He’s the archetypal floppy-haired, stiff-upper-lipped, English gentlemen.
He’s starred as a stuttering English king and Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy. He’s even played Paddington Bear.
But Colin Firth is poised to abolish any preconceptions in his new action movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, where he plays Uncle Jack, an experienced MI6 agent.
If you’re confused by the move away from type, though, you’re not the only one.
“I was afraid it was ridiculous,” says Firth of his new role, admitting that director Matthew Vaughn told him “you’re probably the last person anyone could imagine kicking people and kicking off the villains.”
That’s all changed now though, after months of training “three hours a day” under a team of guys “like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
He might be convincingly ass-kicking in his new film, but the elusive six pack still evades him – “I’ve got a one-pack. At 53, anything that isn’t just a kind of blob of mozzarella just hanging there is something of an achievement.”
In fact, all Fifth has to show for his efforts is a broken tooth.
“It was slightly uncharted waters,” Firth told Entertainment Weekly. Not that he didn’t enjoy it. Firth admitted that he loved transforming himself into a super spy, saying: “I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed myself so much in my life… I felt bereft when it was over.”
If you’re not convinced, Fifth assures that fans of wet-shirted Darcy (image below, just in case you need a reminder…) won’t be completely disappointed by the star’s new role.
“There’s something of me in Mr Darcy and there’s probably something of that in a lot of things I’ve done,” he said.
Kingsland: The Secret Service also stars Samuel L Jackson, Michael Caine and Jack Davenport. The film tells the story of a “super-secret spy organisation” who recruit a promising street kid to help fight a global threat from a “twisted tech genius”.
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.