Tag Archives: Mark Darcy

5 Times We Fell in Love with Colin Firth

He’s left audiences spellbound with his Academy Award-winning portrayal of King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” He’s displayed a surprisingly impressive set of stunt skills in Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: the Secret Service.” He carved a permanent place for himself in the hearts of women the world over with his tenderly authentic portrayal of Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” But there’s a bit more to Colin Firth than a dive into a lake and the fact that thanks to him no one else can ever win an ugly sweater contest ever again. Ever.

Photo of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy wearing his reindeer jumper in Bridget Jones's Diary
Colin Firth as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), image credit Miramax

In honor of his birthday today, here’s a look at 5 times the world fell in love with Colin Firth.

1. His 2011 Golden Globes acceptance speech

When he scooped up his Best Actor award at the Golden Globes in 2011 for “The King’s Speech,” the first of many accolades, it was easy to forget for 50 seconds that Firth was drawing on the talent for which he was being awarded. Nonetheless, post-gameshow press recaps praised him for essentially showing showbiz how it’s done.

Go home, Hollywood. Colin’s got this one covered.

2. His moment of gallantry at the 2012 BAFTA Awards

Colin Firth doesn’t break the Internet very often, but we all remember flailing when Meryl Streep, in an adorable if inadvertent Cinderella impression, lost a shoe while mounting the stage to accept an award, and Firth, in true Prince Charming mode, retrieved it for her while his wife Livia looked on with an expression that clearly said, “Sorry, ladies. This one’s mine.”

On a side note, reenacting this scene in the rain while running to teach a class doesn’t conjure Colin from the shadows to save you, as I discovered, to my acute embarrassment. But that’s another story.

3. His jab at Ricky Gervais at the 2012 Golden Globes

Colin Firth is the king of deadpan, and that is all. When Ricky Gervais, albeit jokingly, called him a racist kitten-puncher at the 2012 Golden Globes, this was Firth’s response.

Colin Firth 1, Ricky Gervais 0.

4. His moment of appreciation for Jane Austen

In a 2006 interview, when asked to name the women in his life, Firth replied, “my wife, my mother, and Jane Austen.” While some of us have since speculated that this was largely a tongue-in-cheek jab at the fact that his role in the BBC’s wildly popular adaptation of Pride and Prejudice forever entrenched him in Darcy mania, I have to confess that despite my healthy skepticism, I allowed a tiny piece of my heart to drop into his hand at that moment. You’ve said it, Mr. Firth, and you can’t take it back.

5. His flawless improvisation as Mark Darcy

We’ve all seen “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” We all remember that fateful snowy kiss that was likely the primary catalyst for my decision to drag my last boyfriend with me to a wedding in Wisconsin in the dead of winter in the hope that he might be similarly inspired. (He wasn’t. Because you were wondering. And he’s not my boyfriend any more, for entirely unrelated reasons. Let’s be clear on that). But many people don’t know that Firth ad-libbed Mark Darcys forever classic line at the conclusion of that snowy kiss scene.

Pro tip, nice boys: that’s how it’s done.

So, Happy Birthday, Mr. Firth!

Question

What are your favorite Firth moments?

How do I Heart Thee: if Literary Heroes Wrote Candy Hearts

Yesterday, a friend of mine pointed me toward some late-afternoon amusement, sponsored, not surprisingly, by Twitter, that allowed me to coast my way through the final hour of the work day. It consisted of a series of tweets from the account of King Henry VIII, in which he humorously inscribed his own witticisms on candy hearts. Take a look:

Naturally, this got me thinking about what other famous figures might inscribe on candy hearts. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and because I’m a hopeless romantic and literary nerd with a soft spot for brooding Byronic heroes, immortal, forbidden love, and men with adorably dodgy taste in sweaters, my Twitter proudly presents to you, from the hearts of a few of my favorite heroes of literature: Literary Hero Candy Hearts. You’re welcome.

Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from the 1995 "Pride and Prejudice". Image credit: the BBC
Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) and Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle), “Pride and Prejudice” (1995)

Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre in the 2011 "Jane Eyre". Image credit: Focus Features
Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), “Jane Eyre” (2011)

Mr Knightley and Emma in the 2009 "Emma". Image credit: the BBC
Mr Knightley (Jonny Lee Miller) and Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai), “Emma” (2009)

Mr Thornton and Margaret Hale in the 2004 "North and South". Image Credit: the BBC
Mr Thornton (Richard Armitage) and Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe), “North and South” (2004)

Edward Cullen and Bella Swan in the 2008 "Twilight". Image credit: Warner Bros
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), “Twilight” (2008)

Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw in the 1992 "Wuthering Heights". Image credit: Paramount Pictures
Heathcliff (Ralph Fiennes) and Catherine Earnshaw (Juliette Binoche), “Wuthering Heights” (1992)

And last but not least:

Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones in the 2004 "Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason". Image credit: Universal Pictures
Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), “Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason” (2004)

If you can think of any others, please share them in the comments! Happy Valentine’s Day!

