Given the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma coming out this year, it’s on my mind! We’ve looked at Mr. Knightleys, now let’s look at on-screen versions of Emma Woodhouse!
1948: Judy Campbell
1960s: Diana Fairfax
Another live BBC TV version. Fairfax was also in The Count of Monte Cristo (1956), David Copperfield (1956), The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1957), The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1958), Bleak House (1959), Moll Flanders (1975), Love in a Cold Climate (1980), Sense and Sensibility (1981), The House of Eliott (1992), and Hard Times (1994).
1972: Doran Godwin
A BBC TV miniseries. Godwin did a lot of other TV, but nothing notable in the period vein.
1996: Kate Beckinsale
Another British TV miniseries, but this time produced by ITV. Beckinsale has starred in many period pieces, including Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), The Golden Bowl (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), Van Helsing (2004), The Aviator (2004), and Love & Friendship (2016) — and she’s probably my favorite Emma!
1996: Gwyneth Paltrow
The first feature film version. Paltrow has also done a number of period films, including Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994), Jefferson in Paris (1995), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), and Sylvia (2003).
2009: Romola Garai
Back to TV, back to the BBC! Garai is also a frock flicks veteran, including Daniel Deronda (2002), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), I Capture the Castle (2003), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Vanity Fair (2004), Mary Bryant (2005), As You Like It (2006), Amazing Grace (2006), Angel (2007), Atonement (2007), Glorious 39 (2009), The Crimson Petal and the White (2011), The Hour (2011-12), Suffragette (2015), Churchill’s Secret (2016), The Miniaturist (2017), and the forthcoming The Windermere Children and Miss Marx.
2020: Anya Taylor-Joy
This newest adaptation will be a feature film. Although I hadn’t heard of her, Taylor-Joy has a decent resume that includes The Witch (2015), The Miniaturist (2017), Peaky Blinders (2019), and the forthcoming Radioactive and The Northman.
Who’s your favorite Emma?