During Monday’s (April 7) appearance on “The Tonight Show,” guest Colin Firth reveals to Jimmy Fallon that the iconic “Pride & Prejudice” scene where he supposedly emerges from a lake in a clingy shirt, dripping wet, never actually happened, despite the fact that it got voted as the most memorable drama moment in British TV history last summer — which led to a giant statue of the moment being created in Hyde Park.
In the above video, Firth says, “It never happened. I never got out of a lake in a white shirt. … They’ve turned me into Ursula Andress from the end of the Bond movie … a stunt guy jumped into a kind of algae-ridden pond and then it cut to me … then it got singled out as a memorable moment … and now 20 years later it’s the only thing that happened and they’ve added the emergence from the lake, which actually never took place.”
The scene in question is below, from the 1995 miniseries adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous book of the same name. And you can see in the video, Firth never emerges from the lake as a dripping-wet hunk. In fact, by the time he encounters Elizabeth Bennet, his shirt is fairly dry and definitely not clinging.
However, we believe we have solved the mystery here. There was a 2008 miniseries in England called “Lost in Austen,” which sees a modern-day Londonite named Amanda fall through a portal in her bathroom and join the world of “Pride & Prejudice.” The series includes a scene where Amanda asks Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) to jump a pool and he emerges in a clinging white shirt. See below.
We can’t say whether the confusion is with the British TV viewers who voted in the poll or with the art installation, but either way, perhaps both the most iconic TV drama moment and the art installation should be credited to Elliot Cowan and not Colin Firth.