Source: The Book Standard
Colin Firth: U.K.'s Favorite Hero in All of Literature
October 13, 2005
By Anne Dehmer
The people of the United Kingdom have spoken. And they have crowned Fitzwilliam Darcy, a.k.a. Mr. Darcy, their favorite hero in all of literature. Scotsman.com, a U.K.-based news site, reported on the triumph of Jane Austen’s snob-with-a-heart-of-gold leading man from Pride and Prejudice. The novel was published more than 200 years ago, and still remains a favorite.
Harry Potter, Oliver Twist and Romeo Montague were among the competition, yet none of them did more to win fans’ hearts than Darcy’s sex appeal and mannerly charm, a combination that allowed Darcy to overtake even the seemingly unstoppable boy wizard. Harry Potter came in as Britain’s second all-time favorite hero, and was the only contemporary character in the top five. Story continues below ↓
Adding to Darcy’s wide-spread appeal are the multiple television and screen versions of Pride and Prejudice, which make his character accessible to even those who haven’t read the book. There are at least nine direct adaptations, with another coming soon to theaters. Add to those both the book and film of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, a contemporary take on Austen’s plot.
It may be difficult to separate the popularity of Darcy the literary character from his film incarnation in the BBC’s 1995 miniseries. British author Carl MacDougall told Scotsman.com, “The fact that Mr. Darcy is No. 1 says more about Colin Firth than it does Jane Austen.”
Andrew Davies, the screenwriter for the acclaimed miniseries, has announced that he will be turning now to another of Austen’s books, Sense and Sensibility. So far, Sense has been adapted a mere three times.
Read this wonderful interview with Colin Firth in the Sunday Herald of 11/27/05: it's not about F. Darcy, not about M. Darcy, but about Colin himself.
Source: Ilford Recorder24
Don't call me Darcy, says Colin
01 December 2005
In WHERE THE TRUTH LIES Colin Firth plays against the Darcy image that just won't leave the public imagination, starring as Vince Collins, the English half of a hugely successful showbiz double act.
Along with Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) his star shines brightly during the 1950s. When they abruptly split, the mystery of where it all went wrong remains hidden in rumour and supposition. That is until a journalist and long time fan begins to investigate.
Here Colin talks about the new film, and that Mr Darcy shadow.
Q: The dark and edgy tone marks a return to the kind of thing you were doing at the beginning of your career, doesn't it?
Firth: I've been hearing year after year after year, "well this is a departure for you, isn't it?" I don't know how many departures I have to make. I think if someone hadn't seen Bridget Jones, or Pride and Prejudice, and had only seen Trauma or, going back further, seen Tumbledown or Master of the Moor, they'd probably wonder why I always killed people.
I don't do things in order to change the pattern really, I just do it because I like a script and think it might be interesting.
Q: The characters you and Kevin Bacon play have some depth to them - something we discover as the story unfolds.
Firth: Yeah, we're supposed to see a contrast between what's going on on-stage and what's going on backstage.
Kevin and I are off stage looking very tense, we don't know why yet but we know something's going on. We walk onstage and present a happy face to the audience, and then the camera goes through the corridors and into the bath tub where there's a dead girl.
That's the world of the film, it's what's going on after the curtain comes down.
It's interesting for me to play a performer. I've played soldiers and psychopaths and human rights lawyers, but this is my first actor.
Q: Were you disappointed not to be able to sing some great 50s songs as Vince?
Firth: Yes, I don't think anyone else was. I would have liked to have a crack at it.
Q: While this is a fictional double act, did you draw inspiration from any real people?
Firth: We went though everybody really, but we were never going to tie ourselves to any particular character and get stuck doing imitations of them.
Q: How did you deal with the sexually frank scene at the heart of the story?
Firth: I know most people wouldn't want to take their clothes off in front of their colleagues.
But by the time you've been through drama school you've had to go through a bit of that anyway, and by the time you're in your mid-40s you've been round the houses a few times.
That doesn't mean you think nothing of it. There's always a slightly tricky moment when you go from being dressed to undressed and yet you've got a scene to play.
