Firth says 'King's Speech' role helped him love royals

Oscar-nominated British actor Colin Firth said Wednesday that his role in "The King's Speech" helped him discover his "love" for the royal family.

The dramatisation of the real-life relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist on the eve of World War II is screening on the sidelines of the Berlin film festival, which runs until Sunday.

When asked about his views on the British monarchy after playing a member, Firth said he had been surprised to confront a historical figure of such depth and strength.

"I had no idea that I was going to encounter a character that I felt such deep regard for and love for really," the 50-year-old told reporters.

"I think that those qualities that I so admire have been maintained by the next generation. I have great regard for the way they do their job."

Helena Bonham Carter, 44, who is nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her turn as the king's wife and mother of Queen Elizabeth II, said she also thought the royal family was often underestimated.

"I've always had respect for them as individuals," she said.

"If anything I think I left the film with more respect for them than before."

Firth has drawn rapturous reviews for his study of the king's battle with a crippling stammer at a time when he was called to rally the British people for the fight against the Nazis.

He said that although World War II themes had been covered time and again in cinema, this was a chapter that may prove eye-opening to many European audiences.

"So much is written about this period in history, there are so many documentaries, there are so many films and in some ways I find it very refreshing to take one of the less-represented stories, of somebody's struggles, and address that," he said.

"I knew the same history that everybody else does but I think nobody really knew about this (story) and that was part of the appeal."

"The King's Speech" is making a courtly procession through the awards season, picking up seven gongs at Britain's BAFTAs this week and the Best European Film prize at the Goyas, the Spanish film awards.

The picture is nominated for 12 Academy Awards, to be handed out February 27, including best actor. Firth won that honour at last month's Golden Globes, the awards considered the strongest pointers to Oscar glory.

The Berlin film festival opened February 10 with a screening of the Coen brothers' remake of the classic Western "True Grit", which is up for 10 Oscars.

Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'