Colin Firth is back as Harry in the Kingsman sequel, “The Golden Circle”.
Given what had happened to his character in the original film, fans may be surprised to see “Harry” back but Colin wasn’t surprised to get the call back as had been in constant contact with Matthew Vaughn. “There was definitely talk about how well the team and the dynamic was working.”
The Kingsman are like superheroes. Most superheroes get to wear cool, comfy suits which are conducive to fight scenes. The Kingsman, while they look cool in their suits and dress shoes, their outfits can’t be that comfy to fight in.
Colin agrees, “It’s uncomfortable. Actually we cheated a little bit. For action scenes I asked for a bigger suit. The suit wouldn’t have survived.”
Colin’s career to date has been very successful and quite eclectic. From “Kingsman”, to “The King’s Speech” to “A Single Man” to “Mamma Mia” and “Mary Poppins Returns” so how does he decide whether he is going to say yes to a role or not?
“There’s no set of rules or boxes to tick. Recently I seem to have gone into the sequel phase of my life which I guess is maybe a sign of age. Your life coming back as acid reflux.”
“In the case of a sequel, it is often just to be back with the people. With “Mamma Mia”, it’s just irresistible to be with that team. It’s one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. Those people really are my best friends and nothing would stop me. And also, I have never really seen or been in a movie that has had the affect on an audience.”
“I mean, it may not be for everybody, but, following its screenings around the world, looking at people sitting there rather stiffly, waiting to resist this thing, then the shoulder start to go, 20 minutes in, and then everyone on their feet in the end. That experience was bliss.”
Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again!
How is Colin feeling about having to sing again?
He quickly retorts, “How are you feeling about me having to sing again?”
My response? “I quite enjoyed it. I don’t mind as long as it’s me not having to do the singing.”
“I think I am quite the opposite”, Colin says. “ I do love to do the singing. I think I have learned that it’s the fewer listeners the better. Normally I’d have compassion and confine myself to the shower but I love it. If I have to apologise afterwards, so be it.”
Entertaining the masses
Audiences get to enjoy Colin’s films. Is he able to enjoy them like we do, or does he make them, see them at the premiere, then put them away and move onto the next one?
“The latter. I think I can enjoy the memory better. I don’t think it’s hugely unusual. I think most people wince when they see a picture of themselves, most people wince when they hear their voice recorded.”
“You know if you do theatre, you never have to have it fed back to you. You can remember it the way you want to remember it and I think it would be nice to have that with film.”
“You know, you see the screening and you have to see if people like it. Just enjoy the fact. I think if you watch it, all the judgements you make on yourself are going to spoil that. Or if you like it and no-one else does, it’s painful. So I think it’s the memory of doing it, it’s the one to keep.”
“I’m an actor!”
On imdb.com, Colin’s first acting credit is listed as 1984 – “Crown Court” playing PC Franklin. However, Colin says that it was in fact “Another Country” that should be listed as his first on screen credit.
However, his first acting role came thanks to the theatre. He featured in the stage version of “Another Country”.
Does he remember how he felt when he could first call himself an actor?
“My first day as a professional actor was in the theatre – the play of Another Country and yes, the first time I got that brown envelope (there was that incredible feeling of) I am being paid to do this, when I had been paying to do this, up until that point – quite happily too.
“It always feels like a bit of a miracle that you’re still working.”
So how does it feel to no longer be chasing his tail and be able to call acting his profession?
“I’m still pinching myself I think. I don’t think that ever goes away.”
“You shouldn’t get work, that’s what was promised to me. My parents, didn’t disapprove of it, they just were worried. They said, there’s just no job security. You know, as time has gone on, you realise that there is probably no job security in any profession but you know, growing up in the 70s, the idea was that there was job security. And if you got the right education, or the right training, the right degree, it would lead to this, and then there would be a retirement age and there would be a pension, and that would be the path that felt secure. And I have always been mindful of the fact that this is not secure.”
“I listened to an interview with Dustin Hoffman, saying that he still feels like, when he is finished on a movie, that’s the last one. That the phone isn’t going to ring. And he had talked to Gene Hackman who had said the same thing. I think actors always feel that a little bit. It always feels like a bit of a miracle that you’re still working.”
Mary Poppins Returns
One of Colin’s upcoming roles is the much anticipated “Mary Poppins Returns”. What can he tell us about the film?
“I can tell you that it’s going to be great. It’s on a quite an extraordinary scale. You know most of the films I have done have been on quite a small scale. You feel like we are flying by the seat of our pants, the crew’s quite small, the production values. “Kingsman” was on a whole different scale but I would say that “Mary Poppins” is on an even bigger one.”
“Rob Marshall is a director that everyone adores. The atmosphere on the set was incredibly happy. I could’ve spent a lot more time than I did. My role in it is not enormous and it’s one of those times where I just wished I had been there all of the time. You know, just had a bigger role to play. Everyone seemed very happy and from what I saw I think it’s going to be really fabulous.”
We’ll have to wait until late 2018 to see Colin in “Mary Poppins Returns”.
However, you can catch Colin Firth in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, in Irish cinemas, from September 20.