It was quite a tricky scene, emotionally. We had to get that right while also framing out people's private parts. A lot of the time you're wrestling with the technical requirements, as you are on any film. Even if you're not naked you're having to hit a mark and hit your light and move in accordance with the camera movement, while looking as if on take 15 you've said it for the first time and it's spontaneous.
Q: You're a big music fan. Did you know that Rupert Holmes had written the book upon which this film is based?
Firth: He doesn't feature in my record collection, but I was very familiar with those songs. Anyone who had a radio in the 70s would have heard both of his best known songs played endlessly. I met him a few times on the set, he's a delightful man who was very generous towards us.
"I had the choice between being the guy who smiles for the camera and says a few words, or doing some homework and trying to make the issue my own," he says. "It's hard, when you open up that kind of door, to close it again and do nothing. You are open to attack. The cynics and those who don't give a **** are constantly on the lookout for hypocrisy in everything that might be well intentioned. Working with Oxfam, for example, and being tremendously well off could seem like a contradiction. It's a fair cop. But this is not all about giving away your possessions. We are all at risk of being called hypocrites."
He adds: "I have a huge distrust of certainty and conviction, particularly the crude type politicians like Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher have, that people seem to admire so much. Where do they find that certainty? I don't believe it's possible to have that if you are an imaginative person."
I agree, Mr. Firth!
Take your time to read this interesting and fun interview with Colin: Times Online 4 December 2004
I meant to post the picture too, here it is:
Colin pushes Brussels for fair trade...
"It's only a fraction of people who are echoing the same sentiments," noted the actor, pointing out that about 80 percent of them are actually farmers in developing countries, not only campaigners.
"Poverty is not a natural law. It is a result of decisions made by individuals," he said, suggesting that "brilliant minds" gathering for the December ministerial meetings should be aware of their responsibility and try hard to unlock the current stalemate.
Read the article here:
UK movie star pushes Brussels for fair trade
Apparently the lovely Mr F was on Desert Island Disks some days ago. And this is what he chose:
Thought you might want to know... just in case you ever get stranded on some desert island with him ;-)
Kim, thank you, and how lovely to 'see' you in the forum again.
I posted your link here again as you can see with the html tag, so that we don't have to copy and paste it.
The man has taste, hasn't he?
Here's a video of Oxfam Make Trade Fair of Colin Firth handing the Big Noise petition to Peter Mandelson, saying (amongst other relevant things):
"I'm here as a name, a European, and a consumer. These are the voices I give to Mr. Mandelson to take to Hong Kong."
"I bet Mr. Arsey didn't know how to fix a gate..."
Australians are fun! :)
I guess he's got a point there...
Read how Colin felt about the threesome in WTTL...
MTV's this year's Oscar speculations include Colin for his part in Where the Truth Lies!
Read the article here: The Best (And Worst) Movies Of 2005, By Kurt Loder
Imagine, I'd be the owner of an autographed picture of an Oscar winner! Ought to cherish it even more...
The Daily Telegraph
Interview with Colin that doesn't start of that well, really.
Essentially on Nanny MacPhee... Enjoy!
Colin Firth will be presenter at the Golden Globe Awards. Here's the list: More Than 45 Stars Set as Presenters at Golden Globe Awards
An event not to be missed!
...for the première of Nanny MacPhee. Dutch/Belgian visitors, read all about the event here: United International Pictures
TW: You take a pie to the face like the best of them.
CF: That was fun, but what wasn’t fun was the extraordinary popularity of the job of throwing the pie at the leading actor. I’ve noticed, not just on this film, but on almost every job I’ve ever done, if something humiliating has to happen to me and any assistance is needed, the line of volunteers is huge. Very often, because rank is pulled, it’s the director who actually is the one to throw the porridge, stand next to the camera and make sure that the pie/cake hit.
Read the rest of the interview about NM with Colin Firth here
"My love of storytelling began as a child, which I sort of think is true of most of us," he tells the press conference. "Mine was possibly more obsessive than others, to the extent that I had to pursue it as a profession."
