Colin Firth: biography
Colin Firth is a theater, movie, and TV actor from Britain. He gained popularity as Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s novel TV adaptation “Pride and Prejudice.” The movie “The King’s Speech” reinforced the actor’s success: Firth won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Awards, and BAFTA. Since that movie, Firth began to star in the most famous world movies. The comics blockbuster “Kingsman: The Secret Service” became remarkably successful; the actor played the leading part as well.
Colin Firth was born in an English village Grayshott, Hampshire. His mother Shirley Jean Rolles taught comparative religious studies at the King Alfred's College. The father David Norman Lewis Firth taught history in the same college and worked with officers of the Nigerian Government, so the family lived in Nigeria for a while.
Colin was David and Shirley’s first child. The actor has also the sister Kate who became the acting and vocal coach and the brother Jonathan who followed in the footsteps of his brother and also became an actor.
When Colin turned 11, the whole family moved to Saint Louise, US. The boy went to general education school and the musical school, class of guitar. The instrument was changed to tenor trumpet. Two years later, the family came back to England, and Colin entered the Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School. The boy was laughed at because of his intelligentsia background. To fit in with his peers, Colin learned the local accent, used the working-class slang, and neglected his studies. At 14, he was sure he would become an actor, so he was not interested in sciences.
After the secondary school, Colin Firth studied at Barton Peveril college. He moved to the capital after the graduation and started taking up classes at the National Theater and Drama Centre London. He was touring the country as a theater actor a lot and played representative roles in classic performances. The scriptwriter Julian Mitchell noticed the young actor in one of such plays and recommended Firth to directors and producers.
Colin Firth debuted in the movie “Another Country” where he got one of the main roles of Tommy Judd, the offspring of a privileged family. The TV adaptation of “The Lady of the Camellias” by Alexandre Dumas, fils followed in 1984; the actor received the major male part of Armand Duval.
Having experience in playing grand dramatic roles, Colin Firth looked wonderful in TV versions of famous classic novels. The next movies were close to this type. In 1987, the melodrama “A Month in the Country” based on Joseph Lloyd Carr’s novel under the same title was released. The same year, the TV adaptation of the famous children’s book “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett was out. In 1989, Forth appeared as Vicomte de Valmont in the drama “Valmont” created upon the classic French novel “Dangerous Liaisons” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The actor’s fame increased after he starred in the multi-part movie “Pride and Prejudice” based on Jane Austen’s novel in 1995.
Colin also tried to participate in original movies. The early period of his acting career is notable for the psychological movie about the post-mortem existence “Wings of Fame,” thriller drama “Femme Fatale,” the historical movie “The Hour of the Pig,” and the crime thriller “Playmaker.”
After “Pride and Prejudice” succeeded, Firth starred in two Academic-Award-winning movies. In “The English Patient”, he had a secondary role of Geoffrey Clifton; in the tragicomedy “Shakespeare in Love,” he played one of the main roles and won the Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 2001, the actor received the European Film Award for Best Actor for his role of Mark Darcy in the romantic comedy melodrama “Bridget Jones's Diary.” The movie’s success was so huge that the sequel “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” followed three years later. In 2003, the scandalous novel “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier was screened; Colin Firth got the leading part again.
In the same year, Firth participated in the mysterious thriller “Trauma.” He played Ben, the person who awakened from his coma and tried to restore his memory in order to learn the cause of the car accident that had led to his coma and his wife’s death.
In 2005, Colin Firth played the main parts in the detective drama “Where the Truth Lies” and the family comedy “Nanny McPhee.”
In 2006, Firth played Mark who had a guilty conscience because poor people were passing by his rich house in the drama “Born Equal.”
