As sad as it is for the ladies of the world to accept, the Mr Darcy of our generation has moved on. From being one of the most swoon-worthy actors on screen, Colin Firth has slowly progressed from the reluctant but lovable romantic to kick-ass leading man.
He’s made the transition slowly but very surely, revealing more of his dramatic and thrilling capabilities with each new role. It really started with his Oscar win, and five years later he’s headlining a new potential spy franchise. So this is how we see Colin Firth now, kicking ass while still managing to be the most likeable of English gentlemen.
The King’s Speech (2010)
His Oscar-winning performance portraying King George VI was a show of one man who defied all expectations placed upon him. The King, who hires a speech therapist to help cope with a stammer, finds himself fighting for more than just his professional standing. Firth is excellent in creating a character who is anything but broken – he has a fire within him, spearheading confrontational situations and rising to the challenge before him.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Firth is a spy who gets the ladies (in the name of work of course) in this John le Carre adaptation, working as deputy to the head of British Intelligence during the Cold War. Bill Haydon is caught up with his colleagues in an investigation for Soviet intelligence with a mole amongst the ranks. Firth still manages to bring charm to a character you can never be sure of, perfectly cool with his English ‘tude and bringing his penchant for spy films.
Before I Go To Sleep (2014)
There are films that go by the wayside in terms of being memorable, but Firth’s turn as a husband dealing with his wife’s anterograde amnesia makes you stand up and notice this thriller. His Ben is loving, doubting, secretive and anxious simultaneously, matching great on-screen with an in-form Nicole Kidman. His character is part of a major plot twist, showing a side of him different to anything you would expect, and it’s frightening.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
His most recent role elevates him to kick-ass status by another couple of notches as he heads proceedings in this new potential franchise. His Galahad is a spy who opens up to protege Eggsy (Taron Egerton), explaining the importance of being a gentleman while still going crazy with gadgets and smarts to beat the bad guys. It gives Firth the chance to play an alter-ego of himself really, and credit to him that he handles a spy film as only he could.