Cover Photo: Nick Wall / Netflix

The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ star makes a persuasive Mr Elliot, if you ask us

Yet another Jane Austen adaptation is on its way, and Henry Golding has a new role for his fans to obsess about.

The Malaysian actor has been cast as Mr Elliot in the upcoming Netflix adaption of Persuasion, the last novel penned by Austen. Golding took to Instagram to share the first look at his character, who is the cold, unfeeling cousin of the heroine Anne Elliot, played by Dakota Johnson.

In the photos, Golding is shown wearing Regency-era outfits, complete with silk cravats, fine tailcoats and top hats. Compared to Cosmo Jarvis’ Captain Wentworth, who is Persuasion’s leading man, Golding’s character looks solemn and sophisticated.

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The upcoming Netflix film, directed by Carrie Cracknell, will follow the plot of Austen’s romance novel faithfully, showing the exploits of the unmarried Anne Elliot and her family as they try to cope with their dwindling finances.

But Persuasion is also one of Netflix’s women-led projects that eschew historical accuracy to embrace a racially diverse and inclusive cast—something that modern viewers are clearly in favour of, if the success of Bridgerton is anything to go by.

That’s a big plus for actors of Asian descent, who are often passed over for such roles—even after countless adaptions, in this case of Jane Austen films—for their white counterparts. In Golding’s case, he took on the role of Mr Elliot as an “opportunity to play against type.”

For Golding’s fans, however, the film offers the opportunity to see the Crazy Rich Asians actor in something other than the dapper suits he is known for—and perhaps find a newfound appreciation for Regency-era menswear fashion.

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