“Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie shouldn’t age,” says my Dad, leaning against the kitchen counter. “Seeing them get old…it just doesn’t…it’s weird.”
Back in the ’90s, the two British actors co-starred in Jeeves and Wooster. Fry and Laurie played, respectively, the unflappable, omniscient valet, Jeeves, and his dimwitted, talkative employer, Bertrum Wilberforce Wooster. The stories are set in an idyllic pre-war atmosphere, where the greatest ill that can befall a man is ridiculous romantic dilemmas or bogus get-rich-quick schemes. Let’s be honest, it’s pure escapism—albeit escapism with lively wit, brilliant plotting, and hilarious (if somewhat one-dimensional) characters. No one ages and, of course, no one dies.
That’s why it’s so weird to see old Fry and Laurie. I had a similar reaction to seeing Anthony Valentine in a modern movie. I’d had a crush on him in the 1975 TV show Raffles…and suddenly, he was in his seventies. He's old enough to be my grandfather.
Why this violent reaction, this jerking back from reality?