Today's topic is talking about your favourite living famous person. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below, so that you ideas flow more easily when you get together with the members of your conversation group and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
- Is it a man or a woman?
- What are they famous for?
- Are they a singer, actor, politician or something else?
- What do you particularly like about them?
- How long have you been a fan?
- When did you first become aware of them?
- Did they look any different from how they look now?
- What do they look like now?
- How old are they?
- Are they married?
- Do you know where they live?
- Are they world famous?
- Have you ever seen them in real life?
10 Questions with Colin Firth - TIME from marina rossi on Vimeo.
Colin Firth is an Academy Award winning actor. His new movie is Railway Man and I’m excited to say that he’s here with me now. Mr Firth, welcome.
Good to be here.
So Railway Man is based on the story of a former POW, who, who goes back to Thailand to kind of hunt down one of his torturers, more or less. Are veterans particularly interesting characters to you, is it just the, is it just that’s two great stories?
One of the most interesting areas of my job is when I get asked to have a brush with someone else’s extraordinary experience, whether it’s beautiful or horrific or inspiring or, or otherwise. It’s nevertheless an exploration beyond anything that has happened to me. And and it become my job, a very difficult job at the to understand it as best as I can. And then to hopefully relay something of it you know, through this particular medium.
When I saw the movie I thought, oh, this is going to be a nice little romance between Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
He’s a wonderful man. I’ve seen it, but he’s a mess.
You couldn’t possibly imagine what he’s been through.
And then suddenly, you’re in a war movie. And I was like, oh, he’s tricked me with his romanticness.
Well I think that’s Patti Lomax felt when she met her Terry Lomax. I think, we’re, we’re walking a mile in her shoes, because she didn’t really have a clue when she met him.
I love him and I want him back.
As you see in the film, it wasn’t really until they got married that it very suddenly and abruptly became apparent because his nightmares were harrowing. For anybody who, who is present or even in the same house, they couldn’t even have guests staying with them because his screams were so distressing. So, yes, she met a charming, somewhat eccentric rather brilliant individual who proved to be profoundly complicated and extremely damaged.
Do you believe in revenge?
It’s a question that comes up and I think it’s a question that probably should come up. But I don’t really think. I’m not in the business of answering that question. And I don’t think the film is really trying to. It’s not a morality tale. It’s not a bromide for life. It’s not a prescription.
It takes the position though, I would say on revenge.
I don’t actually think it does. I think it tells a story about how a man found healing and some peace by letting go of his need for revenge. I asked Erik himself over lunch. It’s a very strange thing to find yourself asking a question about someone’s plan for murder. And his wife’s sitting there, and we’re having Shepherd’s pie.
Yes. And I wasn’t quite sure what the proper vocabulary is in polite company. But I have. I said, did you? I mean, did the people around you, the counselors, your wife, were they aware of your, your plan to like… and he just said ‘kill him?’ Well, yes, and he said, ‘oh yeah.’ And he said it didn’t matter whether they knew or not. And he said, I knew I was going to do it. He’d thought about it and it was like he’d seen in the film. And he said he’d nursed himself to sleep on the screams of his, his victim, in his mind, and he had, he sustained himself on that, you know, and I think this story is meaningless unless we are honest about that, and those years spent completely compelled by those things. I think it makes it much more meaningful and it, and actually it adds, I think it adds incredible weight to the decision he eventually made.
At one point, Nicole Kidman’s character kisses you unexpectedly, and I’m thinking, well, that’s gotta be happening to Colin Firth all the time, though.
Really? Strange women coming up and kissing you awkwardly.
Oh, no, no. If only. No.
Oh, come on.
No. And I can honestly say I think it has never happened, and no, it’s that way in my dreams. And in my dreams that it would look like Nicole Kidman.
Questions from readers. This one is from Kirstie Cameron from New Zealand. Did you keep the waterlogged white shirt from Pride and Prejudice?
No, there were probably about seven of them because, yeah, they came from a costume house called CosProp in London, very good, it was the most wonderful tailor there who made it all on a tiny, tiny budget. We had to rotate very few costumes to make them looks as if I had a lot. And I didn’t. And it was a moment when just for the sake of continuity we had to look like I’d been for a swim, and this shirt is barely soggy or clingy or any of the things that is mythologised to be and they’ve even got me coming out of a lake which I never did. And that got voted as the most memorable moment in television history, the thing that never happened. And so I think it’s been auctioned off probably more times than is actually feasible.
Is your Italian good enough for you to do an Italian movie?
Yes as long as I’m playing an Englishman I couldn’t be mistaken for an Italian.
Do you have a favourite word in Italian?
I love, I mean the insults are wonderful, because they use them more sparingly than we do. But they really do use them to great effect. Stronsa is a wonderful word, it’s an insult.
Is it clean enough to say?
It means a piece of ***, but it’s more specific than that, it means a floating piece of ***. And there’s the whole thing of Lafigura, because we don’t really have that concept. It’s about the impression you create. It’s very important. It’s important enough to have a word, which is in very, very common currency. So bella figura is when, you know, I’ve made a good impression of myself. It’s not as we have to… I’m saying it in a way which is rather labored, but it’s not. A bella figura. It means like ‘that came across well’ or que bruta figura or figuracha you put acho on the end is the bad version of something. And that’ll mean when you’ve, there’s been a gaffe or when you…
Yes, so you’ve just, you know, if I sat here and made some idiotic mistake about who I was talking to or where I was, that would be a figuratta. And we don’t really have that.
We do it, we just don’t do it.
We do it but we have to sort ofanatomize it and create a phrase out of it, and you know, and so you often find that there a lot of these things have a precision in that language which we don’t.
Mr Firth, thank you so much.