Monday, June 04, 2007

Male on Monday - Colin Firth

This week our Natasha Oakley inducts into the Pink Heart Society Hall of Inspirational Men a man who set every female heart alight … Colin Firth

Colin Andrew Firth burst on my consciousness when he played Fitzwilliam Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There was something so particularly attractive about his Darcy’s impromptu swim in a lake a Pemberley, wasn’t there? Was it the breeches? Or the damp shirt? Perhaps it was the beautiful grounds of Pemberley itself???

But I’d seen Colin Firth before ….

He was born on 10th September 1960 in Hampshire, England, into an academic family - his father is a history lecturer and his mother a comparative religions lecturer. He spent his early childhood in Nigeria, returning to England at the age of five to start school. He has a brother called Jonathon and a sister, Kate, who’s a vocal coach.

After studying at the ‘Drama Centre’ he was ‘discovered’ in his final term playing Hamlet and his first professional role was as Bennet in the West End production of ‘Another Country’. This was a fantastic production which also gave us Kenneth Branagh and Rupert Everett. That led, in 1984, to his playing Judd in the movie version of the play. During the early to mid 80s he was a member of the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon.

I noticed him again as Brian Smith in ‘Wings of Fame’ in 1990. And again in ‘Circle of Friends’ in 1995, the same year he made ‘Pride and Prejudice’ since when he’s been an intermitant screensaver!! I like to vary my men! :)

When he was first offered the role of Fitzwilliam Darcy he says his brother said, "Darcy? But isn’t he supposed to be sexy?”

Post ‘Darcy’ you might have seen him in ‘The English Patient’ (Geoffrey Clifton), ‘Fever Pitch’ (Paul Ashworth), Lord Wessex (Shakespeare in Love), ‘Bridget Jones Diary 1 and 2’ (Mark Darcy), ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (Jack Worthing), ‘Hope Springs’ (Colin Ware), ‘What a Girl Wants’ (Henry Dashwood), ‘Love Actually’ (Jamie Bennett), ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (Johannes Vermeer) or Nanny McPhee (Mr Brown). There are many others I could have chosen.

On the DVD audio commentary of ‘Love Actually’, Hugh Grant teases him about his age, looks, vanity and acting. It’s a joke Colin takes in good part. It seems he usually has a good working relationship with the actors he works with but he is on record as disliking Rupert Everett who he worked with on ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.

He says, "I’ve never been able to stand Rupert but on set we managed to get on really well. Rupert and I hate each other because we are very different. I find him a frightfully sophisticated person. He thought I was too serious. We didn’t take to each other but this is a story I would never have revealed to the public if he hadn’t done so during the promotion of our film".

(Bet you have to rent the movie now!!)

He has twice lost a screen wife to a member of the Fiennes family – Ralph in ‘The English Patient’ and Joseph in ‘Shakespeare in Love’. He’s quoted as saying "If I want my career to go on, I’m going to have to find some more Fiennes brothers! However, any similarity between them basically stops at their last name. …. I have a huge admiration for them as actors but I couldn’t compare them.”

He’s 6ft 1½” tall and has been married to Livia Giuggioli since 21 June 1997. They have two sons together, Luca and Mateo and divide their time between Italy and England. Colin also has a son, Will, with Meg Tilly who he met while filming Valmont in 1989.
And just because I can’t resist mentioning it he also had a relationship with his Pride and Prejudice co-star Jennifer Ehle. Though if I were married to him I’d find it very irritating to have his ex-girlfriends continually mentioned. Still, if you marry a national treasure …

With love

This July sees the start of a brand-new series - The Royal House of Niroli.

These 8 wonderful titles are written by some of your favourite Modern™ and Romance authors, including Penny Jordan and Natasha Oakley.

The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule?

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride' will be in the shops in October but if you don't want to wait it's possible to buy the entire set right now by clicking here.


  1. Lovely lovely lovely Natasha!

    I can't belelive it took us so long to get to Mr Darcy himself. We have three Aussie romance authors who used Darcy as part of their pseudonymns!

    And he is lovely. So lovely in Love Actually. Hmmm, lucky you to get all the Enlgishmen to review. While Trish stole Hugh Jackman in week one.


  2. Love him -- he's a real man, not a boy, and that's my cup of tea! nice pick. :)


  3. Waves to Natasha.

    I really enjoy Colin Firth's acting. He's also tolerable to look at. GGG.


  4. Natasha -

    Great choice. Of course, I've been a big fan since P&P. Everytime my mom & sisters and I get together, we do a P&P marathon, and of course, our favorite scene was the wet shirt one you mentioned. Sigh!

  5. Oh he's just gorgeous. Love Actually was brilliant. Good choice. More Englishmen, please!