Gorgeous Colin Firth in China/His Acting Secrets, His Top/Favourite Roles, His Life and Career

Gorgeous Colin Firth in China/His Acting Secrets, His Top/Favourite Roles, His Life and Career

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00:05
I don't know the secrets of acting at all the secret the only secret I know is the suit you can have emotion you find emotion you experience emotions you react but don't act the emotion because that's not real life if you have the stories and some of the best stories about the crossing of Alabama I don't have a particular role that I I single out I want to do I quite like the
00:44
random I like baking pies we are inherently unique so I think the more the more authentic you are it's a great pleasure and an honor to meet you and to have this talk with you and to pick your brain to find out the secret of your acting the art of acting you have played many British gentlemen is there a secret to British gentleman type in terms of gestures the way of
01:22
speaking mannerism etc I don't know the secrets of acting at all the secret the only secret I know is the suit it does most of the work really in hair style hair suit the idea of a gentleman I think as far as it means anything is quite superficial I'm not saying that there aren't profound qualities which are to do with grace dignity if that's
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what we mean and that those are not specific to the English I think that the archetype we're talking about and often it's used in the roles I play just for comedy because it's to do with comedy deals in in in archetypes or stereotypes being a gentleman has nothing to do with one's accent it's about being at ease in one's own skin having way said there is nothing Noble in being superior to your fellow man true nobility is being superior to your former self we know that British actors tend to be
02:33
very well educated they graduate from places like Oxford and Cambridge and they are immersed in great literature and part of that is reflected in your repertory take you for example you have starred in many roles many movies and television adaptations there are from great British literature from Pride and Prejudice to The Importance of
03:04
Being Earnest how important is that legacy to you as an actor I can only speak for myself it is important to me it's not true of all British actors obviously not everybody there are some real artists of cinema in the UK who are not expressing the works of literature you know whose work is probably more reflective of current events in the world today that they do not they're not
03:35
expressing the world of Education and and literature and I think some of the most important cinema coming out of the UK or of anywhere is that cinema but I happened to grow up in a house full of books my parents are academics I did not go to Oxford or Cambridge I went to a drama school my father did go to Cambridge so Ivan I inherited a kind of ethos and so I've I've always had a great curiosity about about literary
04:04
fiction and a great love of language I love what he can do to the imagination and I love what it can do to one's language and I'll one of the great things I value about my own country is the language I think it is it has a beauty and precision and sense of irony tremendous nuance I don't speak enough other languages to compare it to anything but that is something I celebrate by about my own
04:37
and if you may if you talk about it shakes an obvious example it enhances the imagination a stupid person can play Hamlet and enhance their intelligence in the process because the thought process is so electric and so alive that your mind grows as long as you engage with it and actually you know Jane Austen is not Shakespeare but the elegance elegance of her prose I don't know how easy it is
05:09
her to translate it into any other language with these subtlety and nuance of her prose has a very similar effect and so it was exhilarating for me to just to engage with the words talking about language let's start from your award-winning movie The King's Speech because in that story language or speech rather is figured so importantly that person he's the king but he has a speech impairment
05:40
do you think for a public figure speech is that important rather than something else I do think it is important especially more times I guess well it was not only wartime but yes exactly because the the he had to speak to the country at a time of grave crisis but he also was in the worst possible moment in history for a person who is afraid to
06:15
speak [Music] [Applause] Oh [Music] [Music] people thought he was stupid which he was not you know you only have to have any recording of you know his what he wrote his letters his comments this was a very intelligent man so he was
07:00
misjudged and suddenly he was thrown into this position of responsibility which was all dependent on his ability to express himself I don't think we appreciate those of it even those of us who don't have to speak publicly I think we sometimes underestimate how debilitating it is if you can't use your voice did you feel the kind of pressure or responsibility to recreate everything as it was to portray this captor or do you feel
07:32
that you had more freedom more freedom I think it's generally I mean different actors will probably have a different view of this for me it is far more important to get to the truth of how of the nature of an experience than it is to provide a perfect imitation of something I was allowed some freedom because my character although you know he was the King of England and was known he wasn't as universally recognizable as
08:06
say Winston Churchill or Kennedy you know anybody in the world would recognize that Churchill's silhouette you know in a dark light Georgia the six did not have that kind of recognition to today's generation so it was possible for me to have some freedom to personalize it and I thought it's far more important to convey the terror of these silences that he were imposed upon him by his own difficulties and his
08:40
dignity and his sense of humor to make them in a way that I understood you know to be effective rather than trying to copy a voice I did listen to his speeches but rather than try to sound exactly like him I tried to sense what he he felt I could hear the difficulties I want to go one step further how did you balance the dignity where's the humanists well for a start I wasn't working alone you know I was working
