Jennifer Ehle ‘in negotiations’ to play Ana Steele’s mother in ’50 Shades’: UGH.


I really love the feature film version of Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, but if you’re looking for a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s work, you really have to go with the BBC miniseries starring Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie Bennett and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. The BBC miniseries made them both stars, to varying degrees, with Colin gracefully becoming a flat-out movie star and then an Oscar-winning lead actor. Meanwhile, Ehle has continued to work in film and television, usually as an ensemble player. One of the joys of The King’s Speech was having Ehle (who was playing Geoffrey Rush’s wife) and Colin Firth back together again in one brief scene, though. The length and quality of their careers will not matter, because for many people, they will always be Darcy and Elizabeth.

That is, unless Jennifer Ehle starts making a naked money-grab. Apparently, Ehle is negotiating to lay Anastasia Steele’s MOTHER in 50 Shades of Grey. UGH.

Universal Pictures and Focus Features are negotiating with Jennifer Ehle to play the role of Carla in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Carla is the mother of Anastasia Steele, she’s a strong Southern woman on her fourth marriage. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia and Charlie Hunnam plays Christian Grey in the Sam Taylor-Johnson directed adaptation of the EL James novel trilogy that is being produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. Ehle recently wrapped the Jose Padilha-directed Robocop and the Alan Rickman-directed A Little Chaos. She was last seen most memorably in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty. She’s repped by ICM Partners.

[From Deadline]

Oh, she just worked with Rickman? Good for her. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her in Zero Dark Thirty too – she played an American CIA operative in Afghanistan and she was great. So, I have no doubt that she’ll be able to play Ana Steele’s mom if the question is just about talent. Ehle could do it easily. But why would she want to? Why associate herself with this mess? Is the answer “money”? Probably.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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44 Responses to “Jennifer Ehle ‘in negotiations’ to play Ana Steele’s mother in ’50 Shades’: UGH.”

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  1. Frida_K says:

    Um, her dress if falling off in that last picture and her lettuce cups are showing.

  2. Beth says:

    This is horrible! WTF!? Lizzy Bennett?! Oh, hell no.

    • lisa says:

      all those unmarried sisters, they need the $$$

    • tracking says:


    • J.Mo says:

      She was PERFECT with Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice. Exact depiction of the novel which I’ve read many a time. I will never see the Keira Knightly version because she is just an actress. Jennifer Ehle WAS Elizabeth. This version was made ages ago btw, for those of you who seem to think it’s new -oh I see, the protest is about the new role & yes that movie will be as awful as the book.

      • Lucija says:

        I love the 1995 version, but Keira was great too. However Macfayden will always be my favorite Darcy.

      • Ally8 says:

        Watch the Keira version with the sound off… it’s beautifully photographed, but the dialogue is by Cliff’s Notes.

      • mayamae says:

        I’ve never seen Keira’s version either. I love the A&E version and have it on DVD. But I’m not a big fan of Keira and her underbite.

      • Bridget says:

        I protested for a long time, but I have to admit that Joe Wright’s movie really did have a lot ofgreat touches. And I really loved Matthew McFayden’s Darcy. Of course, nothing beats Ehle’s Lizzie.

  3. kranky says:

    You mean she does a (more than) decent English accent. She is from North Carolina.

    • Evelyn says:

      I’ve only seen her in ZDT, I was about to say “decent? I had no idea she was British!”
      But this explains a lot

    • Elodie says:

      Well… in all fairness she studied acting at the London Academy and spent over a decade living and working in England. She also lived with her parents for years before then and her mother is British (the actress who portrayed Aunt May in the Raimi’s Spiderman). When she came back to live in the US after she got married, one can guess she got back to the US accent. When she won her BAFTA back then for P&P and even the Tony in 2000, her accent was very much British.

    • Jaded says:

      She describes herself as “bilingual” because of her half British/half American life.

  4. Tig says:

    I just loved her in P&P- She was so lovely with the perfect complexion. Since this movie is going forward regardless, can’t begrudge her a paycheck. The mom is the mom- pretty straight forward. Elena is going to be the tricky one to cast.

  5. Elodie says:

    … I’m just going to stay in denial and all Mr Darcy for emergency here …

    On another… good god she is pretty, a young Meryl Streep vibe alright!

  6. Sandy says:

    She looks soooo different from what I remember from P&P ! Apparently she and Firth even dated at that time.

