Keira Knightley has hailed her Pride And Prejudice co-star MATTHEW MacFAYDEN as perfect for his role as MR DARCY, because he has a handsome ruggedness present in Richard Burton and Alan Rickman.

The 20-year-old actress is thrilled to be starring alongside the English heart-throb, whose rough and ready look is perfect for the country squire.

And she is so impressed with his acting she believes he brings qualities to the arrogant aristocrat even revered author JANE AUSTEN couldn't dream of.

She says, "Matthew's a man who is sexy in the mode of Richard Burton and Alan Rickman. You need to see that kind of rugged beauty in Darcy, to know that here is a man who strides across fields, climbs trees and very much manages his own estate.

"With Matthew you can see that etched across his face, yet he's also got this extraordinary vulnerability. On the page, Darcy reads as being very cold, but Matthew is so vulnerable through his big manliness that he gives Darcy extra qualities."