I defy anyone to have even considered giving the Oscar to anyone but Colin Firth for The King’s Speech. Poor James Franco, coming after Firth as Sandra Bullock nailed her presentation of best actor, speaking directly to the nominees. (I want Bullock to host the Oscars! She’s got crack comic timing, which is more than can be said of Franco and Hathaway.) The Academy opted to have one actor make the presentation, instead of a group, as in the recent past.
“I have a feeling my career just peaked,” Firth says, thanking the film’s two Oscar-winners, writer David Seidler and director Tom Hooper. He thanks a long list of producers as well as “Harvey” who took him on when “he was a child sensation.” And he says he owes a “piece of this” to Tom Ford, who directed his last nominated film, A Single Man.
Backstage: Firth refuses to dance for the press. Will he get an invitation to the Royal Wedding? “Mine is most definitely lost in the post,” he says.
The UK Film Council has been scrapped–the entity gave the film 1 million pounds. “I think on the face of it that it was a short-sighted decision,” says Firth, who sees the BFI stepping in to help finance films with government cooperation.
Taking a break from Bertie: “I’ve started having fantasies about what I’ll do when I don’t have to talk to you lot. I think I’m going to cook a lot. I’m not good at it. It’s a good way to decompress.”
Firth adds: “I don’t believe in messages. I don’t think we’re philosophers. I am annoyingly outspoken, but I don’t think good storytelling proscribes what people think or feel. The emotional response seems to be personal and diverse. Speech therapists have responded to it.” He responded personally to the feedback, he says, that certain people felt heard, and that the film shed a light on something that badly needed it.
Weinstein’s PG-13 version, which is screening Monday: He hasn’t seen it and doesn’t support it. “The film has its integrity as it stands. That scene serves a purpose. I’m not someone who is casual about that kind of language. In the context of this film it could not be more edifying or appropriate. I still have not met the person who objects to it.”
He talks about how Hooper decided early on to film scenes by starting with the camera up close on him, which forced him to put both feet into it–director and star were committed. Firth believes this made a huge difference in how the movie turned out.