- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Firth happy playing 2nd fiddle in ‘Tinker, Tailor’
VENICE, ITALY (AP) - Best Actor Oscar winner Colin Firth says he was all too happy to take a step down to supporting actor for his “meaty” new role in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
“It was great to have something that was meaty enough to get my teeth into, but let other people do the heavy lifting.” Firth told journalists at the Venice Film Festival Monday. “It’s basically all I did last year and it suited me very well.”
Firth _ who won the Oscar for “The King’s Speech” and was nominated for the same award for “A Single Man” _ plays the calm, collected intelligence agent Bill Haydon, a counter point character to the films lead Gary Oldman, playing the main character, retired spy George Smiley.
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” directed by Tomas Alfredson _ the Swedish director of 2008 vampire film “Let the Right One In” _ is among entries vying for the top “Golden Lion” prize at the festival’s conclusion this Saturday.
Alfredson’s interpretation of the John Le Carre Cold War spy yarn is a slow brewing, elegant retelling of the classic novel.
But will audiences fall for a subtly paced spy drama that unravels to reveal betrayal and retribution without the sexy antics of a James Bond film, or the action packed scenes of a “Bourne Identity?”
“There is a tendency to underestimate audiences,” Firth said at a news conference. “People don’t just want ‘slash and burn’ _ so I am optimistic about (the film) having an enormous audience.”
Audiences may be surprised that Firth opted for a supporting role _ and less on screen time _ given his domination of the screen as Britain’s King George VI in “The King’s Speech.” Likewise, in “A Single Man” in 2009, Firth’s character, a homosexual contemplating suicide after the death of his lover, monopolizes the story _ a performance that won him best actor honor that year in Venice.
Oldman’s mannered performance as Smiley offers an anchor in this complex whodunit that focuses on the inner-workings of the UK’s elite M16 intelligence agency divided by the need to cover up _ or prove _ the existence of a highly placed Soviet mole.
London provides most of the thriller’s elegant ambiance, where trench coat-sporting intelligence staff sip tea, or scotch, send numerically coded messages and sneak files out of archives. But it also travels to the Turkish city of Istanbul for key scenes.
TWT Video Picks
By Emily Miller
Billionaire gets mobbed by fans at CPAC
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 'Holy grail of guitars' among those in N.Y. auction
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again