(with Katie Couric)
November 18, 2004,
transcribed by KimC
Katie: You’ve seen him in Bridget Jones’s
Diary, Love Actually and Pride and Prejudice, films which provoked fans
to name Colin Firth “The Thinking Woman’s Sex Symbol.” [Katie looks toward Colin, tilts her head,
raises her eyebrow and purses her lips, as if to convey, “what do you
think of that?” before trailer scenes are run.] Now he’s back in
one of his most memorable roles, Bridget’s love interest, Mark Darcy,
in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Colin Firth.
Katie: (whose crossed leg is sexily poised about
six inches from Colin’s) Good morning. Nice to have you here.
Colin: Good morning
Katie: Apparently this role has brought you to
a new level of fame, Colin. We now have “Darcy Mania” and “The Firth
Factor.” Have you heard about all this stuff?
Colin: These words have come up, ya. I get hit
with a new one every so often. I haven’t heard the Firth Factor.
Katie: The Firth Factor, which is not easy to
say, by the way.
Colin: No, and I don’t know what the factor
is. What is the factor? No, it’s, you know, it’s …You get to a certain
age when to be described as sex-anything is something to be grateful
Katie: I hear you, but, apparently, at the
London premiere, people were going bananas over you, more so than any
other actor who was present. Is this true?
Colin: A very loyal friend must have told you
that. [clip from Leicester Square of
Colin and Livia posing and him greeting fans] I heard a lot of
noise for a lot of people. But it was…The English aren’t prone to
making a lot of noise (Katie: Right)
and this seems to bring it out in them, this whole thing.
Katie: It’s nice because, you know, some
movies that are made about Great Britain are kind of pooh-poohed in
your homeland, and yet, Bridget Jones has really been embraced in a
way. For example, I know Love Actually was kind of trashed by people
who live in England, which was very upsetting to me, ‘cause I
absolutely loved that movie (said v.
sincerely), and I loved your story the best.
shy smile) Did you? (full grin now)
Katie: I did. I love that story. I’m such
a…sap! (giggling) But…
Colin: I loved (cough and moving a bit uncomfortably),
I loved that story, too and uh…We do tend to tear into our own a little
bit, you know, whether it’s our soccer team or our sports heroes or our
musical heroes. We, we, you know, we don’t…We’re not easily spared for
being successful. It’s a bit of a crime actually.
Katie: But, why do you think Bridget Jones has
been more embraced than some other products. I know, for example,
Renee. There’s been high praise for her, and everyone says nice things
about her acting and her accent and…
Colin: I think every generation takes on some
sort of representative, you know. And, I think she speaks to a lot of
people. It’s hard to catch that in a bottle, you know. How do you know
what’s going to work? We’d all be making hit movies if we could, but
somehow she’s tapped into an urban 30-something…
Colin: I think she has, yeah. And it’s spread
well beyond the shores of England as we’ve seen.
Katie: That’s true. I think a lot of people in
this country can completely relate to her. In The Edge Of Reason, I
know your character, Mark Darcy (her
voice noticeably changes when she says the name) changes from an
aloof, unknown Bridget love interest to total sex god and human rights
lawyer, Mark Darcy. Let’s take a look.
[clip of Mark Darcy telling
Bridget “I love you” on the intercom]
Mark Darcy is soooo cute! I
mean because he is sort of a bit awkward and shy, and how much of Colin
Firth is in Mark Darcy? Oh, do you hate that question? (she laughs)
Colin: No, it’s just...No. It’s just a
difficult one. I think the easiest way to dodge it, in a way, is to
say, “How likely is Mark Darcy to be an actor? Would he choose that as
a profession? A man who...”
defending her hero) No, because he’s a human rights lawyer.
Colin: Yeah, well, he cares about other
people! (both laughing) You
know, our profession is not known for that. He also is a person who is
horrified at any kind of emotional demonstration, you know. He’s
repressed. Actors like to make a show of themselves, you know, and
think about themselves, and all that sort of thing. So, in some ways,
he is the polar opposite of me professionally speaking. We must overlap
somewhere, because, they keep asking me to do it, you know. They keep
wanting me to wheel him out again and again.
Katie: And there’s something so appealing
about his character because, I think, for example, I know there’s a
scene when Bridget is talking about her wobbly bits and not showing him
her body, which so many women can relate to. I mean, who really want to
do that unless you’re, like, Giselle or somebody, right? And he says I
like you just the way you are. In fact, we have a sign, out in the
crowd [shot of crowd and sign]
that says ‘We Like You Just as You Are, Colin” which I thought was so
cute because, obviously, people just swoon at his sort of acceptance
and loving nature, which is nice.
Colin: I was astonished by the reaction to
that line of dialogue, actually, because what it speaks of is a hunger
that people must have to be told that.
Katie: To be loved for who they are.
Colin: I think so. You know, I thought it
maybe went without saying, but I think that’s the problem. Perhaps it
doesn’t go without saying, you know. Perhaps it does need to be said.
And I’ve never been in the business of going into relationships to try
to modify anybody, but...
Katie: Well, you can’t, really.
Colin: You can’t. It’s a dead end. And, I have
never been interested in that, but I think it must just be the
declaration that makes the difference.
Katie: But we can’t let you go, and we only
have a few seconds left, without showing a bit of the fight scene
between you and Hugh Grant which was rather pathetic, Colin. (said laughingly)
[clip of fight scene starts]
I’m so sorry to hear you say that.
Come on! You have to admit. Were you thinking “Oh my god, I’m more
manly than that!”
to laugh) You know what? This is how, exactly how, it would be:
two very angry, slightly frightened, and utterly incompetent Englishmen.
Katie: Well, Colin, Great to see you. Thanks
for coming by, and thanks for talking to the crowd.
Colin: Great to be back.
Katie grabs his head and
plants a double Euro-kiss on him.
Screen caps by Leslie
[See full gallery here]