Category: Radio 4
In a revealing interview with Sue Lawley for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, actor Colin Firth reveals that he hated school, has trouble keeping his weight down and would be tempted to do another Bridget Jones film.
Despite the role making him a household name, Firth claims that he's not like Jane Austen's Mr Darcy at all.
"It was just another role at the time. It was, if anything, a bit of a stretch. I'm much more animated, I talk too much and I don't own half of Derbyshire," he jokes.
He reveals later in the interview that he caught the acting bug during a stint in pantomime "at infants school somewhere in Essex and I was Jack Frost.
"It was a pair of silver satin pants, a blue satin sash and, portentously, a billowing white shirt. I don't know if I've been as big a hit since and that's when I got the bug."
Firth also speaks frankly about keeping his weight down: "I do get regular exercise now. You know until I was about 30 I was one of those people who just stayed, I was so thin I wouldn't even go to the swimming pool when I was about 20.
"It seemed impossible to get fat and, now, I've got to go for a run if I want to stay in this shape."
Firth, who divides his time between the UK and Italy, also reveals that he hated school.
Whilst growing up, he spent a year at a school in St Louis, Missouri and confesses that it was "a difficult time" for him.
"I had one or two absolutely wonderful teachers there but it was a bit of a harsh environment... It only takes two or three people in your class who are looking for a target.
"I didn't like school. I just thought it was boring and mediocre and nothing they taught me seemed to be of any interest at all," he says.
Firth also says that he would do another Bridget Jones film if the script is good enough.
"It was fun and I'm sure if someone came up with an irresistible script, we'd make all the noises we'd want against it but we'd all be back," he says.
He also confesses that he doesn't think his character, Mark Darcy, is the father of Bridget's baby.
"I don't think it's me though," he says.
Firth's song choices include We People Who Are Darker Than Blue by Curtis Mayfield, Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Lost Cause by Beck about which he says "there's something reassuring about miserable music sometimes".
Firth's luxury item would be a guitar as the desert island "would be a good opportunity to learn to play the damn thing".
The interview can be heard in full on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 at 11.15am on Sunday 4 December, repeated on Friday 9 December at 9.00am.