Few men can pull off a suit like Colin Firth. Plaza Uomo got an exclusive meet­ing with the movie star.

Few can pull off a suit on screen like Colin Firth. He tells Plaza Uomo about his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tom Ford and his new film Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice which is set in Sav­ile Row.

Plaza Uomo UK - - Contents - WORDS gun­nar rehlin

At first

I hardly rec­og­nize Colin Firth – he is, you see, not wear­ing a suit. On this Jan­uary day in Lon­don he wears dark trousers, shirt and a pullover. It feels so wrong. Be­cause af­ter films such as A Sin­gle Man and his most re­cent Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice, it feels as if Firth has some­how be­come iconic of the kind of man who wears a suit.

- Sure, I feel very com­fort­able wear­ing a suit. But it feels just as nice when evening comes to be able to take it off, he says with a wry smile.

In the ac­tion com­edy Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice he plays one of the lead­ers of a su­per se­cret spy or­gan­i­sa­tion. Ev­ery­one who works there is sharply dressed – hardly sur­pris­ing as the en­trance to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s head­quar­ters is in a tai­lor’s on Sav­ile Row in Lon­don.

Have you al­ways wanted to play a James Bond-style char­ac­ter?

- Not al­ways, but of course there has al­ways been the dream of what it would feel like.

One of the lines in the film is ’an agent’s suit is his suit of ar­mour’. Care to com­ment?

- In the film it has a dou­ble mean­ing. Partly the suits are spe­cially made, they re­ally do pro­tect you and partly it refers to the fact that the agents are named af­ter the Knights of the Round Ta­ble: Gala­had, Arthur and so on. But it also refers to the fact that agents, at least in Bri­tish films, are al­ways very smartly dressed, usu­ally in suits.

Do you of­ten wear a suit?

-Yes, I feel com­fort­able in a well-fit­ted suit. It does some­thing for your state of mind, it makes me feel se­cure. But as I said be­fore, it is also nice to take off the suit and put on some­thing more re­laxed.

A cou­ple of years ago you played the lead­ing role in A Sin­gle Man, writ­ten, di­rected and not least de­signed by Tom Ford. There you wore only Tom Ford suits and I’d imag­ine you were prob­a­bly spoiled, were you not?

Ab­so­lutely. Once you have worn tai­lor­made Tom Ford suits it is dif­fi­cult to adapt to some­thing else.

How do you get your suits now? Do you visit Sav­ile Row or do you wait for Tom Ford to bring you some­thing?

Tom has been very nice to me (said with a lit­tle smile).

What was it like to play your role in A Sin­gle Man?

I was sur­prised at the script Tom sent me. When a fa­mous de­signer wants to make his de­but as a di­rec­tor, you hardly ex­pect it to be about a de­pressed man at the be­gin­ning of the 1960s. More likely that it would be about fash­ion. It was a very sparse script. Tom gave me a free hand to de­velop the char­ac­ter and I had lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to do things I usu­ally don’t do. Some di­rec­tors have a ten­dency to re­duce the ac­tors to pieces in a jig-saw puz­zle, but Tom is not like that. He cre­ated an at­mos­phere that made peo­ple want to do their very best.

Your break-through had some­thing to do with clothes – you were stand­ing in a wet shirt in Pride and Prej­u­dice and women all over the world fainted: have you ever re­gret­ted that scene?

No, how could I? With­out Mr Darcy I would, per­haps, never have got to where I am to­day. But I some­times think if I shouldn’t change my name to Colin Darcy. It could save me when the day comes that my ca­reer is over and open­ing su­per­mar­kets is the only thing that re­mains.

The part of Mr Darcy won you the ti­tle of “the sex­i­est man in the world” …

Ev­ery­one likes to be flat­tered, so what can you say about it? You can only won­der if it is go­ing to mean some­thing, but I don’t think it has.

What makes you ac­cept a cer­tain role?

I choose roles that in­ter­est me and which al­low me to con­tinue with my life. I have a nice home, won­der­ful kids and a wife I love. I am happy.

A cou­ple of years ago we saw you in the film ver­sion of Mamma Mia. Were you fa­mil­iar with Abba’s mu­sic be­fore that?’

Of course, ev­ery­one who was alive in the 1970s was. But I was a mu­sic snob at the time, so I was no fan. But I never missed them on TV, be­cause the girls in the group were fas­ci­nat­ing. Es­pe­cially the one in tight clothes. Then I started to like the mu­sic se­cretly.

You and Stel­lan Skars­gård sang through­out the whole film – would you say it went well?

I would say we are al­most in the same cat­e­gory, even though Stel­lan is the most tone-deaf per­son I have ever met. His in­abil­ity to ever hit the right tone is unique and it ought to be cel­e­brated in it’s own show. Though it would hurt peo­ple’s ears. The un­fair thing is that it only takes one man to press a but­ton in a stu­dio to make it sound good. I can at least keep in tune.

“Se­cret agents in Bri­tish films are al­ways well dress ed, usu­ally in suits”

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