The Today Show Annual Toy Drive
(December 8, 2003, with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer)
transcribed by Shoshana

Matt: And thatís one of our favorite actors, British import Colin Firth, doing the honors.  Heís an elf this morning. Colin, thank you very much.

Colin: (mouths) Thank you.

Katie: And heís collecting toys to the tune ofÖ

Matt:  Billy Mack.

Katie:  Yeah, Billy Mack. Iím not sure of the name of this song, but itís from the Love Actually soundtrack. ďChristmas Is All Around.Ē He was really funny in this movie. Colin and Billy Mack. So Colinís gonna talk with us a little bit in just a few minutes, but he has been very, very busy these days.

Matt: He really has, thatís right. You really loved that movie, by the way, Love Actually.

Katie: You know what, I did.  I have to say I did love that movie.

Matt: Good. One thumb up from Katie Couric.

[Hasbro bit]

Katie: Hi Colin.

Matt: Hi Colin.

Katie: How are you?

Colin: Iím very well, thank you. Nice to see you.

Katie: (kisses Colin on both cheeks) Little euro for Colin. Sorry, I have peanut butter breath. Nice to see you.

Matt: Hello. (shakes Colinís hand, then mock eurokisses it on both sides)

Katie: Anyway, howís everything going?

Matt: Itís going very well.

Katie: You have been a busy guy.

Colin: I know.

Katie: You had Love Actually come outÖ

Colin: Thatís right.

Katie: And I know, have you finished work on Bridget Jones 2 yet?

Colin: No, that goes on into, um, February of next year.

Katie: But you do have a new movie coming out very soon, The Girl with the [sic] Pearl Earring, about Vermeer. And tell us a little bit about that movie, because I cannot wait to see it.

Colin: Um, itís a very, uh, itís one of the most beautiful films to look at youíll ever see. It all is shot like a Dutch painting from the 1700s, and itís kind of a story of compressed internal passion and jealousy and wild emotions concealed in the household.

Katie: Tell us a little bit about Vermeer and why it was a particularly challenging role.

Colin: Well, nobody knows anything about him. Everybody knows everything, uh, around his life, but heís a mystery. We know what everyone else looked like, what they said, what they did, but heís this kind of shadow in the middle of it all. So everyone, I think, whoís encountered his story has been fascinated to discover something, and in fact, our story preserves that mystery in a way. Heís this kind of skulking figure in the shadows of the studio.

Katie: Itís a wonderful book, a lot of people looking forward to the movie, and Scarlett Johansson looks so eerily like the girl with the pearl earring, like the painting. It is freaky, isnít it?

Colin: Itís quite a feat, you know. They went though lots of experiments where they tried to, umÖ Because we knew we had a famous painting, and we have an actress who actually physically doesnít ordinarily look like that painting, we thought, ďWell, are we maybe never going to be able to show the painting?Ē  So we tried all this computer morphing stuff where they made it look half like, like the painting and half like Scarlett, and it ended up looking little bit like Margaret Thatcher. (All laugh.)  So what they ended up with was in fact just Scarlett and then the painting, and we buy it, itís, I think so.

Katie: Well, she really captured, or they really captured, the whole essó, the true essence of the painting, in her face.

Colin: Very much so.

Katie: Itís beautiful.

Colin: Itís a feat of acting and filming rather than an accident that she happens to look like that. I think it was achieved, you know.

Matt: Well, good luck!

Katie: (Cutting Matt off) Well, good luck with the movie.  Itís great to see you, Colin.

Matt: We have to get you some glovesÖ

Katie: Iíve been talking up Love Actually, by the wayÖ

Colin: Iím in (Lifts up his bare hands)Ö well, oh.  Thatís very kind of you.

Katie: Yeah.

Colin: Oh, well talk up Pearl Earring for usÖ

Katie: Okay, I think I just didÖ

Colin: You did!

Katie: Öfor like four minutes, Colin.

Colin: You did, thatís a wonderful job you did there!

(Katie grabs Colinís hand and holds it for a few seconds.)

Colin: Iím in season shock, actually. I just got off the plane in a differentÖ

Katie: Oh, really? Where were you coming from?

Colin: Well, London. Itís just good old what I thought fall was supposed to feel likeÖthis is the dead of winter.

Matt: (simultaneously) Winter.

Katie: Welcome to New York. Anyway, you need to get busy and fill that up, honey.  (Katie grabs at the empty red bag Colin has folded over his left arm.)

Colin: Well, I thoughtÖI thought I did and now theyíve given me another one. (Colin turns and gives a big smile to the cheering crowd while Katie pats his back).

Katie: Have a great holiday, Colin! Great to see you.

Colin: Thank you.

Matt: Very nice to see you.

Colin: Thank you.

(Goes to Al Rokerís weather report and the local weather)

Katie: (camera cuts back to Katie.) Thanks very much. Up next: Jessica Lange on Big Fish.  (Katie turns to Colin, who is gathering more toys from the crowd.) You stalking me?

(Colin jumps back theatrically and gives a laugh.)

Katie: Just kidding.

Colin: I just made it onto live TV!

(Colin returns to collecting toys.  As the camera cuts away, he can be heard talking to the crowd.)

Colin: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks. (Someone attempts to put a very large stuffed Elmo in the bag.)  Wow! Head first, down you go!

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