"I think there is something about telling stories for children which takes you back to that root. I am a storyteller. I am a professional fantasist. That's what I do as an actor."
Read the rest of the interview with Colin Firth here:
Colin Firth loves to kid around, but he has grown up since Mr. Darcy
This is SOME picture you posted with autograph.He looks ravishing!! I am green with envy
And when I met him in Amsterdam he was even more handsome, even though quite a few years older!
I just read he's signed up for a new movie on the Boor war in South Africa. I wonder whether he'll play Cecil Rhodes. Will keep an eye out for more news.
Oh ! So now you rub to my nose your personal encounter with him !Oh how dare you!
I'm a meany, aren't I?
Here's an abbreviated version of the report I wrote for my Dutch Colin Firth group at the time. I was allowed access to the press conference of BJD2 in Amsterdam in November 2004, where I went, naturally, with my daughter who took the pictures. Enjoy!
Never say never: Report of the TEOR press conference, Amsterdam. November 8th 2004
After a photo call of barely ten minutes, during which our poor stars assume all requested poses, it's time for the actual press conference. But before that I manage to call out to Colin Firth and give him the Mauritshuis catalogue I had wanted to give him in The Hague at the premiere of GWAPE. He doesn't immediately understand what it is, but when I explain to him that the book is old, but the contents of the Mauritshuis much older, and that I had wished to offer it to him last spring in The Hague, he thanks me twice, casting me a broad smile. My reward, I guess.
We are not allowed to take any more pictures. The room is filled with representatives of all possible media; TV, radio, written press of course and… as the Algemeen Dagblad wrote: "Even somebody from a Colin Firth fansite." Exactly, that's me.
Under the expert guidance of movie and celebrity journalist, René Mioch, the half hour’s interrogation of a couple of movie stars starts. My heart is pounding, I simply must ask at least one question, I must, I must! I stick up my hand half way, then a little higher and finally my entire arm waving to René to draw his attention, trying to get eye contact. He nods yes! My turn will come.
But first, a couple of journalists even more impertinent than I get the chance to ask Renée about the eternal weight issue and if she recognizes certain traits of Bridget in herself. Apart from these too often asked questions somebody asks if she feels responsible for the fact that so many women identify with Bridget. Renée explains that she doesn't really feel responsible for the character and its effect on so many women, but that she's proud and grateful to have been given the opportunity to give shape to her. She sees it more as a gift. She definitely recognizes certain traits in herself, probably because they are universal for women: concerns for her appearance, the fear of failure. But she admires Bridget for the fact that she always manages to pull herself together to move on, in spite of all her blunders or bad luck.
A pretty female journalist asks Hugh if he'll go out with her. "In order to be able to answer that, I have to put on my glasses first," he replies wittily. Subsequently Hugh has to reply to the question “can he identify with Daniel Cleaver”, to which he responds that he sees Daniel as his naughty nephew. Colin is asked why Mark Darcy is even more arrogant than in the first BJD. Colin doesn't agree altogether. He prefers to see him as an old-fashioned rescuer of mankind. "He's not a human rights lawyer for nothing! I don't believe we had intended to make him look more arrogant than before." He says.
To the question whether a male Bridget would be possible, Hugh replies in the affirmative and that there's but one difference: biological. To a question about the acting profession Colin answers that it's starting to become a little embarrassing. "Must be an age thing, but I always like to be on a film set. And this time I put myself completely in her hands." And in a friendly way he points out director Beeban Kidron sitting next to him.
Beeban Kidron for her part said that the responsibility for the direction of this movie weighed heavily on her shoulders since the first was such a huge success. "BJD1 is a precious inheritance which one can't take lightly."
Renée refuses to answer the question who's the best kisser. I'm dying to know, but I guess she's right. She's too professional to make a fool of at least one of them. It's nobody's business anyway. She concludes by praising Amsterdam. It's a beautiful city she says and she's very happy to have had the time to enjoy the old buildings and the canals.
And then it's my turn. I state my name and present myself as the representative of the only French/Dutch Colin Firth fansite. Colin Firth looks a little sheepish and I'm not sure whether he likes it or not…
"Mr. Firth, There is talk about BJD III. Would you be willing to participate in another sequel and if so, do you think there's still some room to explore Mark Darcy's character? For instance as the husband of Bridget's being an insecure mother?" The audience laughs.
Colin looks genuinely surprised. "A third Bridget? No, I absolutely know nothing about that." It seems highly improbable to him. "Even before the script was written for the first Bridget Jones I didn't believe it could work. I was so surprised that it was a success. And I had even more doubts about the second. I was very skeptical. Well, maybe if the script is really funny and takes the lid off Darcy's character." When I ask him if he's thinking of a satirical Darcy, he replies affirmatively and adds, "As I see it now, it seems very unlikely, but in the movie world one should never say never."
When the press conference ends everybody heads toward our stars for an autograph or one last burning question. Hugh Grant disappears immediately and
Colin Firth is about to follow his example, but I ask him to stay just one second and sign my copy of 'Speaking With The Angel'. When he sees what I'm holding in my hand, he says surprised: "My goodness! What's your name again?" "Renée." I reply. "Like her?" He asks, pointing out Renée Zellweger. "Yes, exactly like her." On the title page of his own story in the book he then writes: 'To Renée, all the best to you, Colin Firth'.
"Do you have plans to write more stories in the future?" I ask him. "Oh yes, I am, definitely," he replies resolutely. When he hands the book back to me, I thank him gracefully. "My pleasure, goodbye." And again he casts a broad smile in my direction. My eyes follow him as he leaves the room and I can't help feeling grand!
I can hardly believe it, but as I'm writing this piece two morning newspapers have published a part of Colin Firth's reply to MY question and a few others mentioned that 'even a representative of a Colin firth fansite was present'. I think I'm a little proud, just a little… At least, I'm very happy to have gotten the opportunity to experience an afternoon like this.
One final, but relevant observation in this context: contrary to what is said in the media here and there, Colin Firth is still a very handsome man, even when appearing as himself. And he's definitely ageing very well.
Copyright held by Renée O, 2004
Forgot to mention that the picture is my daughter's: Simone O.
yummy!!! Thanks Renee, Colin Firth will always be the handsomest Mr Darcy ever, though he might not like the idea at all.I think I noticed that most writes like Tanya and Abby always describe Mr Darcy in a way that one comes to picture him.(Or is it only me?)Great picture!!And thanks for the report.
You're quite right, Eli. Tanya and Abby have/had CF in mind while describing Darcy. Abby is a great fan of the BBC series and Tanya started writing her stories long before the new movie came out. Same counts for most authors on this site, but as far as I'm concerned the readers can imagine the Mr. Darcy they prefer.
Good news, from the Colin Firth front. ODB is going to star in a new TV production.
Firth and Duff unite for gritty TV film
Colin Firth, Anne-Marie Duff, Robert Carlyle and David Oyelowo are to star in a hard-hitting new BBC drama titled London.
Written and directed by Bafta-winner Dominic Savage, whose credits include Love and Hate, Out of Control and Nice Girl, the piece is an update of Ken Loach’s seminal sixties production Cathy Come Home and addresses issues of social inequality in Britain today through the lives of several characters whose paths collide at a bed and breakfast temporarily housing the homeless.
He says: “This is a film about social inequalities, people in desperate circumstances and their intertwining different lives. It’s ultimately about people’s relationships and the difficulties, dilemmas and moral issues they face.”
It stars Firth as a wealthy City worker whose conscience about his luxurious lifestyle prompt him to aid the less fortunate, while Duff plays a pregnant mother escaping an abusive husband, played by Oyelow. Carlyle plays a newly-released convict.
Emilia Fox, Megan Dodds and Julia Davis also star in the one-off television film, which has just started filming.
The executive producers are John Willis and David M Thompson.
forgot to copy source...
Thanks for the news. I will be on the alert for more about it.Undoubtly he has already had many opportunities to show the world there is more than Darcy in his acting profile. Good for him.But I cannot help daydreaming with his Mr Darcy's charms, can I?