Extract from The Sunday Times Magazine:
“I didn’t want to grow up and wear a suit. I wanted to be rock and roll.” His escape was Saturday drama classes, and then a place at the Stanislavsky-inspired Drama Centre. His teachers at the Drama Centre acclaimed their protégé as “a young Paul Schofield” and warned him of the moribund destiny of the matinee idol, which they could all too clearly see as a possibility. His was the only Hamlet the Drama Centre ever staged, remembered by one in the audience as “incredibly dark and glamorous”.
Colin Firth has worked consistently since leaving the Drama Centre in 1982 and walking straight into the play of the year, Julian Mitchell’s Another Country, in which he replaced Rupert Everett as the public-speaking proto-traitor Guy Bennett. “That fairy godmother never appears again. He dwarfs what ”Pride and Prejudice” felt like. I went from nobody knowing who I was and everyone doubting me to my dad taking photos of the poster on Finsbury Avenue.”
While he was being cast in Another Country his drama school contemporaries were doing less starry work and they assumed he would change overnight. “In the end I bought the drinks for a long time. I had to be humble.” Colin went on to star in such successes as Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Shakespeare in Love, High Fidelity, Love Actually and The Importance of Being Earnest.