Part 2: Top 5 Costume Drama Actors

#5 Matthew Macfayden as Mr. Darcy

Honestly, Matthew Macfayden isn’t what I picture when I think of Mr. Darcy. I think of someone with more hauteur, but he deserves a spot on this list. C’mon! It’s Pride and Prejudice, the most famous book of costume drama’s staple, Jane Austen. His blue eyes, so soft whenever he looks at Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet, fixate on her in just the right scenes. Not to mention, when he walks across that field in such dishabille in one of the last movie’s scenes, who couldn’t swoon at him?

#4 Richard Armitage as John Thornton 

Another wonderful actor! He fit the role of John Thornton for me in North and South. He gave off hauteur AND sensuality. And when his character begins to transform through his falling in love with the heroine, I needed to fan myself. Those blue eyes!(I think I am noticing a theme here. A thing for blue eyes.)

#3 Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff

When we think of Ralph Fiennes, we think of him as Commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List or as Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. However, before Fiennes appeared in either of these movies, he played Heathcliff in the 1992 version of Wuthering Heights. I remember watching this movie on a rainy day, not expecting much more than a good performance. Let me say, how wrong I was! I watched the movie over and over. I still do at times. Little known, you need to watch this movie if you ever have the chance. Fiennes as Heathcliff has this dark, raw sensuality on the screen. Steven Spielberg even mentioned in an interview that Fiennes’ role in Wuthering Heights inspired him to cast the actor in Schindler’s List because of his “dark sexuality.”

And what color are his eyes? Blue.

#2 Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy 

It’s a given Colin Firth would appear on this list somewhere! He’s iconic for his role in the 1990s adaption of Pride and Prejudice. He IS Darcy. When I think of the character, I think of Firth. Sorry Macfayden. Your eyes are beautiful and boundless, but Firth and his dark eyes bore into the viewer. He’s haughty, he’s sexual. He’s handsome. He hit all the right notes in the adaption, and the wet shirt scene didn’t hurt. In fact, that scene launched him into stardom and made him the sex symbol of costume dramas.

But why isn’t he #1? Well…..

#1 Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark 

I was only born in the early 90s. I didn’t appreciate Firth as Darcy until after I read the book, Austen’s other novels, a few regency romances, and stumbled upon the miniseries. Don’t get me wrong. Firth is handsome. He’s an icon, without a doubt. But, Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark takes the cake. He’s the costume drama icon of my generation, and how could I be blamed for placing him on the highest pedestal? He sizzles whenever he crosses the screen, and his love for Demelza wrenches at my poor heart. Who could forget him swinging that scythe shirtless?


Yep, he’s a winner. And I so look forward to Season 2 of Poldark!


Did I miss anyone? Can you think of any other costume drama actors that are tall, dark, and handsome? That blew you away with their accent and their looks? Tell me in the comments below!


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