09:13
with an extremely astute director and actors like Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter and these are things that you find together you know we had quite a lot of rehearsal and the director Tom Hooper was was worried about the things you're talking about he thought you know this speech difficulty has to be very extreme or there will be no jeopardy we won't understand the stakes but if it's
09:44
too extreme it will alienate the audience because one of the problems is that it is very uncomfortable to see somebody struggling like this you don't want people to leave the theater and then unfortunately stammering has been used for comedy through the years and this is it's caused a lot of pain to people who suffer from this in real life and so these were all traps that had to be avoided and so I think it was it was up to me to be as you know to be as authentic as
10:16
possible to really try to love this man and and not to judge anything to understand his vulnerability but also to give him as much dignity I mean but there's a there's a key thing here which was emphasized in the in this particular job I was told at drama school never this may sound strange you know to tell an actor never play the emotion to be aloof no doesn't mean that you can have emotion you find emotion you experience
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emotion you react but don't act the emotion because that's not real life shortly before the King's Speech there was a single man that movie may not have been watched by a lot of people here in China but it was a huge critical success in least innings speaking countries and you portray a gay professor station in Los Angeles if I'm not mistaken what do you to that part because it sounds
11:20
like so far from the typical roles that you play I opened my email one morning and I found an email from which said Tom Ford a fashion is I know yeah I had never made a movie before that I never made a movie yeah so I was very surprised I didn't know he had my email address and he was just writing saying I want to make this film it's a based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood that's
11:53
very strange I had met Tom Ford but I had no idea he intended to make a movie and I thought it just seemed so unlikely and so strange and so interesting I didn't know really much about him even as a designer I don't know very much about fashion but I thought I have to meet him and I met him and he was very very interesting and magnetic you know to talk to but it was a very busy time
12:24
for me I initially was going to say no because I I was exhausted from I'm surprised I was surprised you said yes I said yes actually on an impulse because it felt like an adventure [Music] Carlos what did you say
12:54
Carlos using my name just a sense of going into the unknown you know one of my favorite quotes is from Miles Davis who said don't play what you know play what you don't know and the result was satisfying to you I guess it was profoundly satisfying I think you are asking about roles which stay with you that more than anything else I've ever done in my life has Davis was there also an element of imitation because you know
13:26
it it's a gay role and there's almost a tradition for straight actors to to learn the mannerisms of typical know it's probably politically incorrect typical gay mannerisms and some of that especially in comedy is very common but that's not a comedy and your performance was very restrained and it was quietly moving there was no mannerism in that yet people could sense that his sexual
13:58
orientation and other facets of his Korean is his life I never thought about it at all it didn't matter it was a love story story about grief about solitude about isolation them his partner happened to be a man it had no other relevance really at all Tom Ford as a gay man didn't care much about that aspect he said and I was sitting next to Tom at a
14:30
press conference where he said you know his his sexuality is no secret in the he but he's if he was asked to say ten things about himself the fact that he was gay maybe number eight he would say I'm from Texas I am a fashion designer I love movies you know so it wasn't the predominantly important facet of the character and the there's there was not
15:02
no need to be a feat or camp or any of those kind of stereotypes and if you meet Tom Ford he doesn't have any of those qualities himself so and I know a lot of heterosexual men who are very camp in defeat as well commercially are your most successful movie so far has been Kingsman the Secret Service it has garnered let me see 480 million he in China 14 million dollars worldwide I'm wondering when you first received that
15:34
script did it sound like another James Bond movie to you because at the time when even Daniel Craig was trying to reinvent the James Bond here's another James Bond was that a challenge for you to either to throw it away another James Bond or to make it to infuse new life into a new venture no it did not feel like a James Bond I met Matthew Vaughn about a year and a
16:06
half before we started shooting and he hadn't finished writing the script yet and I knew from talking to him that he wasn't trying to make James Bond he was using James Bond we have to remember Kingsman is a comedy Kingsman is is it has it's a it has a satirical comic book very self-aware Sensibility I understood that when Matthew Vaughn even the fact that he approached me he said I I want
16:38
you to play this role because not because you're right for it but because you are the last person in the world anybody is going to imagine you know killing all these people was that a compliment probably not but he said I you know you this character must be a cold steel killer but it should surprise people he wanted to reference a very traditional idea exactly the stereotypes you're talking about conscious that they are stereotypes again it's comedies that make fun of it
17:09
medicine but also celebrate it you know this is the where he's it's quite sophisticated because I you know in the way that I think he's paying homage to these things as well as satirizing them so he's not trying to demolish the the mythology everything from you know the the Sean Connery era bond through Michael Caine's Harry Palmer movies or the Avengers perhaps or even all the way to Austin Powers I'm in the spy genre
17:41
