People in London are learning the sobering lesson that Colin Firth's legendary sex appeal as Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Darcy, the star-making role he played in the BBC's 1995 miniseries, is somewhat lost when he is transformed into a 12-foot fiberglass sculpture.
Giganto-Firth, The Guardian's Liz Bury reports, currently rises out of the Serpentine lake in London's Hyde Park and is meant to invoke the scene in which Darcy takes a refreshing (and sexy) swim. (See video to right.) Though never appearing in Jane Austen's actual text, the scene was voted "the most memorable moment in a British TV drama" in a UKTV survey. The fact that Darcy's dreamy dip wasn't an Austen creation is rankling at least one Austen scholar, according to Bury. John Mullan, who wrote What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved, said: "This is an installation that celebrates the imagination of Andrew Davies [the miniseries' writer] rather than that of Jane Austen."
The Pride and Prejudice miniseries has a rabid fan base, but even those who love Firth in all his sopping wet glory have decided that the statue, which commemorates the launch of UKTV's Drama channel, is perhaps a little unsettling.
Have to say, I'm finding the Mr Darcy statue in the Serpentine vaguely creepy and I love everything P&P! http://t.co/ULRj1Pmh9r— Libby W (@ttwardrobe) July 8, 2013
Others are rightly pointing out that the statue makes Firth look like an evil sea monster:
This British version of Pacific Rim is a bit rubbish. http://t.co/h6WVS07V2y— keri (@kerihw) July 8, 2013
Giant Mr. Darcy statue in London pond...terrifying. http://t.co/67qLQI8gkt— Sian Riley (@ShazzySusan) July 8, 2013
And others rightfully think the statue—what with its protruding pectorals—is decidedly not classy.
Wow. Who knew anything involving Colin Firth could be so tacky? Giant statue of Firth's Mr Darcy built in Hyde Park http://t.co/zXMWHhpc5m— larissa archer (@larissaarcher) July 8, 2013
The statue will travel to several locations around the UK before ultimately landing in Lyme Park, Cheshire, where the scene was filmed. And where it will hopefully continue to scare children and other passersby for the foreseeable future.