Not really a hard question to visitors of this site, obviously, but the Jane Austen Today blog is asking for your vote here.  And if you care to, share your ideas about why Tom made such an unequalled Mr. Bingley.


Tom Mison for best Bingley

I think Tom Mison's performance as Mr. Bingley in the farced Pride and Prejudice setting of Lost in Austen is the best portrayal of Mr. Bingley.

I'd like to start with my credibility in being able to judge Mr. Bingley as I've memorized the 2005 adaptation, have sat through the 4 hour mini-series of 1995 made famous by the infamous wet Colin Firth scene, I've outworn the VHS of the 1940s Pride and Prejudice with Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy because I have a deep love for Olivier and I've also to round out my Pride and Prejudice viewing have seen the 1980s BBC version.

So what Tom Mison's Mr. Bingley apart from the others? Well in The Holiday (I love this movie) Kate Winslet would describe it as gumption. In the 2005 performance of Simon Wood, let's face it, Mr. Bingley was nothing more than a side kick to the adorable Matthew Macfadyen's softer portrayal of Mr. Darcy. And the only way to make Macfadyen's Darcy seem unsympathetic and not a love sick puppy was for Wood's character to be the love sick puppy. Extra baffoonish I'll say. And for the most part, all other Mr. Bingley's have gone down this road of being the side kick.

Here is where Mison takes center stage. Her went after Amanda (the woman who finds herself lost in Pride and Prejudice world). Here is where I would like to point out the moment where Lost in Austen hooked me in. It was when Amanda, at the Assembly Dance, kissed Mr. Bingley. There is no other way to describe this scene as then OMG! The inner fan girl in me has swooned. This is the Jane Austen version of the story I have always dreamed about. Raw passion being expressed.

But in setting the story right, Amanda points Bingley back in the direction of Jane Bennett. And here the story of Bingley is set in stone. His love for Jane is ever constant from here on out. He loves her as we all know Darcy professes to Elizabeth how he loves her: ardently, violently, and has been bewitched. Except Bingley shows us what these feelings are like. He remains devoted and true to Jane, even when she marries Mr. Collins (to the horror of all Austenites I'm sure).

Tom Mison's performance as Mr. Bingley goes above and beyond the role Jane Austen ever gave to this character. In the book Bingley is just the man who loves Jane and is told to do otherwise by Mr. Darcy. Again, it's always coming back to Elizabeth and Darcy and in the book Jane and Bingley are pawns in the love battle between the heroine and hero. But in Lost in Austen, Tom Mison's Bingley is given the chance to be a romantic hero in his own right. Bingley swoops in to save Jane Bennett, or I should say Jane Collins, from a loveless marriage. His love remains unchanged and he offers himself to her with no strings attached. He saves her. He gets to be the hero and the man woman are longing to swoon over in their lives.

Tom Mison's Bingley is more than the sidekick, baffoon. He is Austen leading man that all viewers will come to love.