from Licari through to you know Austin Powers all through or Jason Bourne it's very broad but he wanted to give it to reference a kind of something we would recognize from another era of this the gentleman spy and to contrast this kind of decorum and elegance with the outrageousness and they and they and the craziness which is possible through the the world of comic book which means that
18:15
you can be much much larger than life so I knew that we were doing something which were had a kind of popular culture self-awareness let's talk about mr. Darcy I don't know how many of you have seen that version of Pride and Prejudice which was aired on CCTV here in China in the nineteen mid 1990s and has been available online in both the dubbed version and subtitled version and it has
18:47
been held by a lot of people in China as people in the rest of the world as the best Pride and Prejudice adaptation of all those wonderful adaptations to the thing that's most memorable to me is that case the Darcy case did you practice that did you design it no I know women here will have different perspectives but I just watched it last week for the second time and I still
19:18
believe that it's worth recommending to everyone who loves great TV and great literature you should say something about the dance perhaps I might remark on the number of couples [Music] you talk by rule and when you're dancing [Music] then we may enjoy the advantage of saying as little as possible it's a
19:53
wonderful that it's lasted so long I mean it was we filmed it more than 20 years ago now and the fact that people still watch it and talk about it is it's not something I would have expected to how to happen ever in my career so to do something of that has that durability is extraordinary as I told you it would before we came out I haven't seen it for 20 years so I can't really judge have you been avoiding it deliberately no I just you know it there has never been a
20:25
moment where I think what shall I do today ah I'll spend six hours watching myself in Pride and president I may get round to it at some point but it hasn't happened I it would be I'd be quite curious to go and look and see what the fuss is about because at the time it was just another job you know for television yeah I heard you turned it down the first time here was offered to you yes I thought I was the worst possible choice I it was a it was a time
20:55
in British television where the costume drama the period costume drama had somewhat gone out of vogue but what happened as I remember it was that the previous year the BBC did a production of Middlemarch George Eliot's Middlemarch which was a great success and very very good and suddenly I think there was a moment where people thought its back we can do this now you know but also there was a pressure I thought you know that maybe the one that worked and don't try did the same trick twice and when they excuse me when they
21:26
offered me I'm when they offered me Darcy I thought you can't play him you know he works in the book but how do you inhabit this character because he he doesn't do anything he doesn't speak really much he case he stares abyss yes I mean you know he stares out of the window he stares at Elizabeth Bennett and he looks forbidding but that's gonna be boring I mean you know and there's no I don't know
21:58
what to do because I don't think I'd look like the guy I don't think I am like the guy and I'm not you know I'm a he's a very contained everything everyone thinks I am now I'm not I took more than he does I'm more animated than he is and I thought this guy who stands very still and very silently I don't know how to transform into that and and be interesting after putting your stamp of
22:29
authority on mr. Darcy do you have more interest to play other roles that you know from great literature that have been played by other people Hamlet for him sup for example I'm a bit old for Hamlet Oh actually I think Cumberbatch is also too old to play Hamlet no he's alright I think Hamlet is quite flexible yeah but I am too old I played him as a drama student and it was the beginning of my career in a way because
23:02
it was because of Hamlet that I did you know I got seen by agents and casting people and then I you know so it led me to work immediately and so I I had it was only a student production but I had a very exhilarating experience with it and I would love to have done it again it's a pity in a way that that moment passed again it's to do with engagement of the language I don't have a particular role that I I single out as something I want to do I quite like the
23:32
random aspect of my job you know taking a I like being surprised you and Hugh Grant played rivals in Bridget Jones and in real life I read somewhere in some reports that sometimes you were considered for the same role and now that I think of it you there are many British actors seem to fit the British gentleman type perfectly how do you differentiate differentiate yourself from Paxos be I don't think it's
24:03
something you can decide about if you I think if your success as an actor or probably in any area of performance or any area of creativity your originality just happens to be to do with your own personality because you know we are inherently unique so I think the more the more authentic you are to yourself the more likely you are to have your own specific qualities and the
24:34
answers there have been a lot of us UK co-productions all along and to a Chinese eye it's sometimes difficult to tell which is a British film or which is American film because the talents from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean often work together and we've seen say British actors playing American roles with a standing degrees of success and vice versa have have there been cases that
25:07
you noticed say an American actor doing things that are not authentic I wouldn't tell you here the reason I asked you about US UK co-productions is because because I wanted to know you your take on possible UK Chinese co-productions our two couches of course have a wider gap we we have different languages and different customs theoretically is it
25:37
possible for our two countries to make movies that can appeal to both markets absolutely it has to be I mean we're going to see the Great Wall soon so that'll be an interesting test case if you have the stories and some of the best stories are about the crossing of cultural boundaries

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