Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan make Romantic Novelists' hearts throb

As it's Valentine's day tomorrow, I had to post this. Particularly as my all time romantic hero tops the list. Ah me. Johnny Depp. I am particularly keen on his depiction of John Wilmot Earl of Rochester in the little known but brilliant film Rochester. The Earl of Rochester notorious rake and libertine, who wrote such wonderfully cynical lines as If I by Miracle can be,/This live-long Minute true to thee,/'Tis all that Heaven allows is one of my favourite literary heroes, so seeing Johnny portraying him was like having all my christmases at once.

Am glad to see most of my heroes made it into the top ten, though am deeply puzzled by David Tennant at no 10, he'd have been in my top three. In fact I was having huge trouble about who came after Johnny, but decided in the end that Daniel, David and Richard would have had to share the honour. I didn't get round to the older men, but Clint and Sean would have been slugging it out if I had, with Harrison a close third....

Apart from anything else this gives me another excuse to put a picture of Johnny on my blog. Down girl, Down...

Members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association have voted Johnny Depp as the Number One Perfect Romantic Hero in a poll to mark Valentine’s Day. According to these authors, a romantic hero should be gorgeous, deliciously sexy, intensely masculine and have a commanding presence.

‘We should be qualified to judge,’ one writer commented. ‘After all, we create these heroes on paper every day.’

The top ten male celebrities voted the Perfect Romantic Hero were:

1. Johnny Depp
2. Daniel Craig
3. Sean Bean
4. Richard Armitage
5. Hugh Jackman
6. Colin Firth
7. Alan Rickman
8. Pierce Brosnan
9. George Clooney
10. David Tennant

A second poll, taken by members of the RNA bravely admitting to being ‘over a certain age’, voted for male celebrities over fifty who’ve ‘still got it’. Remarkable for his appearance on both polls, Pierce Brosnan took the crown for the over fifties by a huge margin.

The top ten Over-Fifty Perfect Romantic Heroes were:

1. Pierce Brosnan
2. Harrison Ford
3. Ranulph Fiennes
4. Bill Nighy
5. Liam Neeson
6. Sam Neill
7. Sean Connery
8. Peter O’Toole
9. Clint Eastwood
10. Omar Sharif

For further information about the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s poll results
please contact Katrina Power at Midas Public Relations
on 020 7590 0802 or


Sonetto said...

A small correction ... the film was "The Libertine" not Rochester.

I share your enthusiasm for Johnny Depp's amazing acting job as Rochester. I have gone back to the literature and investigated John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. He actually wrote some very lovely poetry. He was such a complex mixture of good (his artistic side) and bad (his alcoholism, his unfaithfulness, his debauchery). I have the DVD, have seen it numerous times and recommend it constantly to friends and acquaintances. Here is one example of Lord Rochester's poetry.

Absent of Thee I Languish Still

Absent from thee I languish still;
Then ask me not, when I return?
The straying fool 'twill plainly kill
To wish all day, all night to mourn.

Dear! from thine arms then let me fly,
That my fantastic mind may prove
The torments it deserves to try
That tears my fixed heart from my love.

When, wearied with a world of woe,
To thy safe bosom I retire
where love and peace and truth does flow,
May I contented there expire,

Lest, once more wandering from that heaven,
I fall on some base heart unblest,
Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven,
And lose my everlasting rest.

bohnny bon said...

I agree-Johnny Depp is the greatest, but isn't the movie you are referring to The Libertine? That is where he played the Earl of Rochester.

Jane Henry said...

You are quite right both, (and welcome to the blog by the way!) yes it is the Libertine. That's the trouble with posting something five minutes before the school run.

Sonetto, pretty much all the poetry/speeches Johnny makes in the film are taken from Rochester's actual writings. I particularly liked the use A Ramble in St James Park, which I had always read as just simply rude, but in the film you really got a sense of how degenerate it was, and how filled with self loathing Rochester was. I also liked the way Charles II who was genuinely fond of him got so frustated with him - such a waste of his genius. The stuff with Dr Bendo actually happened, thought not perhaps exactly as portrayed in the film.

