Colin Firth - Backstage interview at the 2011 Oscars

Posting this for anyone as obsessed as I am in hearing what Colin Firth had to say after his well-deserved win on Sunday night at the Academy Awards!

Colin's backstage interview at the 2011 Oscars...

Transcript of Colin's backstage interview

(some of it not shown in video above)

Q: The King’s Speech has taken up so much of your time in the last few months, I wonder now that you’ve won the Oscar, are you actually looking forward to taking a break from Bertie?
A: “Yeah, I am. Yeah, I’ve started having fantasies about what I’ll do, I’ll have to talk to you about. No, it’s lovely company. No, I think I’m going to cook a lot. I don’t think I’m particularly good at it but I’m going to inflict my cooking on anybody within range, but I tend to find that’s a very good way to decompress. I’ll probably be the only one eating it but that’s what I’m going to do.”

What message do you think this story sends to people?
I don’t believe in messages in what I do. I don’t think we’re preachers. I don’t think we’re philosophers. I personally happen to be an annoyingly outspoken person, but that’s not because I think the storytelling involves prescribing what people should think or hear, so I’m not in that business. What has struck me is the emotional response to it seems to be very, very personal. It’s quite diverse. Quite obviously speech therapists and people who have difficulties with their speech of whatever kind, have responded to it, and that is very powerful to me to be on the receiving end of that kind of feedback because what we do is very often, it’s justifiably judged as completely and utterly frivolous. I think frivolity is also very important. That’s a whole other argument.

But the fact is that it overlaps with something that has connected with or resonated with people who’ve, you know, feel they’ve been heard about something for the first time. It’s probably the most valuable thing of all to me. I don’t think it sent a message. I just think maybe it shines a light on something which badly needed it.”

: Why do you not support it [cutting the film to be PG-13]?
A: “Because I think the film has its integrity as it stands. I think that scene belongs where it is. I think it serves a purpose. I’m not someone who is casual about that kind of language. I don’t relish I take my children to see football games, soccer. And I wouldn’t be able to, if I wanted to protect them from those kind of words at the expense of all else. I hate hearing that language around them, but I’m not going to deny them an experience of a live game. You know, it does distress me to, you know, to hear that language bawled in the ears of my kids. So I don’t take that stuff lightly. But the context of this film could not be more edifying, more appropriate. It’s not vicious. It’s not to do insult or it’s not in any of the context which might offend people, really.
It’s about a man trying to free himself through the use of forbidden words, and he’s so coy about it. I mean, I just can’t I still haven’t met the person who would object to it. So I think the film should stand as it is.”

Re: Hooper’s choice of lenses, the way he placed you in the frame helped you create the feeling of isolation that you got?
A: “In some ways, the way of working was conducive to the kind of tension and anxiety that I needed to draw from for it. The very first thing that Tom shot on me was a single shot of me in the first scene where Bertie meets Logue. That’s kind of baptism by fire in a story like this. Normally, you would kick off with something easy like walking down a corridor or getting out of a car and then the crew will get to know each other and once we’re all safely in the zone, then you can start to get into the more serious stuff, and then you might eventually start with a wide master shot with two actors, three actors. And you’ll know that that you’re establishing the scene first, the critical stuff.

The stuff on your face, most of that, is not going to play on this shot. So you get a chance, it’s like a rehearsal. Tom didn’t do any of that. He decided to take a ten minute scene which was basically a three act play and said kick off on my face. And there is nothing for it but to commit. And I think he made a very, very good decision, not just for me, but for him, where we thought, “Okay, you know, you don’t have much time in film, I think, has a misperception that you try and try again until you get it right and you can keep doing it.”

That’s not how it works. You get three goes, four. It’s expensive. You know, it goes into the can and you move on. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t really nailed it. This is like a feeling of being pushed out in the royal upper house and told to sing on the first night without much rehearsal and you just have to dig for whatever you can. And then, I think it was very good because I put both feet in and so did he and he committed to a style he wasn’t quite sure about yet. He still had a few options open, but after we completed that day which could have ended up being about ten percent of our entire film, he realized he had committed to a cinematographic style. And I had committed to my approach and to be squeezed down in the corner of a sofa and Tom kept telling me to shrink myself physically because I’m much bigger than George VI. He was very slight and he had a famous small disposition.

So Tom’s note to me was, ‘Try to disappear as much as possible.’ And I think that’s partly why he put me on the edge of the big sofa and part of why he put me on the edge of the frame, surrounded me by what he thought was negative space. And I could feel all that going on and so it definitely informed what I did."

Transcript: Indiewire

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  1. Excellent! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Yes, thanks for posting this, charleybrown!! So happy for him and his win! (Yeaah!)He does look very tired; am sure it's been quite a ride and he's looking for some P&Q!!!

    And am looking forward to seeing TKS-swearing or not!



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