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!