Henry Golding in a cravat

What Do You MEAN Henry Golding Is in Persuasion but Not the Romantic Lead?

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Henry Golding is easily a romantic lead in every sense. So when I heard he was going to star in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I just assumed he was going to be romantic lead Frederick Wentworth. But, you know, as they say, you know what happens when you make assumptions …

When Variety first reported Golding’s casting, they were also shocked that he was not Wentworth and was, instead, playing Anne Elliot’s (Dakota Johnson) cousin Mr. Elliot. Like, why? When Golding was right there to be Wentworth? Wouldn’t you want to see Henry Golding falling in love and being the Jane Austen man of our dreams? It’s extra mind boggling considering Golding was already the romantic lead in a massive hit with Crazy Rich Asians.

But instead, we just have these first pictures of Golding as Mr. Elliot balancing a teacup on his thigh to keep us going.

No, really, I will be thinking about this teacup for far too long. Blame Jane Austen. She made it so the slightest touch or gesture is, arguably, the hottest thing that can exist. We will always have Mr. Darcy in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice flexing his hand after simply helping Lizzie Bennet into a carriage.

The first look of Golding, Johnson, and Cosmo Jarvis (who is playing Wentworth) has fans talking about the Austen adaptation. And if we all love one thing, it’s a Jane Austen adaptation where people barely touch each other.

Twitter, while obsessed with our first look at Persuasion, was also shocked that Golding was not, in fact, our Wentworth.

While we’re still going to cry over Mr. Elliot (and probably Anne and Wentworth), we have a while to wait for it. The movie isn’t set to be released on Netflix until 2022. So we just get to stop and think about these pictures for a … year.

So I can’t wait to watch Persuasion and fall in love with Mr. Elliot instead of Wentworth. (So sorry to Cosmo Jarvis, you have an amazing name though.) Henry Golding balancing that tea on his thigh? I’m in.

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.