Colin Firth is a reserved man. It often gets him in trouble. On the set of his new film “Arthur Newman,” the 52-year-old best known for his Oscar win for “The King’s Speech” decided to do a nice thing for co-star Emily Blunt.
He called to wish her happy birthday. In his own way.
As Blunt recalls it, “He went, ‘Er, happy birthday, I left you a text — bye.’ ”
Says Firth, “I thought my birthday message was charming.”
He sniffs and says, “Emily did abuse me all the time and I was outnumbered. There were more women than men on this set. They even teased me about being in that People Most Beautiful issue.
“But I retorted that I made the beautiful list back when I was beautiful.”
In “Arthur Newman” (opening Friday), he plays a FedEx employee who is tired of his boring life, so he fakes his own death and takes on a new identity. That fits with a free-spirited woman (Blunt) who is also running away. Firth says he’s open to exploring all sorts of post-Oscar films.
What about an action film?
“Have you ever seen me run?” he poses with a chuckle. “It’s not pretty.”
Q. If you could step outside of your life, what would you do?
A. There are a lot of doctors in my family. If I had been clever, this might have been my path. But I’m a bit stupid. I knew from my first biology exam that I wouldn’t be a doctor. Growing up, I still had a hero worship for my uncle who was a doctor. I watched him go around healing children. I still think there is nothing better you can do with your life.
Q. How has life changed since your Oscar win?
A. Life as an actor is a constant roll of the dice. It was a roll of the dice before I won an Oscar and it is still a roll of the dice. Three scripts landing on my desk turned into 300. That also means three bad scripts turned into 300 bad scripts. I still love doing a film that could go either way. It could end up fascinating or it could end up disappearing. I’m always attracted to a big risk.
Q.What is the progress of the next Bridget Jones film?
A. Unfortunately, it might be a bit of a long wait. I wouldn’t say that it’s completely dead in the water, but the way it’s going you might be seeing Bridget Jones’ granddaughter’s story being told by the time we get there. … There is a joy of doing those movies that keeps hope alive. And the story is going in an interesting direction. I just wouldn’t say that the movie is imminent.
Q. Care to share anything about life with your wife and two sons, Luca, 12, and Matteo, 11?
A. You’ll usually find me taking a child to soccer practice. I like to live a quiet life. I’m all about long walks, tea and family.
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