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.
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”