Novel to Screenplay
Auditions and Casting
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (2005)
Kiera Knightly stars as Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen's beloved, full-blooded heroine, who falls in love unexpectedly when a new neighbor moves into Hartfordshire. Elizabeth is one of
five sisters, and in Regency England, the lack of a male heir was an
unfortunate problem for their parents, who must find suitable husbands to provide for the family.
Matthew Macfayden stars as Mr. Darcy, the proud friend of Mr. Bingley, who has just moved into a neighboring estate.
When compared with Andrew Davies' 1995 miniseries adaptation, this film does gloss over many aspects of Austen's original
novel to condense it for a feature length film, but it remains a fine adaptation and a joyful diversion.
This film is rated PG for some mild thematic elements.
From Novel to Screenplay
Novelist Deborah Moggach wrote the first draft of the "Pride and Prejudice" script, with assistance from screenwriter Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot"). One Working Title insider stated: "We're trying to do something that
pleases the enthusiasts and the Austen fans, that's a faithful adaptation but with a bit more muscle."
Auditions and Casting
British actress Keira Knightley's contract for the movie made the then
19-year old one of Britain's highest paid actresses, second only to Academy Award winner Catherine Zeta Jones.
Knightley had previously worked in "Love Actually," another film produced by the same company, Working Title.
Working Title said of Knightley: "She is quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and,
to crown the whole, she means to join our cast." 2
Knightley beat out contender Romola Garai (of "Daniel Deronda" fame) for the
lead role of the independent, strong-opinioned Elizabeth. Knightley and Garai competed head-to-head in 2002,
for the role of Lara Antipova in the television adaptation of "Dr. Zhivago." In that contest,
Knightley also won the role over Garai.
Shooting for the period romance began in July, 2004.
The film was shot entirely in England. Burghley House (located near Stamford in Lincolnshire),
one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan Age, was chosen for Rosings.
The house was used in previous films such as "The Golden Bowl", along with a number of
television movies. Jo Pavey, Assistant House Manager at Burghley House, stated: "It [was]
fantastic news, we're really thrilled that the house is going to be featured in the film.
It's great publicity for us and for Lincolnshire as a whole. The house will be used as Rosings,
the home of Lady Catherine de Burgh in the film, so it's a pretty major role. The main character,
Elizabeth Bennett, goes to visit her there and is intimidated by its splendour. I think they've
picked the perfect place as it's definitely an impressive location." 3.
Both the interior and exterior of the house was used in the film. Surrounding areas of St.
George's Street and St. Mary's Street in Stamford were also featured in the film.
The actresses playing the Bennet sisters lived on the set together before the actual shoot began, in order to
form sisterly bonds.
Behind the Scenes and Candid Photos
Premiere and Awards Photos
1. Daughtry, Adam. "Wright Takes 'Pride,'" Variety (January 18, 2004).
2. "Here Comes The Pride: Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice," Empire (April 28, 2004).
3. "Pirates Star Keira Films at Mansion," Lincolnshire Echo (July 8, 2004).