In 2015, Temple did return to historical romance when she was cast for the Thomas Vinterberg film based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel “Far From The Madding Crowd”.
As in “Atonement”, Temple here plays a secondary character who has complicated the love life of the main heroine. His Fanny Robin is to marry Private Sergeant Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), but a confusion first sends him to the wrong church, and he, left at the altar, breaks the engagement.
This leads Troy into a romance with Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who runs off with him against the advice of his former farmer-in-law Gabriel (Matthias Schoenaerts). Gabriel’s advice turns out to be correct; Frank plays too much and refuses to help Bathsheba and Gabriel with the farm. But one day in town he sees Fanny, begging and pregnant, and he promises to take care of her. Despite his attempts at care, she and the baby die during childbirth, and in his mourning for them, he leaves Bathsheba and walks in the sea, apparently until his death.
Fanny’s death, and Frank’s apparent death, does not break the book’s love quadrilateral. Her surprise return a few weeks later puts Bathsheba in an awkward position, as she is now courted by both Gabriel and his wealthy neighbor, William Boldwood (Michael Sheen). Frank appears at a party and accosts Bathsheba, but is killed in his rant by Boldwood, freeing Bathsheba and all obstacles to his relationship with Gabriel.