A day of working with [Hugh Laurie], rather thrown off course by Emma Thompson arriving at twelve to have her script rescued. She had been writing her screenplay of Sense and Sensibility on a Mac, using Final Draft. […] She is rather keen for Hugh to play Colonel Brandon and equally keen, so far as I can see, for me to play no one at all. Heigh ho, quite right, no doubt.
[…] Hugh and I didn’t manage to write much: we watched The Budget instead and started reading Emma’s screenplay, which I had printed out for Hugh at her request. She’s actually done a smashing job. It really reads well: I was in floods of tears, absolutely loving it. Such a great story, of course. Hugh would be excellent as Brandon. But top marks to Emma, really brilliant work. The cunt of it is that she’s right, there’s absolutely nothing in it for me. Boo hoo. It could make Hugh a star, which he thoroughly deserves, but yours truly is going to be a bit of  stay-at-home naffness, while Hugh jets off to Hollywood as Mr Big. I have always known that this will happen, but what will come hard will be everyone’s sympathy for me.

Stephen Fry, November 1993.

In the end, Alan Rickman was cast as Colonel Brandon and Hugh Laurie made do with Mr Palmer.


I knew a lady very like your sister — the same impulsive sweetness of temper — who was forced into, as you put it, a better acquaintance with the world. The result was only ruination and despair. Do not desire it, Miss Dashwood.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! – When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice