This is undoubtedly Colin Firth’s year. And we’re only in February. He has been the talk of the town ever since the release of The King’s Speech. And here in England, the film has been something of a rebirth for Colin. Up and down the country, the film received rapturous applause in theaters and his mushrooming popularity shows no sign of abating (apparently, even The Queen has seen the film).
In the UK, expectations are high as his burgeoning fan-base and critics alike expect him to walk away with the Best Actor Oscar. The nation will heave a collective sigh should another contender usurp this award, whom many believe is rightly destined for the Firth household. Being the sole Brit flying the flag in the Best Actor category at this year’s Academy Awards (with the potential of Her Royal Highness watching) can be daunting. Yet Colin remains characteristically cool.
The stalwart British actor is considered by many to be one of the most hard working Brits in the industry. Hailing from an academic family (his parents are both university lecturers), Colin soon succumbed to the potent pull of public performance as he made his debut in Another Country in London’s West End in 1984. It was his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in Andrew Davies’s Emmy Award winning Pride and Prejudice that instantly propelled him to fame, where his wet shirt and breeches ensemble sent millions swooning in his now iconic role. Speaking of his appeal to older fans, he famously said:
“I find I’m increasingly lusted after by people beyond pensionable age. I was told of a 103 year old woman in hospital, diagnosed with high blood pressure, who was banned from watching any more Pride and Prejudice.”
This role was to be his lucky charm, which paved the way for his intertextual character of Mr Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary and its sequel, The Edge Of Reason.
He has a solid CV, having giving note-worthy performances in blockbusters such as The English Patient, Girl With A Pearl Earring, Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, Mamma Mia! and A Single Man to name a few. Turning 51 this year, he shows no signs of stopping. He’ll no doubt be looking forward to the Oscar’s exactly one week away. Up against the heavyweight Jeff Bridges and the dark horse Jesse Eisenberg, it really is a tough one to call. I hope a certain golden statuette doesn’t encumber his dance at The Governor’s Ball (the official post-ceremony celebration).
Good luck King Colin…