Thursday, July 23, 2015

Let's talk about: Colin Firth

Colin Firth was born September 10, 1960 in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. 
He was born into an academic family; his mother, Shirley, was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University and his father, David, lectured on history at Winchester University College and worked on education for the Nigerian government.
His two siblings, Katie and Jonathan, are also actors. 
His first acting gig was in infant's school when he played Jack Frost in a Christmas play. 
Three of his four grandparents were Methodist missionaries and he lived in Nigeria from the age of two until they returned to England when he was almost five. 
He then entered a school in Winchester where he says he was considered an outsider and was often the target of bullies. 
As a child he says that he would stand on a soapbox at recess and tell stories to his classmates. 

He spent two years at the Drama Centre in Chalk Farm and there he was discovered while playing Hamlet during his final term. 
He then went on to work in theater and television. 
His role of Robert Lawrence in Tumbledown in 1989 won him a Royal Television Society Best Actor Award and a BAFTA nomination. 
He was also nominated for a BAFTA for his roles as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. 
In 2011, he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as King George the 6th in The King's Speech. 

He lived for a time with his then girlfriend, Meg Tilly, in a log cabin in British Columbia. They had starred in Valmont together (which I have not seen) and had one son, William, together. He was born in 1990. He also considers her other two children from her first marriage to be his own. After they broke up and he moved back to England he would call at bedtime to wish the children goodnight and tell them bedtime stories. 

(Colin and Meg in Valmont)

He also dated his co-star from Pride and Prejudice, Jennifer Ehle, for a time.

Soon after they broke up he met his wife, Livia Giuggioli, an Italian film producer and director. 
They have been married since 1997 and have had two sons, Luca born in 2001 and Matteo born in 2003.

Colin was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama. 

What are my favorite Colin performances?
#1: The King's Speech

Colin is so good at this role. I would imagine it would be really hard to play someone that has a very obvious stutter and get it right. He has said that while filming he would end up speaking the same way between takes, not on purpose. He felt it was muscle memory. 
In it he plays King George the 6th and it tells of his quick ascension to the throne and how he used a speech therapist to help with his stutter. 
It is inspiring and so well acted. 
Interesting fact: His younger brother, Jonathan Firth, played this King's great-grandfather Prince Albert in the 2001 production of Victoria and Albert. 

#2: Nanny McPhee

It's a fun movie and a nice change to see him in the role of a dad. He plays Mr. Brown who has been widowed and is trying to raise his seven unruly children. 

#3: Love Actually

If you knew he was in this movie, then you knew it was going to be on my list!
His storyline is my very favorite in the film. 

#4: The Importance of Being Earnest

This is another one of those movies that I just love. 
I will have to do a write up of it very soon. 
Colin is perfection in it of course, as he always is when playing an English gentleman. 

Which brings me to my final pick and my favorite...

#5: Pride and Prejudice

I have a really hard time deciding which version of Pride and Prejudice I like the most for many reasons, but Mr. Darcy will always be Colin Firth to me. 
He was Mr. Darcy. 
Colin has said that when he was first offered the role of Mr. Darcy, his brother said, "Darcy? But isn't he supposed to be sexy?"

"Every single film since Pride and Prejudice there's been a scene where someone goes, 'Well I think you've just killed Mr. Darcy.' But he is a figure that won't die. He is wandering somewhere. I can't control him. I've never resented it; if it wasn't for him I might be languishing....I dare say it will be my saving grace when the only employment available to me is opening supermarkets dressed in breeches and a wig."

*What is your favorite Colin Firth movie?
*Is he your Mr. Darcy?


Seth and Julie said...

I have never watched P&P, but I also love his storyline in Love Actually. I think everyone who watches that falls in love with him a little bit.

cheryl said...

I agree.

The Kings said...

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite but I enjoyed him so much in Nanny McPhee and The Importance of Being Ernest. Yes, he will always be Mr. Darcy!

cheryl said...