Catching Up with the Girls of “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”


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If you’re just tuning in, things are getting a little bit crazy right now on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the YouTube adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which has captured a fandom of its own and the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of viewers.

To give you the very-quick, hope-you-read-the-book-or-at-least-saw-Bridget-Jones-rendition, Lizzie has just been informed that her wilder sister Lydia, in the clutches of the unbelievably gorgeous devious George Wickham, is about to be ruined via a get-rich-quick scheme that would have fried Jane Austen’s hair right off. Darcy, in his terse, lovable, mysterious manner, has arranged for Lizzie to speed back home to her family — including the sister whose reputation is about to be julienned in one of the truest ways you can do that to a person in 2013 — and, we are sure, is about to pull off a most dashing and gallant rescue, proving his character and worth to the doubting heroine. This is the world of P&P and LBD: an acerbic, witty fairy tale, originally tightly corseted and now unraveled for 2013 through the use of a charming female vlogger and a socially awkward, metrosexual man.

The girls at LeakyCon
The girls at LeakyCon 2012

LBD also spawned an entire world of its own: scratch below the casual viewing level and you’ll find a level of interaction that boggles. The characters all have presences online as though they are real; their interactions, follows, @s, and more all line up with the release of each point of the story. You’ll even find extra content, like the pictures Georgina took while Darcy and Lizzie toured the city, or the Pemberley Digital Web site. Oh, yes, Pemberley is now a hip digital media company, and even has a YouTube channel demoing a juicy new buggy automatic video-uploading app that is sure to “accidentally” uncover some extra scenes down the line. Lydia Bennet has her own vlog where you can watch her relationship with Wickham unfold; Mary Bennet is an emo cousin, and Kitty Bennet is an actual cat. When Jane has her heart broken her Pinterest board erupts in sad pins; mysterious tweets from Bing add confusion about his decision to leave town; Jane, in this version a fashionista, Tumbls her favorite looks, and Charlotte’s Twitter reaveals, in real time, when Wickham’s dastardly plan goes live.

Fans have taken to this expansive digital playground, interacting with the fictional characters. Lydia pleads her case for her relationship with George; William confesses confusion (before he is aware of Lizzie’s videos) about the reason so many people are interested in him.

It’s a vast, immersive, entertaining, confusing world that shows us just how little we can trust that flickering line between fiction and real life: an experiment that could have clunked on the floor of the idea room. With 140,000 subscribers, that fear has long passed.

LeakyNews had an opportunity recently to sit with the four main ladies of the cast – Ashley Clements (Lizzie Bennet), Mary Kate Wiles (Lydia Bennet), Laura Spencer (Jane Bennet), and Julia Cho (Charlotte Lu) – in Los Angeles. What you’ve seen on Tumblr is true: these guys have become fast friends. They hang out before and after the interview, they finish each other’s sentences, they are sweet and happy and delightful, and they have a lot to say about the series, what has happened within it, and what has happend to them.

Click here to start, and we hope you enjoy!

  • http://twitter.com/starkid4thewin Rebecca

    This is such a great interview about one of my favorite shows! I really do love the LBD ladies!

    However, now I’m slightly embarrassed because I was the person who tweeted Wes, Daniel, and Ashley about the arm wrestling picture asking who won! First, Wes tweeted me back saying “I did of course!” then Daniel tweeted him and me saying “In your dreams!” then I asked Ashley and she said “I got to watch. Clearly I’m the winner.” To this day, I didn’t know it was a staged picture. Illusion=shattered

    • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

      Hahaa – well, we totally understand the instinct :)

    • http://twitter.com/xcar0line Caroline C

      Any idea where we can see this photo? For science, of course.

      • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

        Why what are you talking about of course I didn’t search through four people’s twitters over three months and thousands of posts to find this, of course I didn’t.

        http://instagram.com/p/SCcEV5I1FY/

  • Lucy

    Great interview! The LBD ladies seem to be so talented, smart, and lovely! Its awesome to see how they (especially Ashley) like to engage with their fans and connect with the audience in a way that often doesn’t happen.

    • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

      Thanks so much for reading !:)

  • http://twitter.com/TrillianBlack Trillian Black

    Thanks so much for the interview. <3 Love the Lizzie Bennet diaries! I'd really enjoy more Behind-the-scenes stuff from that show. :)

    • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

      We’ll try and do that for ya :)

  • Renata

    Very good interview! I enjoyed it very much! I love the LBD cast and all their interactions together and with the fans.

    The writers did such a good job modernizing the story. I mean they constantly blow me away. And I really don’t want it to end! Every time I finish a good book/tv series I feel like I’ve lost a friend and I know I’ll feel that way when the LBD finally comes to an end.

    (I noticed a lot of typos in this article though and bothered me slightly.)

    • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

      Yeah, sorry about that. Transcripts get overwhelming when you’re doing this on a hobby basis. ;) However I went through this morning and got rid of a lot of them – if you find more please let me know!

  • EJ

    Great interview! :) I’ve been watching the show for a while and can’t wait to see what comes next. Thanks to the cast and crew for having such a great show and giving my something to look forward to, Mondays, and Thursdays. and Tuesdays and Fridays.. And now apparently Wednesdays again! : ) So.. basically every weekday. Wow!

    And thanks to to LeakyNews for the interview! I loved reading it. And me reading 7 pages of anything online is rare!

    • http://leakynews.com LeakyNews

      Awesome! That’s great to hear, thank you for telling us! That lets us know how much more LBD stuff we should do, so it’s awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/thisisnotmyshoe Kristin Gonterman

    Ah, this is such a lovely interview! It was great to read how close the cast has become to each other and how grateful they are to the fans. It’s so easy to fangirl over LBD, because I’ve loved Pride and Prejudice since I was an adolescent, but there’s more to it than just it being a retelling of a great story. The cast is so humble and in touch with the fans and the story is amazingly immersive. These two elements combine to make you really care for the characters. You want to see each of them happy and never do you find yourself thinking, “Well, Lydia is getting what she deserves,” or “This is what Charlotte gets for settling with Mr. Collins.” Instead you want to see them succeed. It’s brilliant.

  • DFTBAndrea

    Fantastic interview! Thanks LeakyNews.

  • http://twitter.com/karakamos Kara

    This is such a great interview! I love that they talk about how the show’s really about the four girls and their friendships/sisterhood. I think I’ve really missed seeing that bond between them, since they haven’t been able to all be on screen together recently (I know it’s for, like, the plot and stuff, but still, I miss it). So it’ll be great to finally have them back together again, and happy. Soon. Hopefully?

    Thanks for this, Melissa!

  • Jessica-Robyn

    Normally I avoid reading cast interviews for projects I like because it can completely ruin the illusion, but the LDB group are all so fantastic that I want to see what they’re saying and what they think about their characters or the show itself. Great interview! These ladies are such a huge part of what has made LBD so amazing for us fans!

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