It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged that Diaries Are Full of Crap: 10 Signs You Might be Obsessed with Bridget Jones

Driving home from a party several weeks ago, a friend and I got onto the topic of relationships and marriage, as single girls often do.
“You know,” she said suddenly, “I kind of have this picture of you with a Mark Darcy-looking husband, reindeer jumper and everything, holding a baby.”
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound half bad,” I admitted. “But don’t get my hopes up, because it is a truth universally acknowledged that attractive English gentlemen in reindeer jumpers don’t casually stroll into my life on a regular basis. If they did, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in right now.”

As I reflected on her words, I wondered just what they said about me. The truth forces me to admit that Bridget Jones’s Diary is probably my personal scripture—one that’s proven alternately bolstering and baffling, depending on my mood. On the one hand, every other page, I find myself identifying with Bridget as I would with any of my “real” girlfriends, and Bridget’s endless stream of self-deprecation about her weight, lack of a boyfriend, and culinary ineptitude makes me feel better about myself. On the other, if Bridget is such a realistic portrait of the late-20s/early-30s single female experience, then it should logically follow that we will all find our Mark Darcy, but I digress.

As I found myself running late for the same event after which the above conversation had occurred, cursing to myself over my inability to locate a clean pair of knickers, I had a frightening realization: “Oh my god, you’re turning into Bridget Jones. It’s finally happened.” I’m now convinced that “Bridget Jones Syndrome” is going to become the modern-day form of female hysteria. Compilers of the DSM, get on this, stat! I’ll even do some of the work for you: 10 signs you might have Bridget Jones Syndrome:

1. You find yourself running late for a party, searching in a panic through your closet and hamper for a pair of knickers muttering, “Shit. Shit. Arghargharghargh. Cannot find knickers. Maybe will check behind sofa.” (You subsequently discover said knickers behind the sofa with no recollection of how they might have gotten there).

2. You think that a man whose wardrobe includes a reindeer or diamond-patterned sweater or bumblebee socks has a superior fashion sense.

3. When the guy you’ve secretly fancied for ages asks you on a date and you immediately send an email to three of your closest friends with the subject line: “State of emergency! Meet at Café Rouge! Now!”

4. When you find yourself preparing for a date by making a checklist that includes the following items: hide diary, grannie panties, and incriminating photos; clean flat; wax legs; exercise stomach muscles; develop inner poise.

5. When you refer to your commitment-phobic ex-boyfriend as “Daniel” and fantasize about him being beaten to a pulp (quite rightly) By Colin Firth as Mark Darcy…or Colin Firth as self, because essentially in the collective female imagination, the two have become irreversibly conflated.

6. When the phrase “Turkey Curry Buffet” is code for dinner party at your parents’ oldest friends’ home, where people who’ve known you since you were running round the lawn with no clothes on will make suggestive comments about your singleton status and biological clock and men you’ve called “Uncle” since you were 3 years-old who aren’t really your uncle will pinch your bottom and inquire obnoxiously about your love life.

7. When your ex rings or texts you and you find yourself pausing before reaching for the phone to whisper the mantra “cool, unavailable ice-queen.”

8. When not hearing from your current boyfriend for several days leads you to concoct increasingly elaborate theories about his silence, ranging from the simple “He’s just extremely busy” to the slightly far-fetched (or paranoid) “Oh God, he’s been kidnapped, or eaten by an Alsatian, or fled the country to avoid having sex with me.”

9. When you find yourself studying an atlas before dates with your extremely intelligent boyfriend in the event he quizzes you about the geographic location of obscure foreign countries (or, you know, not-so-obscure foreign countries, like Germany).

10. When you consider your boyfriend’s tendency to diffuse awkward situations by going into the bathroom as good relationship diplomacy.

So: there you have it. If you recognize any or all of the above signs in your behavior, you might have Bridget Jones Syndrome. Extensive research has shown that the best remedy is eating chocolate and drinking a Bloody Mary (tomatoes =vegetable serving to counteract low nutrition value of chocolate) while watching the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Now, I’m going to send this off with a suggestion for inclusion in the DSM, but—oh, goody! Telephone! Maybe is Mark Darcy! Byeeee!