Live with Regis and Kelly
(with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa)
November 22, 2004

Regis: Well, now, here's the final star in this hot movie Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, co-stars of course with Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant. Always great to have him here. Colin Firth!

[Colin walks in confidently, waves amidst audience screaming, shakes hands with Regis and gives Kelly a Euro-style kiss.)

Regis: Look at Colin Firth. [camera zooms in on one woman really going nuts] Boy, oh boy.

Kelly: You know, Hugh Grant calls him sexy Colin Firth.

Regis: Yes.

Colin: So I hear, yes. No, I think Hugh's feelings about me are questionable. If you study the fight carefully, I think you'll find there are some ambivalent little kind of gestures there. . .

Kelly: Really?

Colin: that speak more of a kind of affection than of hostility.

Kelly: Really? I heard if you play the scene backwards that he kisses you hard on the mouth.

Colin: That sort of thing, all sorts of. . .

Regis: We're going to show a portion of that fight scene on the show here with you. Anyway, so how are things in your world? Good?

Colin: In my world, things are, yeah, they're rather sort of surprising, really. We're in this world where we're going to repeat, if you like, the film we've already done, and people seem to like it more than. . .

Regis: Absolutely. Sure, it's a big hit.

Colin: We're not calling it that, the S word. The sequel thing is something we like to deny, really. This is a literary adaptation.

Regis: It's great to see all three of you up there again, having fun. It's great. Now, you live in London. (Colin: Hmmm) But you married an Italian lady, right?

Colin: That's right.

Regis: Did you meet her in Italy?

Colin: No, we met in Colombia, in South America, on the steps of an old Spanish church.

Kelly: I like it! It sounds like a _?_. You're a one-man romance novel.

Regis: So how did you meet on the steps of a church?

Colin: I was filming something. I was filming an adaptation of Conrad's Nostromo, which is a very heavy 19th-century piece and, in fact, you know, the experience of making it was very heavy and was very much lightened by this encounter.

Regis: And how did the encounter begin? Do you just walk up to someone who's . . .

Colin: She was working on the same piece.

Regis: Oh, she was working.

Colin: Yes, it was an Italian co-production, and she arrived and I looked through a crowd and from a very great distance and, you know, it really happened like that.

Regis: Smoldering Italian woman.

Colin: Exactly.

Kelly: And now they have three kids.

Regis: Whoa! She really is smoldering.

Colin: (to Kelly) Now, how many do you have?

Kelly: Three.

Colin: You have three as well. Yeah, yeah.

Kelly: And my children take Italian lessons.

Colin: Oh, do they? How are they doing?

Kelly: They're doing very well. My husband speaks Italian.

Regis: Well, he's part Italian, right?

Kelly: Yes, and I understand that your children are bilingual.

Colin: Well, my three-year-old speaks pretty perfect Italian and, in fact, he will no longer speak to me in Italian ‘cause he doesn't think I'm worthy of it. (audience laughs)

Regis: And can you speak Italian?

Colin: I like to think I can, but I don't impress him. [more laughter] He's got a strange sort of mixture. He's sorting it out now, but in the early days he would sort of count one, two, tres, cinque...And he'll say we're going to the vegetable patch now to pick tres apples, quattro zucchini, and some chicken nuggets, but first I have to changiare my shoes.

Regis: But, now, you were the son of scholars.

Colin: That's right.

Regis: As your parents. Boy, that must have been something.

Colin: Yeah, I mean, it's...I think they would have liked me to have gone that route, mostly, you know...

Regis: Was there pressure growing up with scholars as your parents?

Colin: Not really. They tried to keep the pressure off.

Regis: But did they expect A's, all A's, as your grades?

Colin: They liked them, you know. [says this very cutely] They didn't, no there wasn't this sort of stern authoritarian thing where you were going to suffer if you didn't deliver the grades. They were very tolerant people and they had books around and they wanted to expose me to interesting things. But they weren't, they just...The acting thing seemed strange to them. It was bizarre.

Regis: Were they disappointed?

Colin: They were just scared .It's like announcing you're going to be a big game hunter, or...they just didn't know what that meant.

Regis: Of course. Absolutely.

Kelly: I think all parents, when their children come home and say I'm going to be an actor, there's that moment where they . . .

Regis: Absolutely.

Kelly: ...think maybe we can put them in an asylum and change their minds.

