Colin Firth returns to the
on 21st November in the romantic comedy Love Actually. The actor,
whose first role was playing Jack Frost in a school play at the age of
five and had lived in four different countries by his teens, shot to
as Mr Darcy in a BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in 1995.
In our occasional series, actor
Colin Firth reveals
why he’s crazy about the US and hates TV soaps.
I had piano lessons when I
and when my family moved to America, I started a band. I never
to be far from music. It can lift you up, pull you down,
you and change your attitude.
I like practical jokes that
hurt anyone, and I like to hear laughter, whether it’s the sound of
having a good time, of friends enjoying an evening at a restaurant, or
an audience reacting to a joke at the theatre. There is nothing
I love decent weather.
you’re feeling a bit low and it’s raining or overcast, you feel a whole
lot worse, but if the sun is shining, it can give you a totally
approach to the day
I like America because it’s
with a positive attitude. Heroes are acclaimed and celebrities
allowed to be celebrities without being hounded by people seeking to
them. In America, the glass is always half-full and there is
someone willing to help you up if you fall flat on your face—I like
I am very careful when I
a script, and it is rare that I agree to something that I later
But a lot depends on whom you are working with as well. For
how you work with Judi Dench and not enjoy every minute of it?
As a child I grew up in
different countries because of my parents’ travelling. By the
I was in my teens, I had lived in Nigeria, India, America and
They say that travel broadens the mind and it does, if you let
It is wonderful to be able to board a plane and, within a few hours, be
in another country with a different culture to explore.
I don’t like it when someone
up to me with a scrap of paper and a borrowed pen, and says, “Ere, sign
this.” I don’t mind being recognised or signing autographs, but
is a well-mannered way of asking which some people seem to forget.
a sex symbol
I once read about my having
looks”. I thought it was one of the funniest things I had ever
What exactly are smouldering looks? Everyone wants to be
attractive, but I’ve never taken the sex symbol thing very seriously.
I have a loathing of being
Mr Darcy. I played that part some years ago and I was very
with it, but I’ve been in many other productions since then. To
called by the name of one of your characters, rather than by our own
can be a little testing.
Soaps don’t do a lot for
Some seem to be perpetually miserable, and I just don’t see that as
And you hardly ever get a happy ending because there is no ending—it
goes on and on!
Not only is it uncomfortable
it reminds me of my early years of trying to make it as an actor.
I lived in a bedsit in North London and walked everywhere to save what
little money I had. My shoes constantly had holes in them, and
gave me sore feet. Now getting a stone in my shoe brings it all
I detest bigotry, racism and
of any kind. The diversity on this planet is something special, a
privilege to live with. We should live and let live in harmony,
respect for our differences.
I went through a spell of
my hair extra long, wearing scruffy clothes and withdrawing into
I was broke at the time and couldn’t afford a haircut, but I think it
all part of life’s learning curve. It taught me not to allow
to get into that kind of situation again.