In 2008, the actor got three main roles at once. He played in the comedy melodrama “The Accidental Husband” where Uma Thurman turned into a psychologist. Her character forgot she had a husband and married for the second time. The woman had to solve the memory loss problem as a psychologist and patient and determine which husband she liked more – the one played by Colin Firth or the other played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Firth also appeared in the musical comedy “Mamma Mia!” The young woman Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is getting married and wants to see her father at the ceremony. She finds her mother’s diary (Meryl Streep) and invites three potential fathers described there to the wedding. The roles of the fathers were taken by Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Pierce Brosnan .
The third main role was John Whittaker in the movie “Easy Virtue.” The British man fell in love with and married the American Larita (Jessica Biel). After the honeymoon, the couple came back to England where Larita encountered her mother-in-law and prim British family where the young woman’s behavior looked too careless.
Colin Firth’s popularity was growing which gave the actor the opportunity to have the truly interesting options. In 2009, Firth accepted Oliver Parker’s offer and starred in the drama “Dorian Gray” based on the famous novel by Oscar Wilde. In the same year, the psychological drama “A Single Man” was released; Firth won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and BAFTA.
In 2010, the actor played the main character in the drama “Main Street.” The movie is set in the American town Durham in moral and economic decline. Firth’s character Gus Leroy, a representative of the hazardous waste recycling company, suggests the local authorities should open a recycling factory and create the special hazardous waste disposal zone. This solution would improve the economic situation in the town and help fight unemployment, but it will also bring ecological troubles. The citizens start worrying about Durham’s fate and discuss whether the factory should be built. Orlando Bloom and Patricia Clarkson also starred in the movie.
The actor took the leading part in the movie “David Copperfield” which was the screen adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic novel “The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery.”
The tragicomedy “The King’s Speech” caused a mighty furor. The actor played the stammering King George VI and won the European Film Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, the British Independent Film Award, the British Academy Film Award, BAFTA, and two major prizes – the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award. Firth received all of them as Best Actor.
The chain of major roles followed; Firth played in biographical dramas and action movies.
In November 2012, the premiere of the crime comedy “Gambit” which was the remake of the 1966 movie under the same title occurred. Colin Firth played an art expert Harry Deane who planned to convince the rich art collector Lord Shabandar that the fake painting by Monet’s was original and make money on it.
In 2013, the drama “Arthur Newman” appeared on the big screen. Colin Firth played the golf amateur Wallace Avery who disappointed in his life and staged his own death to pretend a professional golf player from Asia Arthur Newman. Emily Blunt who played the adventure-seeker Mike became Firth’s movie partner.
In summer 2013, the detective drama “Devil’s Knot” was premiered. The movie plot begins classically with the crime: as citizens of an American city learn about the brutal murder of three kids, they accuse a group of teenagers of the crime. Their informal looks and love of hard music and “satanic” symbols become the arguments. Although there is no more evidence, these facts are enough for the people. The lawyer Ron Lax played by Firth is the only person who protects the teenagers. Reese Witherspoon played the main female character.
In December 2013, Colin Firth and Niсole Kidman appeared in the biographical drama “The Railway Man.” The actor played the real person, the British officer Eric Lomax, who was captured by the Japanese during the World War II, survived through the camps, and built the railway in Thailand.
Twenty years after the war, Lomax discovers that the torturer who tormented the officer in the camps and kept appearing in Eric’s nightmares is alive. The man goes to meet his torturer. He does not know whether he would demand revenge or forgive the man who was just performing his military duties.
In 2014, Firth and Nicole Kidman played in a psychological drama “Before I Go to Sleep” based on S. J. Watson’s novel. The writer Christine is the main character of the movie; after the car accident, she lost her memory and cannot remember the events of the previous day in the morning because of her trauma. Doctors recommended her to use a voice recorder to fix everything that was happening to her throughout the day so that she could remember it next day. In the course of time, the recordings begin to frighten her; the woman realizes that her life is full of terrible events.
In summer 2014, the actor appeared in the comedy melodrama “Magic in the Moonlight.” The retro-movie is set in the 1920s. A young English man hopes to uncover a group of fraudsters but meets a young member and falls in love with her.
