strong contenders to take the number one spot, but it HAS to go to Jeremy Northam's Mr. Kingthley. He is absolutely PERFECT. He has just the right amount of reprimanding Emma while still completely loving her and secretly adoring her. He is the perfect Knightley, and his speech at the end would pretty much make anyone melt. 

Worst Portrayal:

I didn't much like Johnny Lee Miller's "grumpy cat" take on the performance, but the worst has to be the Knightley from Mark Strong. I only remember two things about him. He yelled a lot and he wasn't very attractive. An Emma is only as good as its Knightley, and because of Mark Strong I will never go back and watch that version.

Worth Mentioning: As I mentioned in the best portrayal category, there are two strong runners-up to Jeremy Northam in Paul Rudd (Clueless) and Brent Bailey (Emma Approved). Both are absolutely adorable boy next doors with loads of common sense. They reign their Emmas in when needed and do their best to teach them to become better people. But their hearts break whenever their Emmas are in trouble or heartbroken themselves.

Which Mr. Knightley is your favorite?

Jeremy Northam (Emma 1996)
Johnny Lee Miller (Emma 2009)
Paul Rudd (Clueless)
Brent Bailey (Emma Approved)
Mark Strong (Emma 1996)
Please Specify:
poll creator


The Character: The adorable son of General Tilney (Lord of Northanger Abbey,) who Catherine Morland meets on her vacation to Bath in Northanger Abbey.


Yes it's true, the hero that isn't the most mainstream or known by casual Austen fans is my favorite. Mr. Tilney is like Mr. Knightley with a bit more of a sense of humor and a lot less lecturing. In addition to humor, he's also incredibly intelligent and very kind. He adores Catherine and wants to be her protector, but he also is not about to indulge her when she needs some tough love. Plus he's played by JJ Field who also gave us the equally adorable Henry Nobly in Austenland, so letting Tilney win was kinda like letting Nobly win (even though the characters are very different.)

Is JJ Field the most adorable Henry Tilney er what?

Please Specify:
personality test

HONORARY HUNKS: As I mentioned, Henry Nobly is the most adorable character in rom-coms of the last decade. Captain East is a hilarious hunk that is welcome eye candy.  Hugh Dancy is utterly sweet and adorable in The Jane Austen Book Club. Donald Faison's Murray essentially gets the Mr. Weston role in Clueless and is more hilarious than hunky, but I'll bestow him a mention nonetheless. Kate Beckinsale's prime target in Love & Friendship is adorable and an Austen hunk in the making. If only he had a more worthy lass to romance.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Yay! For the quiz, I got Mr. Knightly!