Sex on legs! Me?
He may be the world's
most romantic leading man but Colin Firth draws the line at getting his
pins out for his latest Roman epic role
He's one of the
sexiest men on legs after his starring role as Mr Darcy in Pride and
Prejudice, but it's exactly those legs that are worrying Colin Firth.
Famed and adored for playing romantic dashing leads and no stranger to
dressing up for a part, movie hunk Firth was worried his latest role
might make him more comedy star than swoon material.
Off to Tunisia and Slovakia to film The Last Legion, an epic drama set
during the end of the Roman Empire, the 45-year-old plays a seasoned
Roman general guarding the boy emperor from ferocious barbarians.
But it's the costumes—and his legs—which are playing on his mind.
He said: "Whether you have the build or not, you can be killed in a
"Russell Crowe didn't look ridiculous, but even if you have the most
incredible physique there is still the danger of looking comical
flaunting it in a skirt.
"You might become some kind of cheesy erotic fantasy."
And he added, clearly concerned about how he might look: "It is
dangerous if you have beautiful legs and dangerous if you have legs
like pipe cleaners. I can leave you to guess what applies to me."
Luckily producers have set The Last Legion, which also stars fellow
Scots Peter Mullan, James Cosmo and John Hannah, in a period where
fashions of the day mean he is covered up.
Colin said: "I thank my blessings that the film takes place at a time
when they were out of mini skirts and wearing slightly more dignified
"I have done masses of the more balletic style of sword fighting, but
this type of combat is more cut and thrust."
Colin is relieved he is more covered up because he is only too aware
that even some of the hunkiest stars of Hollywood, like Brad Pitt in
Troy, have some difficulties with that sort of outfit.The Roman
adventure is an interesting change of direction for Colin, who has
earned fame and acclaim for starring in a string of hit romantic
These include the two Bridget Jones movies, Oscar-winner Shakespeare In
Love,The Importance Of Being Earnest, Love Actually and his current
success, kids' film Nanny McPhee.
But now he's contemplating a role that would shatter his romantic image—a movie titled Toyer in which he'd play
a madman who lobotomises women.
He said: "I think it will upset a lot of people...understandably, it's
a very upsetting script. But it may or may not happen, I'm waiting to
It's confounding people's expectations of him as an actor by mixing up
the types of roles he takes that fills Colin with enthusiasm for his
He said: "Sometimes I can't believe how ridiculous my existence is.
"I could be lobotomising women one minute and riding across the desert
wielding a sword the next."
The next film that is on the way will provide another look at the
edgier side of Colin's talents, because in Where The Truth Lies, Colin
and Kevin Bacon play a Fifties comedy double act.
The characters are not above taking advantage of their groupies and one
pivotal scene in the movie sees Colin and Kevin involved in a threesome
that goes horribly wrong.
He said: "I have done stuff that is a long way from the romantic
comedies I'm known for. But it is not to do with career strategies or
trying to change perceptions of me, it's just what keeps me amused."
While he was filming Nanny McPhee—in which he plays the single father of
seven children whose life is changed by a magical nanny played by Emma
Thompson—Colin got some unexpected help as he
prepared for Where The Truth Lies.
The cast of Nanny McPhee included Hollywood legend Angela Lansbury, who
had met the sort of showbiz acts that Colin portrays in the movie.
He said: "So here I had someone who knew The Rat Pack and she was
fantastic with her advice." Colin is married to Livia Giuggioli, with
whom he has two children, four year-old Luca and Mateo, two. He also
has a 15-year-old son from a relationship with American actress Meg
No doubt it was with his younger sons in mind that he agreed to star in
Nanny McPhee and experience his first big screen slapstick when he gets
involved in a frantic and messy pie fight.
He said: "I can't imagine that it is ever going to happen again.
"But I realised from day one that I was going to be asked to
participate in something that was very broad. It was nerve wracking
because I'm not known for that."
While you can imagine the Firth children one day getting a lot of fun
from seeing dad making a fool of himself in the pie fight, Colin is
quite content to keep his children distanced from his career.
He said: "I'm not particularly anxious for my youngsters to see my work
early on. Until they start to get really curious about it all I will
leave it. It's a bit odd watching dad running around in a film."
Nevertheless he has taken a significant step towards classic family
movies because Nanny McPhee is the first children's film in which Colin
He said: "If you are talking about targeting kids who are under 12,
then I have never done anything in that area.
"I did What a Girl Wants, but that was more of a teen film."
Colin got his first taste of acting in pantomime as a five-year-old
doing Jack Frost, but now he's so frequently on screen that he seems to
be one of our busiest actors. But he insists he's far from a workaholic.
"People think you never stop, but the reality is I have an average of
two films a year.
"I used to do a lot more films back to back before I had a family of my
own.They are my reason for paring it down a bit," he said, adding that
he is also aware of the dangers of being too prolific.
"I think people do need a break from you. If there is a Bridget Jones
film out, you are on the side of every bus.
"I get sick of being stuck in traffic in London and getting overtaken
by a bus with my face on the side."
Mention of Bridget Jones caused me to ask what he reckons the chances
are of a third comedy in that series, and Colin admits he has mixed
views on that topic.
He feels it could be in the running if author Helen Fielding was to
dream up the plot for another brilliant book that was irresistible.
Colin said: "But I wouldn't want to do a third Bridget Jones film that
just went over the same ground.
"However if it was about a sad, unhealthy, bloated Darcy and Cleaver
(Hugh Grant's character) as a pathetic, ageing Don Juan with a fake tan
and Bridget being even more neurotic, it might be good."
#Nanny McPhee is released today and Where The Truth Lies is out on