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People in Film | Colin Firth
Updated October 24, 2011
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
In Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY, Colin Firth plays Bill Haydon, a dapper and amiable British intelligence chief who is at once an icon and an enigma. Firth describes how his character is “very much looked up to by some of the younger members of the organization, with hero worship. They’re subscribing to his self-image; dashing, with a kind of glamour and rather cavalier – for example, he’s the one who rides his bicycle into the office and through the typewriter pool.” Of course, there’s also lots of hero worship directed at Firth himself, having received the Best Actor Oscar for THE KING'S SPEECH the year before. And there was hero worship from him to the others involved in the film. As he told Den of Geek, “when I heard it was Tomas Alfredson, and then I heard it was, like, John Hurt, and Gary [Oldman], it was absolutely irresistible.” And while Firth is not really like his character, he has suggested in an video interview with The Guardian that actors have a “capacity for duplicity [that] would be quite useful in the job.” Indeed Firth, who has gone from being a psycho to a spy, a dashing Darcy to a stuttering George VI, has demonstrated beautifully his talent for creative duplicity. But even more his role in TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY shows how comfortable and natural he is with the characters he embodies. As The Playlist’s Oliver Lyttelton notes, Firth “has the most fun of anyone as the flamboyant, witty Haydon.”