Colin Andrew Firth CBE (born 10 September 1960 in Grayshott, England) is a 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, Ralph Fiennes or Joseph Fiennes, 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 gained an Erdos-Bacon number of 7 after commissioning a study looking into the differences between the brains of conservatives versus liberal politicians.
He has been married to Italian producer/director Livia Giuggioli since 1997. No relation to Peter Firth.
The notable works of Colin Firth include:
- Tommy Judd in Another Country (1984)
- The Vicomte de Valmont in Valmont (1989)
- Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995)
- Geoffrey Clifton in The English Patient (1996)
- Lord Wessex in Shakespeare in Love (1998)
- Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones
- Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
- Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
- Bridget Jones' Baby (2016)
- 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)
- Vince in Where the Truth Lies (2005)
- Cedric Brown in Nanny McPhee (2005)
- Aurelius in The Last Legion (2007)
- Harry in Mamma Mia! (2008)
- And in the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
- Lord Henry Wotton in Dorian Gray (2009)
- George in A Single Man (2009)
- Fred in A Christmas Carol (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
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
- Donald Crowhurst in The Mercy (2017)
- William Weatherall Wilkins in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
- General Erinmore in 1917 (2019)
- Lord Craven in The Secret Garden (2020)
- Sam in Supernova (2021)
- Ewen Montagu in Operation Mincemeat
- A tortilla chef in Rye Lane (2023)
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.
- Creator Backlash: He’s apologized for working with Woody Allen in the past and says he’d never work with him again after allegations from his daughter about sexual abuse resurfaced in 2018. He says he sees a conversation he had with Emma Stone on the set of Magic in the Moonlight about how weird it was he was playing her Love Interest when he’s the same age as her dad in a very different light now.
- Fake American: To varying degrees of success. He's British, but he's managed a fairly affective midwestern accent in A Thousand Acres (1997), Arthur Newman (2012), Genius (2016), and the HBO Max series The Staircase (2022), where he plays Michael Peterson. He sports a somewhat shakier southern dialect in Main Street (2010), and Devil's Knot (2013).
- 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.