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Colin Firth

As my friends know, I'm quite the Colin Firth fan... ;) I don't only like him for his acting skills, but I admire and respect the way he's committed to good causes, such as fair trade. Personally I think it's very important that celebrities put energy in such causes, or make known how they think about things. I believe that that has much more influence than whatever politicians have to say.
Anyway, I found this article in my mailbox yesterday.
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(photo: Simone, 2004)

Colin Firth: the charmed life of a late-blooming heartthrob

Colin Firth has said that he feels lucky he didn't become a "hunk" until he was 35 -- he had a few years to learn to become an actor first. Tall, dark and somewhat brooding-looking, the 45-year-old actor spent part of his early career at Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and went on to various film roles, typically playing naive young men. By the time he was 35, when he married Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli, he had had only had two girlfriends, including Canadian actress Meg Tilly, with whom he had a son.

Then, in 1995, he starred in the role of Fitzwilliam Darcy in the BBC miniseries of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. (His brother Jonathan said, "Darcy -- but isn't he supposed to be sexy?") But the role of Darcy, and particularly a scene where he emerged wet from a pond and earned the sobriquet the "male Ursula Andress," changed his life. Then later, there were two more Mr. Darcys in Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and several other Darcy-like brooding film roles.

Darcy, says Firth, has been sexy for 200 years but he's proud he made it convincing. He once said, "I have a kind of neutrality, physically. I can be made to look
a lot better, or a lot worse." His sex appeal is indirect, the male equivalent of the prim librarian who, under the right circumstances, may be persuaded to doff her spectacles and pull out her hairpins.

On this particular late afternoon, the second last day of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Firth was looking pleasantly rumpled, wearing a sports jacket over an untucked shirt, faded blue jeans on long legs and a lot of beard stubble. He was also bleary-eyed, not apparently related to the glass of red wine in his hand, but to exhaustion. He flew in the previous night from Tunisia, where he is shooting a sword-and-sandal epic, The Last Legion, for the TIFF premiere of Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies. He has a car waiting to take him to the airport in half an hour. Looking
distracted, he put down the wine and asked a publicist for a double espresso. I asked him if he was very tired."A great understatement," he says. "Very tired was about 8 a.m. this morning." After so many roles where he has played superficially dark, secretly nice characters, his part in Egoyan's film, based on Rupert Holmes's show-business whodunit, as beloved fifties television entertainer Vince Collins (with Kevin Bacon as the Jerry Lewis-like sidekick), is a departure. There's bisexuality, drug and alcohol abuse, and nudity. Collins is an unsavoury character who ends up a depraved Hollywood recluse. Were there any second thoughts about taking on such a role? "Every job you take is a spin of the dice to a certain point, but I've never seen a film by Atom you can't respect. This film -- in the hands of
someone who I didn't admire and respect -- I'd positively know to keep away from. "But everything that Atom has done is thought-provoking and investigative and lacking in crass moral judgment. I thought it would be an interesting journey to take."

Firth wanted to do the role with an American accent instead of an Englishman as Egoyan's script indicated -- but he was overruled: "I realized the arguments for keeping with the script were too solid to ignore. We present him as an archetypal Englishman of a certain kind, which makes the violence and debauchery more shocking. It was much the same way as this biography of Cary Grant that
came out at the time we were shooting, which dealt with his bisexuality and interest in LSD, which was only really interesting because it wasn't our image of Cary Grant."

Firth thinks there may be some insulation from celebrity excess in living in England: "Believing in your own publicity is a weakness that can apply to anyone, anywhere. Tearing into all the favours that fame can bestow on you without any kind of sense of putting the brakes on -- that can happen anywhere. You only have to look around and see how much drugs, alcoholism and suicide there are among people who have got it all. I think [in England] we're protected by our famous sense of irony to some extent. There is a tendency to debunk, so it's a little harder to get above yourself. Even though we have an ancient aristocratic system and there still can be found people who take status and titles seriously, the prevailing feeling is there's not very much respect for an actor who has to have a bigger trailer than another actor. It's very difficult to sustain on an English set without becoming laughable."

Of course, it's also true that some of the greatest acting in England takes place in the relatively modestly paid and mean world of the theatre, where actors like Firth learn their craft: "I've always been taught that without resistance, you can't develop -- whether it's your muscles or your voice or your acting ability. It's a tragedy really when creative people get so rich and famous that people open doors and smile all the time and give them everything you want. Now I've worked in America a lot of times and by far the majority of actors [there] are very well-grounded, [with] enormous senses of humour and very professional. But I've seen star behaviour. It's not even the star's behaviour, but watching it being connived at by people around them: not rolling their eyes, not questioning, not laughing when they hear something particularly pompous, all of which is destructive to the person who's being fawned on."

