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Colin Firth told the Evening Standard recently that he is just dying to let his goody-goody side go for a bit, and play a complete rotter in a film. Not just a cad, but a bounder and a scoundrel to boot.
“I’d love to play a villain – my dark side is as healthy as anyone’s. That may not always come across, but I’ve certainly got it in me.”
“But I can only choose the roles that are put in front of me. I’ve been given two scripts recently that would have cast me as the bad guy but the characters were just too two-dimensional.”
Which has got us thinking… which of these infamous villains could Colin have a go at?
1: Darth Vader
Pros: He’s good at speech defects, so the wheezing would be easy-peasy. He does have a steely edge to his voice at times too, and can be quite the commanding presence. He’d be very good at liaising with the workmen who are building the second Death Star, while still paying due deference and respect to the Emperor. And he could turn that whole Luke revelation into something worthy of Jane Austin.
Cons: Colin Firth is a handsome man, who does a lot of his acting with his face. Slap that mask over it, and muck about with his voice — or worse, get someone else to do his lines — and he might as well not be there.
2: Lord Voldemort
Pros: Again, the disfigurement angle is one he can definitely do. He’d look amazing without a nose, and with some long dirty nails, although the bald skullcap might not be such a hot look. And again, when it comes to a nice gloaty showdown, where he gets to be mockingly tender to a captured Harry, just before he tries to kill him using the victorious diabolous spell, who could do it better?
Cons: Actually Ralph Feinnes could. He’s doing a bang-up job already. Unless the plot is dramatically re-written so that Voldemort has a brother — Coldemort? — who is every bit as bonkers, but maybe has managed to keep his hair? He can be impotent or have a club foot if it’d help?
Pros: What is it with bad guys and disabilities? Surely film-makers aren’t trying to suggest that people become evil because they have an unfortunate accident which leaves them physically diminished? What we really need to see is a prequel, where Colin starts out as a mild-mannered Bruce Banner type of scientist, and because of his maniacal devotion to creating a master race that look like pepper pots (maybe his wife left him for a under seasoned beefsteak?) he winds up one-armed, no-eyed, in a dalek skirt, with a marble in his forehead, and quacking orders like a robot Donald Duck. Chilling stuff, I trust you’ll agree.
Cons: Actually, this is something we’d really like to see happen. There are no cons. Not a one. World, make it so!
4: Hannibal Lector
Pros: Colin is a master of understatement, you can see exquisite agonies play out across his face without him ever saying a word. Anthony Hopkins can do that too, as indeed he did in The Silence Of The Lambs. Trouble is, for the subsequent Hannibal films, he developed this very strange hammy, over-egged, self-mocking, pantomime dame thing, which subtracts from the quiet superiority of Hannibal’s personality. Our Mr Firth would sort that out in no time.
Cons: How can I put this? Ladies, if you knew that Colin Firth was waiting down a dark alley and that he might bite you, would you still go? That’s what I thought. Also, what, no disabilities? What kind of villain is this? Oh of course, a mad one. That’s fine, sorry, as you were.
5: A Baddie In A Die Hard Type Film
Pros: Oh NOW you’re talking. Bring out that cold, clipped delivery, let him grow a tidy-beard, put him in an expensive suit with some mirror shades and turn his emotional thermostat down to sub-zero. Then add just a touch of insane cruelty — maybe he could shoot a puppy at one point? — and a little bit of histrionic nonsense towards the end, and we got ourselves a MOVIE!
Cons: It’s what all British actors do.
Which other evil roles could Colin play? Tell us here.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic