Oscar winks for k-k-king Colin

By admin
11 February 2011

It was the role that made him famous, turning him into a household name and a heart-throb admired by millions of women.

Who can forget Colin Firth as the dashing Mr Darcy in the TV version of the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice? Or as Mark Darcy in the modern-day update Bridget Jones’s Diary?

But for years the actor has wished fans would forget him as that character. Now finally he’s found a way to move on, in a role that couldn’t be more different – and audiences around the world are lapping it up. His performance as a stuttering royal in The King’s Speech has been winning him awards one after another.

In the movie he portrays King George VI,Queen Elizabeth II’s father, who’s reluctantly thrust into the spotlight and onto the throne after his brother, Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), abdicates to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

An entire movie about a man who stutters? Sounds like a risky undertaking yet remarkably The King’s Speech has touched a chord with cinema-goers. What few people know is that the British actor was the third choice for the role. The filmmakers were initially hoping to reel in either Hugh Grant or Paul Bettany.

The irony of his casting wasn’t lost on director Tom Hooper. “Sometimes I just had to laugh,” he says. “Colin Firth is one of the best raconteurs and most engaging conversationalists I know and here he was playing a man who cannot speak.”

Born in Hampshire, England, Colin was only two weeks old when his parents, Shirley and David, both teachers, packed up and moved to Nigeria.

“I was not very happy as a child,” Colin (50) recalls. It was only when he began his acting training at the Drama Centre London that he found the freedom he craved. After graduating he starred in numerous stage productions as well as several art-house movies. But it took more than a decade before he got his big break.

Projects in the pipeline include the espionage thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Gambit, a movie by the Coen brothers with Cameron Diaz. And although he’s struggled for years to shrug off the dreaded Mark Darcy he recently revealed he’s in talks to reprise the role for a third instalment of Bridget Jones.

Don't miss the full article in YOU, 17 February 2011.

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