In 2015, the comedy spy action movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service” was released. The actor played the leading part here and increased his popularity. The movie is based on the famous comics that mocks the conventional superspy clichés.
The movie tells the story of the secret British intelligence service “Kingsman” that specializes in protecting the interests of Great Britain and, sometimes, the world. Harry Hart is the gentleman, the killing machine, and the ideal representative of this agency. The movie also makes fun of British clichés, such as the awe of the title “gentleman,” love of umbrellas, formal suits, and tea.
The organization changes when Hart invites Eggsy, the son of the died agent, to join “Kingsman.” Taron Egerton played the role of the hooligan Eggsy. The young spy’s skills are tested in the urgent situation – the antihero’s attack. Samuel L. Jackson played the billionaire Valentine who planned a mass murder; Sofia Boutella played his bodyguard. Although the evil genius Valentine from the comics is a teenager, Jackson’s acting was impeccable and left no chance to consider him unsuitable for this role.
During “Valmont” shooting, Colin Firth met the actress Meg Tilly who broke up with her husband for the actor. They lived in a civil marriage for 5 years. The couple had the son William Joseph Firth; the actor keeps in touch with him warmly even after he had split up with his mother.
After the series “Pride and Prejudice” was created, Colin dated his stage partner Jennifer Ehle for a year.
In a while, Firth met the Italian director and producer Livia Giuggioli. In 1997, they married; the couple has two children, the sons Matteo and Luca. The family lives in Italy and England interchangeably.
Colin and Livia opened a luxurious eco products store “ECO-AGE” in London.
In 2016, the actor came back to the role of Mark Darcy in the sequel of the comedy melodrama “Bridget Jones 3.” Traditionally, Renée Zellweger played the famous Bridget Jones who managed to improve her life. Her career is developing, and she lives in a prestigious district of London. Still, the problems begin when the woman learns about her unplanned pregnancy and has two candidates for the role of the father. The future child is lucky with their father: it is either a millionaire or a famous lawyer.
In 2016, the drama “Genius” based on the book editor Maxwell Perkins’s biography was out. Perkins stood out in the literary world due to his hunch to find young talents and the ability to distinguish between a promising text and a mediocre one regardless of authors’ popularity. Max Perkins published the first books of the geniuses of the 20th century Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
The movie portrays another famous writer discovered by Perkins, Thomas Wolfe, and the difficult friendship between the writer and the editor. Colin Firth played the leading part of Max Perkins; Jude Law played Thomas Wolfe. Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce, Laura Linney, and Dominic West also starred in the movie.
In 2018, the British drama “The Mercy” where Firth had the main role came out. The movie tells the story of Donald Crowhurst, the British yachtsman drowned in bankruptcy and debts. In order to clear his debts, he starts the round-the-world race to win the Golden Globe.
In 2017, the premiere of the spy comedy sequel “Kingsman: The Golden Ring” took place. Colin Firth played Harry Hart again – the fans were amazed at the teaser video where the character appeared: he presumably died in the first movie which triggered the development of events and characters. In the trailer video, Firth appeared with an eye patch that suggested the character had not been injured mortally.
In addition to the British intelligence agency “Kingsman,” their American colleagues with their own organization “Statesman” are shown. The English and American spies collaborate to save the world from the common enemy. Just like in the first “Kingsman,” Taron Egerton played the role of the young agent Eggsy.
- 1989 – “Valmont”
- 1995 – “Pride and Prejudice”
- 1996 – “The English Patient”
- 1998 – “Shakespeare in Love”
- 2001 – “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
- 2003 – “Girl with a Pearl Earring”
- 2009 – “Dorian Gray”
- 2009 – “A Single Man”
- 2010 – “The King’s Speech”
- 2012 – “Gambit”
- 2013 – “Devil's Knot”
- 2014 – “Before I Go to Sleep”
- 2015 – “Kingsman: The Secret Service”
- 2016 – “Genius”
- 2017 – “Kingsman: The Golden Ring”