(8/12/01)

 
 

Ding Dong

Ding Dong


 
 


 Real Video Interviews
 Real Audio
with Sharon Maguire and Colin Firth  (Italian voiceovers), while the BJD trailer is shown. Colin can be heard answering a question in English. interview with Colin Firth (answers translated in Italian). English below courtesy of Janet.

 
 
I appear in the sequel as me. But it's something that has happened with greater frequency in the last twenty or thirty years. In film and in other media, much discourse is self-referential. Let's take an example from a recent film Scream, which constantly makes reference to its own cliches, which are themselves to previous films.

Itís not unusual for actors to have their names mentioned in stories, books, films that make reference to other films. And in the end films affect reality.  Fifteen years ago I made a film on the war in the Falklands or Malvinas depending on your sympathies. It was the true story of a soldier who was wounded. I got to know him well. I was fascinated by one thing. He told me that all the English soldiers who were down there to fight, who killed and who risked their lives lived out fantasies based on films. They pictured themselves in Apocalypse Now or Deer Hunter with peace symbols on their helmets. The thing that fascinated me that he told me: You're pretending to be us, who are pretending to be you, who are pretending to be us. In Vietnam everyone thought of himself as John Wayne; in the Falklands the soldiers thought of themselves as in Vietnam.

Q: Colin doesn't discriminate between the big and small screen.

The most noticeable difference in my experience with television is that what's asked of you is more challenging, more difficult to approach because in television, if we can characterize it like this, corners are always being cut in terms of production costs. However, the interesting thing, typical of England, is that many of the best scriptwriters work for television, and not for film. Often, in the scripts I read, the television material is far superior. It's interesting that the writers who contributed most to our film both got their start in television.

Q: And what is a good script for the cinema?

There isn't one criterion. A script can be good for a variety of reasons and, when I read a screenplay, I try to forget that it might have a possible role for me. Rather, I try to read it like a work of literature and, if it succeeds in grabbing me, then I'm sure that it's a good script. This can happen because of the quality of the narrative or by the power of the character. With a strong narrative base, it's easier to get a strong character. Or sometimes it can be the poetry of the dialogue. It truly manifests itself in different ways. I am struck in an instinctive way immediately.

Q: Was it difficult to act an very emotional person in a very formal London? Do you have this in common with your character?

Probably yes. I think that the celebrated English reserve, their phlegm is losing out. It is not so deeply rooted. And that applies most of all to my generation. Take Prince Charles as an example. He belongs to a type that doesn't exist anymore. He surely represents one part of the British character. But there are also the Mick Jaggers and the John Lennons. Certainly the majority of kids with whom I went to school identified with them more than with Prince Charles.

But it's endemic in my culture. My grandparents, my professors, a great number of people have this phlegmatic attitude. It's something that fascinates me. I think that the English, like everyone else, are a passionate people. There doesn't exist a culture in the world that isn't passionate. I find it very interesting to see what one can lose or gain from being emotional or inhibited, or from using filters. Still English reserve is something that historically entered our culture rather late, in the Victorian period, perhaps because of the German branch of the family. The Elizabethans were not known for their reserve. Shakespeare's time was not known for being emotionally inhibited. They were very wild, violent, drinking, corrupt. And very sexual. And that can describe the English really up to the Regency.


 

 Interview with Colin at the Locarno Festival (in Italian)


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 "And now back to the studio"


To Latest News Read the continuing columns from The Telegraph Read about the supporting cast On location with Bridget What's on the soundtrack See publicity pics from the movie and links to the trailer Need to have inner poise, to the reviews A special from Horse and Hounds Goodies from the cutting room floor