Colin Firth downplays actors' importance to society
By Alex Ben Block
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - On the day he received the 2,429th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, amid award hoopla and critical acclaim for his starring role in "The King's Speech," Colin Firth was bemused and not taking it all too personally.
"The attention we get (as actors) is completely disproportionate to our importance," Firth told The Hollywood Reporter at a luncheon in Hollywood after his star ceremony. "But we're not getting attention because we are important. We're getting attention because what we happen to do is widely broadcast."
The real heroes, added Firth, don't get anywhere near the attention they deserve. "The people who do household repairs are equally important," said Firth, "but you don't do household repairs for millions and millions of people....They do things which might seem every day but we couldn't live without those people either."
"King's Speech" director Tom Hooper agrees with his star that our society's priorities are askew but also sees an important purpose for a movie that addresses a prejudice not often discussed.
"Do we have too much praise in relationship to the unsung heroes of the world, of course," said Hooper. "People who save lives should be at the top of the hierarchy - doctors, surgeons and nurses...(But) there isn't a business to be built out of directing adulation toward doctors and surgeons."
Hooper is pleased that "King's Speech" is reaching a wide audience but especially thrilled by the way it has connected to some people.
"People are really evangelical in their desire to share how the film made them feel," said Hooper, adding: "Until recently stammering was one of the few disabilities it was OK to poke fun at. Stammering is still something you can make a comedy out of."
While some find it funny, for others it is a source of pain. Continued...