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People in Film | Colin Firth

Posted October 24, 2011 to photo album "People in Film | Colin Firth"

Whether as a spy, a single man, a king, or a romantic icon, Colin Firth has always been able to bring a clear, albeit complex, sense of humanity to his characters.

Colin Firth | A Natural Spy
Colin Firth | Growing Up as an Outsider
Colin Firth | Becoming an Actor
Colin Firth | More than Mr. Darcy
Colin Firth | Finding his Voice
Colin Firth | Becoming an Actor

Colin Firth | Becoming an Actor


After a stint at the National Youth Theatre, Firth entered the London Drama Centre, intent on learning his craft. Firth was eventually chosen to replace Daniel Day-Lewis in the West End play “Another Country.” His performance proved so good that the producers decided to cast him (not as Guy Bennett – that part went to Rupert Everett, who originated the part on stage—but as his foil) in the 1984 film adaptation. After working on several films, he turned his talents to television, taking the lead in the critically acclaimed BBC mini-series “Lost Empires,” about England after World War I. Through the 80s and early 90s, Firth distinguished himself by his sheer range of characters. He could go from being a sedate war-weary soldier who restores a church in A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY to a frantic movie-obsessed psychotic in APARTMENT ZERO to the real-life figure John McCarthy, the British journalist taken by Islamic Jihadists, in the HBO drama HOSTAGES. But in 1995, Firth was sent the script that would in many ways define his career and public persona. Offered the part of Darcy in the BBC production of Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice,” Firth, as he later recounted, hesitated: “I really didn't want to take part in a 'classic serial' type of costume drama….Purely because my memories of them were all from the seventies….All rather formal, rather stiff, and with stilted scripts.” In the end, Andrew Davies' page-turning script convinced Firth this was something different. But few predicted how the character who Firth feared might be “formal, rather stiff” would turn the actor into a romantic icon. The 1995 TV version of “Pride and Prejudice” turned out to be not only a hit, both in England and the US, but also flamed a phenomena that would be dubbed Darcymania. Firth told Now Magazine, “I didn’t actually look upon Mr Darcy as a romantic role—I took it on as a rather idiosyncratic character role…. The effect it had came as a complete bolt from the blue.”