Colin Firth never actually entered the lake for Mr. Darcys wet-shirt scene

December 29th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, December 29 (ANI): Colin Firths wet-shirt scene as Mr. Darcy in the BBC’’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini series might have left women swooning, but the director who filmed the programme has revealed that the actor never actually entered the lake.
Director Simon Langton said that the scene, which made Firth a household name and propelled him to fame as a film actor, was faked due to health and safety concerns.
He revealed that there were fears that Firth might catch a waterborne disease, and thus a stuntman was made to take the plunge instead.
The director also revealed that the footage of him underwater was filmed in a tank at Ealing Studios in West London, far from Lyme Park in Cheshire where the rest of the scene was shot.
Langton said that they decided on faking the scene because there were difficulties with the actor’’s insurance, and special arrangements had to be made so that Firth didn”t enter the lake.
“It was a stuntman. We didn”t want our leading man to catch Weil’’s disease, which can be caught from rat urine in water,” the Telegraph quoted him as telling the Daily Mail.
The director also revealed that it was initially thought that Mr. Darcy would first strip off and leap into the water naked.
However, he said, the plan was later changed as the BBC felt that nudity would be too much for a Jane Austen costume drama.
Langton said that the producers even decided on having Firth dive in wearing his underwear, but cancelled that plan also because it would be historically incorrect.
He said that the production team finally opted to have him leap in fully clothed, bar his waistcoat and overcoat.
However, he assured fans that the footage of Mr Darcy striding out of the water in his drenched clothing was all shot using Firth.
“Nobody had the slightest inkling that Colin Firth, wearing a lightweight cotton voile shirt with his nipples showing underneath, would have such an effect,” he said. (ANI)

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