Interview With Colin Firth

BATD ON Feb 02, 2010 AT 1:57 pm

A Single Man

A Single Man

Colin Firth is one of Britain’s best loved actors, best known for his performances on television in BBC dramas Tumbledown and as the dashing Darcy in Pride & Prejudice. Not forgetting his roles in Bridget Jones’ Diary and Mamma Mia. Now he stars in Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man, based on the story by Christopher Isherwood. Set in the US in 1962, Firth plays English college professor George Falconer, a man struggling to come to terms with the death of his long term lover Jim (Matthew Goode). Distracted momentarily by old friend Charley (Julianne Moore) and curious student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult), he cannot ignore the profound sense of less he feels and so resolves to do something about it. In our interview Colin reveals what it was like working with Tom Ford.

Colin Firth as George in A Single Man

Colin Firth as George in A Single Man

Do you see A Single Man as a period movie, in its view of a gay man in society?
“I don’t feel, frankly, that all that much has changed. Obviously it’s on a state by state basis in America but the whole business of gay rights are shifting there all the time. Interestingly, we were actually filming on the day when Proposition 8 was passed in California, which essentially rescinded gay marriage rights.  And this was the same day actually that Barack Obama won the election.”

Julianne Moore as Charlotte in A Single Man

Julianne Moore as Charlotte in A Single Man

Talking of the style of the piece, Tom Ford – with his fashion experience at Gucci – makes the film look great, but also delivers strong characters within the story, doesn’t he?
“He used all the skills that I think he’d developed as a designer. As he’ll tell you in his other job he has to have a vision and he has to be able to communicate that, he has to be able to marshal people and inspire them to share it and do what you want them to do. Those are very much the skills that are required to direct a film too. He also has an extraordinary instinct for picking the right people to do the jobs he wants, whether it’s a designer or a make-up person or his cast. If you have a look at him for a moment you realise it would be silly to bet against him on something like this. But I do think there was an emotional cost to him with this, he’s not just proving that he can do it. I feel there’s a lot of him in the story.”

Colin Firth in A Single Man

Colin Firth in A Single Man

How did he relate to his actors on set?
“He didn’t give me any verbal instructions really, ever, it was just very clear what was required once we were up and running. When I read the script there was a lot of space to be filled in, there was a lot of stuff without words, but once we were doing it it seemed terribly clear what each moment should be about really. Tom didn’t really need to fling instructions around. I could tell by the room that we were filming in what the mood was, I could see what was on the page. I could tell something by what I was wearing. People comment on the visual beauty of it, I didn’t really notice it as beautiful particularly , it just seemed to be an inevitable part of this world really.”

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2 OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH COLIN FIRTH…

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