Red magazine, January 2008, by Francesca Babb

Colin Firth
in St Trinian’s

If you only see one thing this month...

‘I love to laugh and one doesn’t get to see too many funny scripts,’ says Colin Firth about St Trinian’s, a remake of the 1950s comedy, about a bankrupt school for unruly girls.

‘I play Geoffrey Thwaites, the minister of education, intent on turning this disreputable school into something like the Cheltenham Ladies’ College. It’s a bit rich, as I wasn’t a great pupil. I remember getting three per cent for one chemistry exam.’

Firth, 47, and a lanky 6ft 2in, is mellow and articulate and still tanned from filming the upcoming Mamma Mia! in Greece.

‘Of course, the quintessentially repressed Englishman is part of my currency,’ he admits. ‘I’m not suggesting I’m rising about it, but I’d be miserable if I never got to do anything else. As a child, I acted a little and, when I was 14, I realised I didn’t have to do the kind of job school prepares you for—I could act! It has brought me a very interesting life.’

Firth’s private life, too, has been very interesting, although you won’t catch him talking about it. He has a teenage son with actress Meg Tilly, who he met making Valmont in 1989. Then, in 1997, he married Italian documentary maker Livia Giuggioli. The couple, who have two sons, split their life between London and Rome.

‘The thought of someone wanting to write about me and my life makes my blood run cold,’ groans Firth. ‘I would prefer it if you exhumed my life after I’ve gone!’

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