Colin: Listen, if they say that to me, I'm going to send them to military school. (laughter) It’s out of the question.

Regis: We're going to pause. We'll come right back with Colin Firth.

[commercial break]

Regis: Colin Firth with us from Bridget Jones. Now this time around is the second time around for all three of you: You, Renée and Hugh. Was there a comfort level there achieved in the second film?

Colin: Yeah, I mean what really convinced us that this was going to be a good idea was seeing each other again, you know. And when I saw Ren
ée actually delivering the lines and doing it, my doubts went out of the window. You're naturally going to have some doubts because, when it comes to doing a second part of anything, you're doing it because there's a demand but also everyone's scared you're going to mess up.

Regis: It's not going to be as good as the first one.

Colin: Exactly. So every day that went by in the intervening years, somebody said please do a sequel, are you going to do a sequel, you've got to do the number two. And as soon as I said I was doing it, they said are you sure that's wise?

Regis: They drive you crazy, those people (said very emphatically).

Colin: Absolutely. So you know, you've got to make sure there's enough to go on.

Regis: I was impressed with her British accent. What did you think of it?

Colin: Flawless.

Regis: Awfully good, wasn’t it?

Kelly: Really?

Colin: It's not only flawless, it's kind of on the map. I mean, it sounds to me like it's sort of a southwest suburb of London. It's culturally utterly convincing. It doesn't sound like it's been worked on. And I’ve said this before, but when she talks, she keeps the accent going between takes throughout the whole time she’s filming and then she'll talk about her background and you think, wait a second, lassoing mustangs.

Regis: Texas?

Colin: It gets very confusing. And then, when you meet her afterwards, at the moment if I run into her, I think what's this phony American accent.

Regis: Now this epic fight scene and, of course you had a great fight scene in the first movie and this one is just as good if not better, but did you have to rehearse? And there was water involved. I mean how many times did you fall into that?

Colin: It was a very unpleasant experience from beginning to end. I mean, as I suggested before, getting that close to Hugh Grant is not an attractive experience for me. We were also filming in Hyde Park, where there are a lot of restrictions on vehicles, and so we had to share a very, very small trailer. I won't contaminate your imagination with the horrors I witnessed.

Regis: Yes, the changing between takes.

Colin: Yeah, a very bad experience. We were in a very cold fountain for a long time. They constructed a kind of tub for the two of us of warm water. Because what you do, you're freezing cold, it's November, it's going to be 40 minutes before the next take, you're in wet suits. Do you change and get warm and 10 minutes later change back into the wet stuff? So what they did was they kept us in the wet stuff but warm water. So if you'd been walking through Hyde Park at 11 o'clock one November morning, you would have seen two English gentlemen fully dressed, up to here in water, sipping tea.

Regis: Trying to stay warm.

Colin: Trying to stay warm.

Kelly: That's very funny.

Regis: That is funny. Now did you get some good licks in on this fight? Was it choreographed?

Colin: No. No, we basically sent the stunt men home. No stunt man would touch us, really. These guys have often got military training or something, and no self-respecting stunt man is going to be saying, “Right, sir, you pull his hair and scratch him.” [Colin is using all the appropriate wimpy hand gestures] So we figured that out ourselves. You know, I got a good scratch in here and we fought as we really would. I mean, I'm afraid if you are very angry and a little bit frightened and completely incompetent, that is how you fight. And my last fight was a bit like that. I was...the year would have been 1967, the classroom, and I think it was Paul Langton found out that Gillian Bailey didn't love him any more and he came at me with a yellow crayon, I had to twist his nipple [Regis makes a face as if someone twisted his nipple] and it all turned very ugly and, you know.

Regis: Let's take a look at this now. Here’s Hugh Grant, Colin Firth having their battle in Bridget Jones. [Fight clip] Great scene, wasn’t it? A lot of fun.

Colin: Did you see all the hormones there? No ability, just lots of hormones.

Regis: Lots of hormones.

Kelly: That's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. (wiping tears from eyes)

Regis: And then they really go after each other in the water.

Kelly: That was like my daughter and my 20-month old when they fight over a toy. It’s the same thing.

Regis: Anyway, it's a big hit, Colin, it really is. Bridget Jones in the theaters right now. Thank you, my buddy.

Colin: Thank you. (shaking hands with both) Thanks.

Regis: Colin Firth.

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