  7. neelyo says:

    I love her. She’s the daughter of stage actress Rosemary Harris (Aunt Mae in the Tobey Maguire SPIDERMAN films). I wish she’d do more films but I don’t think she wants that.
    I’m sure this role is a money grab but hopefully it will increase her visibility and get her some better roles.

  8. Jegede says:

    I was in CCSS A level school when Pride and Prejudice was introduced to my life via BBC.
    Jennifer Ehle will aalways be the definitive Lizzie Bennett.
    Her chemistry on and offcscreen with Colin Firth was legendary.
    Greatly under-appreciated actress
    I love you Jennie but this……Nooooooo!

  9. Toot says:

    She and Dakota do resemble. Loved her version of P&P.

  10. mslewis says:

    Well, a girl has to earn a living! I don’t begrudge her tying to make money but she is such a good actress. Her roles should be far above this mess. But there are many actresses her age out there right now and it’s hard to stand out from that crowd. So, I’m just going to ignore this movie and re-watch my tapes of “Pride & Prejudice.”

    (I had no clue she was Rosemary Harris’s daughter and that she was born in the U.S. I’ve never read her IMDB page.)

  11. LucyS says:

    She just got cast in a heist picture, too, with Travolta. She was on that terrible Patrick Wilson show playing a ghost. Unfortunately, she’s at that age right now where she and her contemporaries are only getting “mom” roles to women who are only a decade younger than they are. She’s incredibly talented, which makes her entrance into the sh*tshow that’s bound to be 50 Shades kind of disappointing.

  12. eliza says:

    Why is this becoming a movie? Why?

  13. Hrefna says:

    She’ll always be Calypso from The Camomile Lawn to me! I love her in P & P, but she just blew me away in the Camomile Lawn. The whole production sizzles, it’s a real comfort watch for me.

  14. Rai-rai says:

    No, no, no, no, no! Please don’t play in that… thing! Noooo! Oh, this is terrible.

  15. LAK says:

    Well, if we are judging, why skip over ROBOCOP??!! :(

    • Tig says:

      Amen to that- and what is with the horrible movie with Slyvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro playing geriatric boxers??? Saw the trailer waiting on Gravity to start. I just sat there wondering- who green lights this mess? BTW- joining the chorus of ravers on Gravity.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Ditto – saw stupid trailer – then 90 minutes of Sandra Bullock being the best actress on Earth (or off it!) in the best movie EVER.

    • nicegirl says:


  16. Harpreet says:

    Am I the only one who thinks she looks like Ellie Kemper from The Office and Bridesmaids?

  17. Dana M says:

    I can’t even get through the third book…the writing is terrible.

  18. kibbles says:

    She’s amazing and to me is a younger underrated version of Meryl Streep. Ehle is one of the most talented actresses out there and she exudes classiness. She’s not a fame whore and despite winning Tonys and a BAFTA, she is perfectly fine doing lesser roles so she can focus more time on her family. I don’t think she would do something just for money. If she had wanted that, she could have chosen to do more romcoms and stupid films in Hollywood. I’ve never read 50 Shades, but from what I gather here, the movie will be a hot mess. Hoping this is just a rumor and nothing more.

  19. Virgilia Coriolanus says:


  20. Abby says:


  21. islandwalker says:

    I loved the BBC version of P&P, the later movie version was awful. Run Jennifer, you are too goo for that crapfest.

  22. Grant says:

    She was great in Contagion too! (And she kind of saves the day…)

  23. moon says:

    Women her age probably don’t get offered too many roles. When you love acting, you take what you get. Better to be working than not.

  24. holly hobby says:

    What would Mr. Bennett say Lizzie? How horrible. I did catch her and Colin F in King’s Speech.

    I watched the movie version too and I like that as well as the BBC one.

  25. StaCat1 says:

    I get it–as an actor- they have to pay the rent. But I won’t lie…if she does this…my esteem for her will fall a notch.

    Still LOVE her though…

  26. Bridget says:

    I still can’t get over the fact that Game Of Thrones recast her. She would have been the perfect Catelyn Stark.

  27. snowmogal says:

    Love her. Does anyone know what happened to her left arm? Looks like a terrible accident.

  28. Charlotte says:

    Ehle is negotiating to lay Anastasia Steele’s MOTHER – is my favourite typo ever. Freudian slip?

  29. amilu says:

    Nonono, not Jennifer Ehle! I watch Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. And I’d rather not think of Elizabeth Bennet being in that low-rent garbage.