Perhaps another reason for Firth's perspective is that he comes from a family that didn't place fame and wealth as the pinnacle of value. Three of his grandparents were Methodist missionaries, a denomination that emphasizes the importance of serving others. Both his parents were academics -- his father taught history and his mother comparative religion: "I suppose I could be thought of as a black sheep, but there's a line of consistency. We're all involved in things that aren't exactly tangible -- preaching a sermon isn't quite the same as hammering nails and building something. We all stand up and
tell stories to people in a way."

Recently, Firth became a director of Progreso, which has opened two London coffee shops in a planned-for English chain, half-owned by OXFAM and intended as a challenge to Starbucks and other luxury coffee chains. The difference: Progreso profits go back to coffee-grower co-ops in Ethiopia, Honduras and Indonesia, or to help other coffee-growers. Firth has lobbied the World Trade Organization about fair-trade practices, personally invested money to set up the Progreso chain, bought shares for producers, travelled to Ethiopia and even served behind the counter.

The experience has forced him to deal with the social value of celebrity: "The whole business of celebrities and causes is full of paradoxes. Who the hell wants to listen to someone preaching to them about poverty who comes from a life of privilege? And I say, well then, stop reading here because I don't want to bore you.

"But organizations who want to help people are tracking down celebrities and their endorsements like gold dust because they've discovered it's one of the most effective ways to create change . . . My own solution was I couldn't be just another celebrity spokesman. I got directly involved and understand the system from one end of the chain to the other, and I've become better educated and I think, in many ways, it has fundamentally changed me." Spoken like a true Methodist celebrity hunk.

Re: Colin Firth

Oops, forgot to mention the source:

The Globe and Mail
By LIAM LACEY
Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Renée

Re: Colin Firth

Relieved or disappointed? What do you think...?

Colin Firth has no intention of reprising his role in any future Bridget Jones sequels because he wants to focus solely on serious parts. The star is fed up of playing clean-cut hunk Mark Darcy after just two films and would happily pass the role over to an aspiring actor.

He says, "I can't see any reason why there won't be a Bridget Jones III - or even 13 for that matter. But I think enough is enough when it comes to me playing Darcy anymore."


Source: Starpulse.com 02/17/2006

Personally I think he made a wise decision. The first BJD was wonderful, the second a lot less appealing, INMNSHO. So, I have very little hope for a third one to give me any enjoyment. Apart from that the actors get a little old to play the characters as described by Helen Fielding, don't you think?

Renée

Re: Colin Firth

I have just seen Colin Firth's movie, where he plays a cute English divorced man who has been left by his wife with two children.
Frank (CF)falls in love with his kid's kinder teacher(Helen Hunt)and there is this scene in particular, on his house floor that well... it is oh soooo romantic...and sexy. I just keep falling in love with this man, for God's sake! I highly recommend this film. It is called "Then She Found Me"... which you must have of course already seen!!!! Dont miss it.

Re: Colin Firth

Thanks for the tip, dear Eli!

It sounds lovely!

Haven't seen a CF movie in ages. Was so turned off by a few of his more recent movies, but this one I will definitely watch.

I've heard very good things about
And when did you last see your father as well.

Did anybody see this?

Meet Colin Firth

People really go far... but it's for a good cause, of course. It only cost me a train ticket to Amsterdam to talk to him...

Re: Colin Firth

I 'll see if it is available on dvd in Bs As. I doubt it. We receive very little of the good things you get. Only the crap is sent here.
You will definitely enjoy TSFM very much, since you have many times admitted that you have fallen in love with CF once in your life. This is your opportunity to fall for him again. I grant it!

Re: Colin Firth

This is your opportunity to fall for him again.

hee hee Who knows!

I watched a clip on youtube, I didn't particularly liked the way Helen Hunt looked in this movie, but it was a just a clip, of course.

Re: Colin Firth

didn't particularly liked the way Helen Hunt looked in this movie

Helen Hunt? Who cares about Helen Hunt? I think you got it all wrong! I want you to look at Colin Firth, not Helen Hunt!!! He is the real sight!

As it happens, HH is playing a very depressed woman in her late thirties, though she looks as if she were in her late fifties after Armagedon. I guess that is why she looks so bad. But the story has a beautiful turning, hence the title... CF ,however , looks gorgeous.It really left me breathless.

Re: Colin Firth

I think you got it all wrong! I want you to look at Colin Firth, not Helen Hunt!!! He is the real sight!



Silly me!

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