Colin Andrew Firth CBE (born September 10, 1960) is a handsome British actor known for his ability in both comedy and drama (and for being very handsome). After a youthful career of small roles, fame finally arrived following his performance as Mr. Darcy in the acclaimed 1995 BBC miniseries based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which made women swoon all over the world. Some notable supporting roles in films were to follow, including The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, both of which featured the rare event of his character losing in a love triangle (to one of the Fiennes brothers, in each case; perhaps they're his kryptonite). Real film stardom came with 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary, where he basically reprised his role as Mr. Darcy for the 21st century. In the following decade, Firth became a fixture of both romantic comedies and some smaller, more serious films. By the end of the decade, he had decisively established himself as a serious actor, with an Academy Award nomination for A Single Man and widespread acclaim for his work as King George VI in The King's Speech which earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as just about every other major acting award.
He has been married to Italian producer/director Livia Giuggioli since 1997.
The notable films of Colin Firth include:
- Geoffrey Clifton in The English Patient (1996)
- Lord Wessex in Shakespeare in Love (1998)
- Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
- Wilhelm Stuckart in Conspiracy (2001)
- John Worthington in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
- Henry Dashwood in What a Girl Wants (2003)
- Johannes Vermeer in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)
- Jamie Bennett in Love Actually (2003)
- Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
- Vince in Where the Truth Lies (2005)
- Cedric Brown in Nanny McPhee (2005)
- Aurelius in The Last Legion (2007)
- Harry in Mamma Mia! (2008)
- Lord Henry Wotton in Dorian Gray (2009)
- George in A Single Man (2009)
- Fred in A Christmas Carol (2009) (2009)
- King George VI in The King's Speech (2010)
- Bill Haydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)
- Harry Deane in Gambit (2012)
- Ben Lucas in Before I Go To Sleep (2014) Actual name revealed to be Mike
- Harry Hart/Galahad in Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
- And in the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
- William Weatherall Wilkins in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Tropes related to Colin Firth:
- Awesome, Dear Boy: He played Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service because it gave him the chance to play a suave, James Bond-type action hero in an absolutely balls-to-the-wall comedy that hangs a lampshade on practically every spy-movie trope.
- Betty and Veronica: Is almost always the Betty.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Especially pronounced in The King's Speech.
- Playing Against Type: He plays a manipulative, abusive psychopath villain in Before I Go To Sleep.
- Subverted in Mary Poppins Returns, where he plays an upperclass banker who is a manipulative, duplicitous villain.
- Playing with Character Type: Before Kingsman, Firth's best known work was playing upperclass and polite gentleman characters in Bridget Jones-esque rom-com films, with the main exception being an Roman soldier role in the lesser-known epic film The Last Legion. As Harry Hart in Kingsman, he retains a slightly more vulgar version of his upperclass politeness, but kicks a lot more ass while doing so.
- Typecasting: Not so much since he started winning Oscars, but even a quick glance at his filmography before that (and even several after) reveals a significant number of roles that have shared more than a few things in common with a certain pompous but ultimately good-hearted upper-class gentleman from Derbyshire.
- What Could Have Been: He was originally cast as the voice of Paddington Bear for the Live-Action Adaptation. However, after recording his lines, both he and the producers came to the mutual conclusion that his voice wasn't the right fit for the character, and he ended up being replaced by Ben Whishaw instead. This was somewhat awkward as there had already been posters printed out and distributed with Colin's name on them. However, there were no trailers featuring Colin's voice.