When Brianna fired that musket ball at Stephen Bonnet’s nether region, she thought she’d killed him or at least put him out of service. Little did she know that Stephen Bonnet, resourceful privateer that he is, tricked a country doctor into treating his “wound” and sailed away fully functional and with no hard feelings but er…minus one testicle. The testicle in question was preserved in a jar and this jar sits atop Bonnet’s cabin desk. With Jamie Fraser and Roger MacKenzie on his trail, this jar is the only thing Bonnet takes with him when he makes a run for his life.
I’m not surprised: this is such a Stephen Bonnet thing to do. Of all the treasures he’s amassed during his entire pirating career, why a floating testicle? What a badass!
In casting Stephen Bonnet, I thought long and hard about this relic of his manhood. Which actor could run around with his own testicle in a jar and still appear dignified enough to live up to the title “Gentleman Pirate”? Why, Colin Farrell of course…
Despite his lack of resemblance to the blonde, green-eyed Captain Bonnet, Colin Farrell has all the necessary prerequisites of an unapologetically wild Irish pirate. Farrell is already running around like a crazed mongoose. Heck, he’s the modern day Stephen Bonnet.
Colin Farrell seems dirty…so grimy that only a bath in rubbing alcohol and a rub down with hand sanitizer could clean him up. Is he too dirty to play Stephen Bonnet? Well, Stephen Bonnet isn’t exactly running for the priesthood. I remember all too well Diana Gabaldon’s description of Bonnet’s crusty bed sheets as he “had his way” with Brianna Randall.
Crusty bed sheets and raping notwithstanding, Stephen Bonnet would clean up nicely. He’s likable: there’s something about his superstitions, his Shakespearean soliloquies, his random acts of chivalry that suggests the presence of a gentleman under his rough exterior.
I’ve had reservations about casting Colin Farrell as Stephen Bonnet. A passing glance at Colin Farrell’s bad dye job as Alexander the Great made me realize that Farrell will never pass for a blonde. Indeed, if my casting decisions were strictly based on physical resemblance, I’d cast David Beckham or even retread to a young Sean Bean to play Stephen Bonnet. But Colin Farrell’s performance as Captain John Smith in The New World (2005) showed me a reserve of dignity which I never gave him credit for. When the time comes for Bonnet’s death scene, I’m confident that Colin Farrell can bring a surprising amount of dignity to this very contradictory man.