And the speech he gave to Parliament about the succession at the end of the film was brilliant and poignant in turns.

You've just made me realise I have to see that film again!

bohnny bon said...

Dear Jane,
You have definitely inspired me to watch the DVD-I just got it.
I hope you have seen Sweeney Todd-talk about one sexy, tortured soul!

Nic said...

No wonder I enjoy these kinds of books so much - you're all thinking of my gorgeous blokes when you're writing... ;-)

PS Have I ever mentioned Sean Bean sent me a card when I got married...

Jane Henry said...

bohnny bon - Sweeny Todd is on my to watch film. Also love JD in Sleepy HOllow and particularly in Edward Scissorhands

Nic HOW DID SEAN BEAN SEND YOU A CARD????? I know thousands of romantic novelists who would be extremely jealous!!!

bohnny bon said...

Please let me know what you think when you see Sweeney Todd-Johnny Depp was mesmerizing. I now have almost all his DVD's and will put Sleepy Hollow and Edward Scissorhands right behind The Libertine on my "watch next" list, but I'll be surprised if they can compete with Don Juan de Marco or Sweeney Todd as all-time favorites.

Persephone said...

"In fact I was having huge trouble about who came after Johnny . . . ."

You're not saying you had trouble with Alan Rickman's and Colin F-F-F-Firth's being on the list, surely? Say it isn't so!

Anna Lucia said...

Hoorah!!! Other people who think JD in Libertine was genius, and the EofR was frankly fascinating....

And I thought I was odd... ;-)

Jane Henry said...

Persephone how great to see you here!!! No, no, no not saying I don't like Colin or Alan - Alan always rocks my boat, particularly when he's doing nasty. It's just that Johnny, David, Daniel, and do it more....

But just remembered that I really really am in love with Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. I want a man who says, Whatever you do, STAY ALIVE, and I will find you... Woohoo...

Anna, no you're not odd. I think Penny Jordan shares our preoccupation. What I loved about The Libertine was that Johnny gave such humanity to the EoR and you realise why he was such a cynical old bastard. I do hope his puritanical wife didn't really convert him on his deathbed. Or if she did, that he had his fingers crossed behind his back...

Barbara said...

It is always about the Rickman, for me. :) The talented Mr. Depp cannot quite compare, alas.

Perhaps he might invest in a more mellifluous voice?

*swoons into fainting couch*

Sonetto said...

Rickman is the man for me, has a little to do with age. I remember Sense & Sensibility in which he portrayed a most sensitive and loving Colonel Brandon, who helped nurse Marianne back to health.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Here's to love and romance and all the good things they bring.

Jane Henry said...

Barbaba and Sonetto, I like Alan Rickman in everything he's in, even when he's playing the baddy. I am particularly fond of him as Snape.

But sorry Johnny will always be the king of my heart.

Until he dies that is... because I have a whole host of dead heroes to. To the top of the list being Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. No one but no one can ever match him...

Hmm... maybe I should post top ten DEAD heroes....

Sonetto said...

Just in case you don't know, I agree with you about Johnny Depp. I'm a convert ... didn't pay much attention to him until The Libertine and then I started watching his movies on the channels I subscribe to (I get 'em all). I ordered Benny and Joon, which has another favorite of mine, Aidan Quinn (an under-rated actor who just keeps on doing good work, mostly in Indie films I think). Just received the DVD and will look at it again tonight.

Anyhow, I do consider Johnny to be the greatest actor I've ever seen during my many years (remember, I'm ancient) of living. I kind of believe a lot of people haven't awakened to the power and versatility of his work, and just remember him from Jump Street.

I don't know how he does it, but he is different in every film and hits every requirement of every role perfectly. I could go on forever about what he did in just one film, The Libertine of course, because I think he demonstrated every aspect of an actor's craft. It's amazing to look at the film while focusing only on his face ... that face comes across with expression exactly suited to each line of dialogue. That's not easy to do and a great many actors say the words but don't convey the meaning of the lines with the body and face.

I appreciate the feedback for our remarks ... look forward to more of that as we discuss the actors we love to see.