Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

August 4, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 3:18 pm

Toby Stephens is Hot

This bit of news courtesy of Bronteana reader Pennyforyourdreams. It doesn’t have any direct bearing on the new adaptation of Jane Eyre, in which Mr. Stephens will play Mr Rochester, but it has strangely increased my confidence in his ability to handle the role:

The actor Toby Stephens is hot. Very hot indeed. Orange flames are creeping up his shirt, which he has just set alight while brewing up a pot of tea on his kitchen stove. Cue panicked slapping of the fire (by him, I’m afraid – I just stare open-mouthed) and a volley of choice swearwords. Finally putting the blaze out, he removes the blackened garment altogether and mournfully observes: “Well, that’s the end of that shirt.”

The rest of the interview is at Pennyforyourdreams’s blog here.

This anecdote also reminded me of a scene in the latest BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre from 1983. When I first saw it, one scene stuck out in my mind: the ‘brandy and biscuits’ scene. In it, Mr Rochester takes Jane into a room, saying: ‘Brandy and biscuits! We don’t need servants for that!’ It was charming that Mr Rochester would be so proud of his ability to provide brandy and biscuits for himself- and indeed a friend- without assistance.

Mr Rochester: Well, now, let’s have some refreshments! Here, jane.
Jane: Brandy and biscuits, sir?
Mr Rochester: No, no… I never touch brandy. I’ll just make a nice pot of- *FULMINATED ANATHEMA*
Jane: Not again!



  1. Aw, Toby, the poor dea,. A man with “issues”.

    Comment by The Dream Itself — August 5, 2006 @ 10:03 pm |Reply

  2. His issues (with making tea and otherwise) increase my confidence in him and his ability to understand Rochester’s character.

    Comment by Brontëana — August 6, 2006 @ 5:58 pm |Reply

  3. I’ve just realised after watching Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre yesterday on television, that Samuel West played St. John Rivers!

    Samuel West was in the brilliant Cambridge Spies along with Toby Stephens!

    Comment by marshalsea — August 7, 2006 @ 1:57 am |Reply

  4. Bronteana: Thanks for posting the interview on the blog. I’ve just re-read Jane Eyre while I was a bit poorly and I got half way through it and suddenly came to the conclusion that Toby Stephens was all wrong for Rochester! I think it’s all that talk of black hair and ugliness. Oh well, as long as he captures the essence of Rochester, it’ll be fine. I hope.

    Comment by pennyforyourdreams — August 7, 2006 @ 2:57 pm |Reply

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