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Force of Firth
by Paul Gallagher February 08, 2013
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He is arguably Britain’s greatest living heart-throb. Millions consider him their dream husband, and Nicole Kidman is no different. Unlike anyone else, the Oscar-winning actress is in a position to live her Colin Firth fantasy not just once, but twice.

No sooner had filming ended on the upcoming Second World War drama The Railway Man, in which they play a married couple, than cameras begin rolling in London this week on the pair’s next project.

Kidman was the first to sign up to play the lead in Before I Go to Sleep, based on the S J Watson novel about a woman who wakes up every morning with no memory. She was followed by the Zero Dark Thirty star Mark Strong. But the Australian wanted only one man to play her on-screen husband, again.

Strong told The Independent on Sunday that he was looking forward to working with Firth and Kidman: “They’re teaming up again. Colin plays Nicole’s husband and I play her doctor. It’s all being filmed in London.”

Rowan Joffe, who wrote The American and 28 Weeks Later, has written the screenplay and is directing. Strong added: “It’s a very, good script, a really good thriller. It’s a nice one to do.”

Before I Go to Sleep would have been the third Firth/Kidman movieif Firth hadn’t dropped out of Chan-wook Park’s English-language debut film Stoker, which previewed at last month’s Sundance Film Festival. But Kidman was not to be denied a second time.

As charming off-screen as on, he famously got down on one knee for Meryl Streep at last year’s Baftas, to pick up her Jimmy Choo stiletto after it fell off when The Iron Lady star climbed the stairs to collect her award for best actress.

Cameron Diaz gushed about playing opposite Firth in last year’s Coen brothers’ comedy Gambit, while Renée Zellweger, Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson have all been equally besotted.

Firth has laughed off claims in the past that he keeps falling for his leading ladies. The 52-year-old has a 22-year-old son, William, from his relationship with the Canadian actor Meg Tilly, whom he met on the set of Valmont. He briefly dated his Pride and Prejudice co-star Jennifer Ehle, before starting a relationship with Livia Giuggioli, an Italian documentary maker whom he met in Colombia in 1996 while filming the TV series Nostromo. They have two sons, Luca and Matteo.

It was a role as the English professor in A Single Man for which Firth picked up his first Academy nomination, losing out in 2010 to Jeff Bridges. He did not have to wait too long for the Oscar to arrive, however, winning the following year for his portrayal of the Queen’s father, George VI, in The King’s Speech.

The Independent
 

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