Rochester Round Up: Toby Stephens, Rochester ‘06
Which adaptation’s Rochester is the most accurate to the book and or sexy? According to the book, Rochester has been blinded, scarred heavily on his face, his hand has almost been damaged beyond being useful. He’s very disheveled and despondent, verging on suicidal when Jane arrives. What makes him sexy? Well, this is subjective but, he’s suddenly very willing to allow himself to be touched and helped by Jane and she is suddenly very willing to get close to him. They are much closer physically at the end of the book and Bronte goes into a fair amount of detail on this point (Jane sits in Rochester’s lap for example, something she would never do when they were engaged.) There is a lot of kissing and touching. There is also something about the intensity of the situation that makes it very exciting. The sexiest Rochester is the one who puts this across.
Accuracy: This is the least accurate of the three BBC minis that are available. Of course, it’s my favorite, anyway. Why? Because Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson have such wonderful chemistry and they really understand the teasing/fun side of the Jane/Rochester relationship. This whole mini-series is a little bit like fan fiction with all these extra scenes that didn’t happen in the book. Mostly make-out stuff. It’s divine, really.
Sexiness: Rochester tells Jane he wants a wife, not a nurse and in case she didn’t get the implications he goes on to say “to share my bed every night, or every day if we like.” See what I mean about fan fic? Then they go through a lot of face touching and looks that say “so you still think I’m fuckable then?” and then they lie down and do it on the grass next to the river. You know. Just like in the book. Whatever, I love it and I don’t care.