Colin Firth admits that stuttering for his role as King GeorgeVI of england was a painful experience. While making The King’s Speech, hefelt a paralysing strain in his throat and facial muscles, suffered from headaches andexperienced tingling and immobility in his left arm. Firth says he even found it hard tostop stammering when filming wrapped. “Even after I speak about it now,” hesays, “I am in peril of losing my flow.” However the stammer was all-important tohis character, Prince Albert, the reluctant royal forced to take the crown in 1936 whenhis brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated the British throne with a view to marry a divorcedAmerican socialite. Within the film, Albert (called “Bertie” by hiswife) was at risk of anger and depression, and was ashamed of his stutter. As a result of it, hefelt he wouldn’t make an efficient king. However the King’s Speech tellsthe story of his work to conquer the stammer and the way it spurred his proud legacy because the king whohelped Britain face down the Nazis during WWII. For the entire physical pain thestammering caused Firth, it sure paid off, as he scooped the award for best actor at the2011 Oscars.
Was the Royal family acutely aware of the shoot?
I don’t know what approaches were made to them. David Seidler, thewriter, wrote to the Queen Mother (King George VI’s Queen and mother to PrincessElizabeth and Princess Margaret) about 40 years ago soliciting for her blessing in doing thisstory. She said, “Please don’t do it in my lifetime. The memories of theevents are too painful.” He didn’t expect her to live to 101. It was a longwait, but he has a large number of integrity. And he’s within the character; there may be the old adagethat every murals is a self-portrait. The Bertie I’m playing is as much his asit is history’s. He’d overcome a stammer as a child, so it was something thatbrought me towards that.
Bertie was a sympathetic character, despite the fact that he seemed too weak to beking
I think he just felt so suffocated by fear. Bravery is what you finish updoing; it’s not the way you feel. You don’t feel brave. When you feel brave,you’re not really being brave because there may be nothing to be brave about. And,second, he was funny, in case you read anything he wrote, and we had access to hisdiaries. It’s all in there besides when you read quotes from this man thataren’t political speeches but private letters and reported conversations.And I ASSUMED that was a big sign of character.
It’s said that comedians often have dark sides, as hedid
Some people would say comedydraws from some dark places, out of your dark stuff. Life’s great optimistsaren’t necessarily the funniest people. The road about stammering at the letter“W,” that came from the diaries. I DISCOVERED that and said, “Please, can wehave it in that scene?” It didn’t belong to that speech in reality, but hesaid it afterwards. These were the words spoken by these men. As I said, it’s notthe pinnacle of wit, but it surely shows he has a way of humour about him. Continue Reading