May 06, 2013 12:00 PM

Emmy Rossum

The Shameless actress and singer, 26, would have felt right at home during Jane Austen’s era. “I’m very old-fashioned in terms of my values,” says Rossum. “I’m old-fashioned about relationships—how quickly they move—and about loyalty.”


Rashida Jones

During Austen’s time, Jones, 37, insists she’d have been ornery. “I’d be like, ‘I don’t want to get married to that man!’ ” she says. What era would she prefer to time-travel to? “The early 1990s,” she says.”You’ve got President Clinton, Boyz II Men, and Tupac was still alive.”

Amy Poehler

“Of all the modern-day luxuries, I would miss anesthesia the most,” says the 41-year-old mom of two, pondering life 200 years ago. And her day job would have been far less glamorous. “I would be scrubbing potatoes in a basement,” she says.


“I wouldn’t have lived in Jane Austen’s era,” says the comedian, 43. “I watch Downton Abbey, and they don’t have black people.” And if Retta were writing a romantic novel, what would her words to live by be? “Keep it tight, keep it right.”

Aubrey Plaza

The actress, 28, doesn’t see herself as a romantic, certainly not one from Austen’s works.”I would be the one that everyone is trying to burn at the stake because my mother was a witch and cursed the town,” she says.

Megan Hilty

“If I lived in the Austen era, I would probably be considered one of the bawdy women—I would never have all the etiquette down,” says Hilty, 32. But the Smash actress, who just released her debut album It Happens All the Time, adds, “I would definitely have been a performer. Music just makes everything better; it puts everyone at ease.”

Julie Bowen

Rather than getting dolled up like a Jane Austen heroine, Bowen, 44, would have taken a more unconventional approach to 19th-century fashion. “Cross-dressing would have been my thing,” she says. “The farther back you go in history, the women may get better clothes, but they’ve got a crappier lot in life.”

Sofia Vergara

“I would have totally fit in with the outfits and the hair,” says Vergara, 40, of the Pride and Prejudice look. But the actress would miss some modern-day amenities. “I like a lot of beauty products,” she says. “My eyelashes are blonde, so I feel really washed-out without mascara. And lipstick. And blush. And a push-up bra.”

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