So, this isn’t going to be one of those deep choices. I’ve seen other people’s picks for this: of course Richard III would be great (and a dream come true for Richard Armitage) and at least two people have commented that they would like to see him play Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. These are both amazing picks. I’m going to go a totally different direction with my choice. I would like to see him play Fitzwilliam Darcy…not Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but Fitzwilliam Darcy from Sally Smith O’Rourke’s novel The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. Here is the book description from Booklist:
New York artist Eliza Knight stumbles across an antique dressing table that includes the added bonus of secreted letters, apparently between Jane Austen and a real-life Mr. Darcy. Caught up in her romantic notions about Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the possibility that Darcy may have been more than Austen’s invention, Eliza enlists the aid of an eccentric researcher as well as a handsome and mysterious Virginia horse breeder, Fitzwilliam Darcy. Three years earlier, on a horse-buying junket to England, Darcy had a life-altering experience that makes him now anxious to buy the one letter written by Austen before it goes to auction at Sotheby’s. For Eliza, the letter represents a possible fortune; for Darcy, it represents possibly requited love. O’Rourke alternates between the past and the present in this fascinating novel that pays tribute to Jane Austen’s enduring ideals of romantic love.
Darcy as a real person! Yes, please. Richard Armitage playing a character that has to deal with the impossible existence of time travel–yup, that sounds good to me too. The man dressed in both period costume and modern attire, not a bad combo. And did I mention he would be back on a horse! Plus, he’d get to work on an American accent. In all seriousness, if anyone was going to play the man who inspired Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, I can’t imagine anyone else in the role but Richard Armitage.