Thing about Colin is, those who are obsessed with Mr. Darcy and his 'lover guy' image simply don't want to understand that he has done really phenomenal stuff pre-Mr. Darcy era. Watch: Apartment Zero, Hour of the Pig, Valmont, Another Country, Tumbledown, Camille, and Master of the Moor (I've compiled the ones uploaded online in this post).
I just finished watching Master of the Moor yesterday and I'm telling you, he was absolutely riveting in it. In terms of looks, there're times I swear Stephen (his character) looks like one of those subjects in a Boticelli painting. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
In fact, I found that after Pride & Prejudice, he's done milder stuff (in terms of story content) than the ones he did before. He's only recently started doing those dark stuff he did so well... in movies like And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Trauma, and Genova. And I'm really excited to watch the new movies he's got lined up (wiki), especially The Meat Trade. The synopsis fills my active imagination with all sorts of wicked images. Also, despite what I said about Ben Barnes vs. Lee Williams, I do think Ben is a very good actor and even I noticed his very black and fathomless eyes (what's Colin doing dissecting Ben's looks for pages and pages?? LOL). I can't wait for Dorian Gray to be released!
As usual, I refer to the Firth Holy Scripture (link) for his updates. It's very informative.
Colin Firth set to make the ladies sigh once again in latest period drama (link)
Aug 29 2009 Rick Fulton
TRY as he might Colin Firth just isn't the same without britches or a stiff, white collar.
The tousled-haired actor has made a generation of women weak at the knees in period dramas.
Whether it's as Darcy, dripping wet in Pride and Prejudice which made him a heartthrob 15 years ago, or as Tommy Judd in Another Country, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Girl with a Pearl Earring or even The Importance of Being Earnest, Colin is a man out of time.
Sure he's been in modern-day films like Fever Pitch, the two Bridget Jones movies, Mamma Mia! and St Trinian's (the sequel of which he's filming) but he's at his best when dealing with the confines of a bygone age.
This year he has two more films that place him in the past - next month in Dorian Gray then in an animated version of A Christmas Carol.
From being the spurned lover or romantic lead, Colin has grown into father roles in films like Nanny McPhee, Mamma Mia! and now Dorian Gray, a film adaptation of the famous Oscar Wilde book The Picture of Dorian Gray.
In it, he plays father figure Lord Henry Wotton who introduces Dorian, played by Prince Caspian star Ben Barnes, into the guilty pleasures of London - with awful results.
When a portrait of Dorian is unveiled, such is its beauty that he makes a pledge - he would give anything to stay as he is in the picture, even his soul.
While many insist that in films Colin is often portrayed as Mr Reliable - the man who offers stability rather than fireworks - director Oliver Parker reckons the British actor is becoming "more and more exciting".
Parker says: "He moves forward in an almost relentless way, looking for new ways to challenge himself.
"Henry Wotton is a fabulous role for him and not necessarily an obvious one considering the way people perceive Colin."
Then he jokes: "But I know he's a dark b*****d at heart with evil thoughts so it was an easy choice in the end."
Colin, 48, and a father of three, laughs when he hears Parker's words. He says: "The older I get, the less inclined I am to do something I don't enjoy, simple as that. I don't care what masterpiece comes out of it - if I'm not enjoying it. it's not worth it, but Ben Barnes and I had lots of fun on set.
"One of the great draws for me was that Ben was doing this. It helps us and it helps the work. There's a playfulness between Dorian and Henry and a bit of our relationship spilled over into that."
As the film progresses and Dorian stays the same age while Wotton ages, Colin has to look much older than he is. And after make-up the cheeky younger actor took pity on Colin.
He says: "As soon as Ben Barnes saw me with a bald wig he wanted to help me to my chair, give me some medication and help me change my colostomy bag.
"He couldn't help patronising me when I looked old."
Clearly the two had chemistry on and off set. And Colin, cutting a dash as Wotton, claims to see much of his younger self in the up-and-coming Ben. The pair starred in last year's film adaptation of Noel Coward's play Easy Virtue.
Firth says: "I'm reminded of certain aspects of myself at the time - you have to really look for roles that have texture when you're in your 20s.
"Dorian Gray's the perfect part for someone like him because he starts off as a callow youth then turns into a homicidal mass murderer at the end.
"I found it desperately dull being 25 as an actor. A friend of mine, an older actor, told me when I was that age that the hardest role in Shakespeare is not Hamlet or Lear, it's Ferdinand in the Tempest, the earnest lover with no sense of humour.
"The older you get the more they let you be jaded, or witty, maybe you're bad, maybe you're just disappointed - layers of experience. There's more to be had, so yeah, bring them on!
"If it's dad or grandfather, I'm in no hurry to get to that age. I don't relish the ageing process any more than the next person in any other aspect but it has brought me kids, which I love, and the roles are more interesting."
It's the second Wilde story adapted to the big screen Colin has been in in a decade and, like the first, he reckons the critics will have the knives out again. For starters, his character has a daughter in the film
He says: "The version we did of The Importance of Being Earnest angered a lot of purists and I recall thinking that is as it should be.
"It is not supposed to be a museum piece. The original copy has not been harnessed on the shelf and it can be interpreted and read.
"I think it is a wonderful film and it opened up Oscar Wilde to a lot of people who normally wouldn't read him or go to his plays.
"And this is a virtue of this film too - it was precisely the intention of the director Oliver Parker.
"He wants everybody to have a crack at it and everybody to enjoy the thing, rather than it being the preserve of a few highly educated people."
Colin, who was born in Hampshire but spent part of his childhood in Nigeria where his father taught, remembers reading it as a teenager, although he insists he can't actually recall many details.
While he admits being able to tell you the plot of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield or Great Expectations, he, like many others, can't decide whether it's because he read Gray as a child or just watched the film or television adaptations.
He says: "I read Dorian just before making the film and again it was impossible for me to know whether I had read this before or whether I had heard every quote somewhere else."
Although he may have read the book, he didn't watch any of the past adaptations of Wilde's only published novel Dorian Gray, including the Oscar-winning 1945 film with George Sanders as Wotton
He says: "I stayed away from it because George Sanders casts a very long shadow and I didn't want to make it any more difficult for myself.
"But Ben is by far the best Dorian there's ever been.
"He has got more complexity, partly in what he has been given. He has a very interesting quality.
"He is clearly very beautiful. "He has a lot of the right physical qualities, obviously, but he has also got these very, very dark eyes.
"The pupils of his eyes are about as black as anyone's I have ever seen."
As Ben becomes one of Britain's best new actors, Colin continues to show versatility with a raft of new work on the horizon from Main Street with Orlando Bloom to the new 3D film version of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey as Scrooge and Colin as the miser's nephew Fred.
Colin has seen a few minutes of it and says: "You are catching your breath. It's an extraordinary visual spectacle. Jim Carrey is brilliant in it."
With a foot in the past and in the modern day in his career so far, Colin will get the best of both worlds in the latest film by Irvine Welsh.
The Meat Trade has been written by the Trainspotting novelist and, while set in modern-day Edinburgh, it is based on the tales of infamous 19th century body snatchers Burke and Hare. It has been on the to-dolist for a couple of years but seems to be finally getting off the ground.
So are we going to see Colin in it? He says: "I can tell you now, I'm very excited about that script - I want to do it, Robert Caryle wants to do it, and I'd love to see it come together."
Until then, luckily for Firth fans, there always seems to be something to see him in.
Dorian Gray is in cinemas from September 9.