I also found an old article done around the time the drama-movie was released and it has some of Colin's quotes. There was a picture of him and Robert Lawrence in it. I have to say that the real Robert was quite a cutie. I looked up the Falklands War in wiki afterwards to know what's it about. It's really horrifying to find that Robert Lawrence was just one of the these hundreds of people injured (not to mention, dead) soldiers in battle, but that's the fact of a war anywhere.
I always have a feeling that a war is actually fought in meeting rooms, instead of in the field. Public duties, indeed. Once mobilized, soldiers become just some statistics to be studied... instead of life, breathing humans. And all those magnificent weapons the scientists created, they have to be tested somewhere, don't they? I mean, what would atomic bombs be in history if they had not been dropped on Japan? Just a lot of numbers that didn't make sense in research notes, that's what they'd be. After they'd been deployed... the scientists got their data, the war generals got their glory, and the public got a public service advertisements on the dangers of nuclear weapons. Why are we the ones getting warned off? We're not the ones holding the keys to the armory.
Link to article
"Tumbledown caused a fantastic controversy in Britain, said Colin Firth, who stars as the arrogant guardsman humbled by his experience. The cream of British reactionism came out in force before Tumbledown aired, demanding the film's incineration, repeating every slur you can think of. The Left didn't like it either. There were front-page headlines for months. Then it went on the air and there was another three months of headlines. It was fun to be in the middle of it."[The film]" is about the creation of a chocolate soldier, a man made to impress tourists outside Buckingham Palace, who turns into a psychotic beast during wartime, as any man must if he doesn't run away. It's not about the suffering war victim; it's about a man who was the perpetrator of his own misfortune. He comes back furious and inglorious, minus 43 percent of his brain, dribbling and incontinent. Instead of being lauded he's relegated to the back of the church during the memorial service, finally given a medal and told to shut up". [Chicago Tribune, May 1990]
Tumbledown, Colin says, changed his career. "Before that I was beginning to slip into a lot of callow youths. If I've got a rather neutral face, it doesn't make much sense to put me in rather neutral roles." [NY Times, January 1996]
"I've never been any good in anything badly written" says Firth, who is known to be highly self-critical, even of acclaimed performances like his portrayal of wounded Falklands soldier Robert Lawrence the award-winning television drama Tumbledown. Indeed, Firth is remarkable for having played three celebrated living characters [hostage John McCarthy, Lawrence and Hornby.]
"Being honest, I didn't think too much of my performance at the time, although a few years have passed now. You know, its that sort of part. He gets paralysed here, he stabs someone there, he cries here. It's straight drama school fare. Robert is a far more nebulous character than that. He's not reliant on his looks or his charisma; when you meet him you realise here's a man who's cracked by his own imagination.
The thing that shocked me most about Tumbledown was I'd got so close to Robert. Here was a guy who was at my side through the whole shoot. And I thought: I'm really like him. I was imagining being him, and then when the thing came out and all those familiar facial gestures appeared, I was physically ill with disappointment. It took years to appreciate what I'd done. It's just an actor and his vanity..." [Time Out, March 1997]
Firth still feels strongly about that role: "It's rather difficult to be objective about it as a drama. I got to know Robert Lawrence very closely and it was a very strange relationship because he's not someone I think I would have become friends with under normal circumstances. Seeing it, all I could think of was 'is that all, is that all that's made it onto the screen?' After what I learnt, what I went through, what we all went through - it's just a film, that's all it is."