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Colin Firth


  1. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992.    Director Francis Coppola decided to make the old legend "younger, very erotic, very romantic and very horrific." Losing his favourites - Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis - Francey looked at everyone else, mainly during auditions at his Napa Valley estate… Firth, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nicolas Cage, Nick Cassavetes, Rupert Everett, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting
  2. Daniel Craig, Sylvia, 2002.   A BBC film about poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath and so, first choice Firth felt he should not have to audition. He was, after all, hardly an unknown, not even to the Beeb having headlined its hugely successsful Pride and Prejudice. Hot from The Road To Perdition in Hollywood, Craig (the future 007) agreed to test and Gwyneth Paltrow approved him - but cut him from the initial title, Ted and Sylvia. Russell Crowe was also up for Craig’s own favoruite poet. “I’ve been reading him for as long as I can remember. My dad’s a big Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney fan… and my mother bought me poetry books when I ws a kid and they rub off.”
  3. Kevin Bacon, X Men: First Class, 2010.     UK director Matthew Vaughan had two ideas only for the evil Sebastian Shaw: Baconor Firth. Kevin won by being (a) American and (b) more menacing... (Ironically, the character has the same name as anotable UK stage actor, 1905-1994, who had 75 screen roles in 61 years, from Brutus in a 1938 TV film of Julius Caesar to Anakin Skywalker in Stars Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi).
  4. Matthew Goode, Stoker, 2012.    For his first English-language film, SouthKorean director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), wanted to turn King George VII into a vampire. Then, Firth (chosen over Joel Edgerton, Michael Fassbender, James Franco) had to quit the most mysterious Uncle Charlie since Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt some 60 years earlier.
  5. Vincent Cassel, Trance, 2012.   Michael Fassbinder was in, then out. Colin Firth was considered. Finally, director Danny Boyle gave up on Brits and selected  French star Cassel for his art thief.  He needn’t have bothered. Rosario Dawson  pinched more than a Goya. She stoie the entire thriller. Shooting filled a gap in Boyle’s two-year schedule for his stunning opening/closing ceremonies  of London’s 2012 Olympics - and edited after the event.
  6. Sholto Copley, Oldboy, 2012.   Christian Bale and Clive Owen were also asked to play Adrian Pryce when Spike Lee took over from Steven Spielberg as helmer of there-tread of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 Korean study on vengeance.
  7. Mark Strong, Before I Go To Sleep, 2012.    Nicole Kidman wanted to marryFirth again.(They were a couple inThe Railway Man).His diary was too full and the excellent Strong became the poor man having to reintroduce himself each morning to an amnesiac wife.
  8. Vincent Cassel, Trance, 2012.   An early choice forthe gangster Franck in the thriller Danny Boyle directed during a gap in thetwo-year schedule for his stunning opening/closing ceremoniesof London’s 2012 Olympics.
  9. Mark Ruffalo,Now You See Me, 2012.   And now you don’t…Change of FBI agent Dylan Hobbs for French realisateur Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans) as Fibis and Interpol try to snare some - here’s a first - illusionist bank robbers!
  10. Ben Wishaw, Paddington, 2013.   Extremely late in the day  - just after his French voice was found in the multi Cesar-winning Guillaume Gallienne -  Firth suddenly quit plans to voice Michael Bond’s famous Peruvian bear. “He simply doesn’t have my voice.” Nor Hugh Laurie's.  But  007’s new Q did - and so he  partnered the bodies of  Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon,  Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, and Julie Walters.
  11. James Corden, Into The Woods, 2013.  
  12. Sharlto Copley, Old Boy, 2013.     Three Brits - Firth, Christian Bale and Clive Owen - were in the loop for Adrian (The Stranger) in the re-tread of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 Korean classic. The 140 minute movie was slashed by Sony to 105 which explains why this is A Spike Lee Film for the first time and not, as per usual, A Spike Lee Joint.





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