Willoughby Greg Wise! He’s handsome. He’s British. He’s sensitive (in my imagination). He helped Emma Thompson rub Kenneth Branagh’s face in it*. He’s older now, but he’s just gotten more distinguished. Please allow me to wax poetic about Greg Wise!
First, he’s almost the BEST BOYFRIEND EVER in The Buccaneers (1995). He’s into POETRY. He understands about the beyondness of things! He loves England and his country house! And, he’s the first guy to understand that Nan St. George isn’t the child that everyone else thinks she is. Okay, so it doesn’t help that he takes off for South America when he should continue to woo Nan, but it’s so he can make money and come back and be all principled in parliament, so we’ll cut him some slack.
And then there’s Sense and Sensibility (1995). Again, he’s not just hot, he’s INTO POETRY. What young woman doesn’t want a poet for a beau? Even better, he can rescue you on his white steed when you need rescuing. He thinks you’re fabulous. He flouts convention. He shows you a good time. Oh, and he’s rich!
Yes, so there’s the small problem of him throwing you over for an heiress when push comes to shove, but we know that he’s going to regret that decision for the rest of his life.
Luckily for us, Wise puts on uniform and joins the Horatio Hornblower series for #3, “Loyalty.” He plays Major Côtard and helps Hornblower spy on those nasty French — but who cares when there’s all those buttons to fondle:
In Cranford (2007-9), Wise plays Sir Charles Maulver, the local businessman/entrepreneur who plans to bring the railroad to a small town. Okay, so maybe his character is a bit too on the financial side of things and doesn’t have much poetry, but I’ll forgive him once I see his beautiful, silvery sideburns:
He’s rumored to be joining The Crown (the BBC’s in-production TV series about the life of Elizabeth II) as Lord Louis Mountbatten, the queen’s cousin. So hopefully we’ll get to keep a watch on those silvery sideburns!
* Kenneth Branagh left Emma Thompson for Helena Bonham Carter, but in my opinion, Thompson gets the last laugh as she then hooked up with Wise, 7 years younger than she. The two are still together, married, and with children!