6 Times Colin Firth Played The Exact Opposite Character Of Mark Darcy From 'Bridget Jones' Diary'
I like my Hugh Grant to be a jerk and my Colin Firth to be a nice guy. I realize, of course, that I have the 2001 film Bridget Jones' Diary to thank for this sentiment, but even 15 years after the movie was released, I still feel the same way. Like Bridget, I can't help but be attracted to Hugh Grant's sexy Daniel Cleaver, but Colin Firth's Mark Darcy has always been one of my number one movie crushes. The sincere, mild-mannered character inspired by Pride and Prejudice 's Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is made extra dreamy by the tall, dark, and handsome Firth, but Firth hasn't always played such crush-worthy characters. Actually, quite a few times, Firth has portrayed the exact opposite of the generally all-around nice guy Mark Darcy.
Firth is a skilled actor worthy of admiration for his talents, but I often have a hard time separating an actor from my favorite film roles that he has done. Because Firth has been Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Mark Darcy in two Bridget Jones films (with one more on the way!), it is hard to separate the man from his iconic character. Firth is the go-to actor if you need a stick-in-the-mud with a sweet side as he has highlighted not only as Darcy, but in films like Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, and What a Girl Wants. But even when his roles are quite different, like from Bridget Jones' Diary to Kingsman: The Secret Service, I almost always unabashedly love Colin Firth.
Yet, some of the first movies I ever saw Firth star in were ones where he played dastardly characters that would shock the upstanding and moral core of Mark Darcy. For the 15th anniversary of Bridget Jones' Diary, here are six times Colin Firth was nothing like Mark Darcy. While you may not like it, you may still be like me — unadvisedly attracted to the British actor no matter who he portrays.
In Valmont, an adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Firth plays the titular character who manipulates and seduces a number of women. Although you eventually end up feeling sorry for his character, and possibly even like him, that doesn't stop him from being a real cad and sounding more like Daniel Cleaver than Mark Darcy.
2. Circle Of Friends
Circle of Friends is charming, but unfortunately, not the parts that Firth's character is in. This may be the first movie I ever saw Firth in and I was completely creeped out by him as Simon, the older man who has an affair with Nan. (It may also be the only time I did not find him attractive.) I'm not going to say that there aren't elements of Mark Darcy that might be off-putting to some people (like his intense glaze), but that's nothing compared to his totally despicable character in Circle of Friends. Plus, in the words of Bridget, I seriously believe he should have reconsidered that mustache.
3. The English Patient
In The English Patient, Firth starts off being very charming and lighthearted. Yet, as Geoffrey Clifton, his jealousy toward the affair of his wife, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, and Count Laszlo de Almásy, played by Ralph Fiennes, ends up being the downfall of a number of characters, including his own. Darcy points for being super dashing though.
4. Shakespeare in Love
Those pesky Fiennes brothers! In Shakespeare in Love, Firth's Lord Wessex made a very business-oriented arrangement to marry Gwyneth Paltrow's Viola De Lesseps, but is thwarted when she falls in love with Joseph Fiennes' William Shakespeare. As per the times, Wessex was a complete misogynist with a hot temper to boot. While his character may be gross, this was the second out of three times where he was part of the cast of the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards, along with The English Patient and The King's Speech (which he won his own Best Actor Oscar for).
5. Where The Truth Lies
Bridget Jones fans — if you haven't seen Where the Truth Lies, prepare for your life to change. Firth is completely unlike Mark Darcy in this erotic thriller where he is part of an entertainment duo with Kevin Bacon. A dead girl was found in the pair's hotel room in the 1950s and the truth becomes revealed in the 1970s by a journalist. If murder rumors aren't enough to convince you that his character Vince Collins is the antithesis of Mark Darcy, just know that Vince also likes pills and participated in a ménage à trois with Bacon's character.
6. Dorian Gray
Although he isn't as bad as the soulless title character of Dorian Gray, Firth's character, Lord Henry Wotton, is responsible for creating the monster with the painting in the attic that Gray becomes. Lord Wotton lives an indulgent lifestyle with seemingly no consequences, quite different from the severe and professionally-minded Mark Darcy. His character eventually turns over a new leaf, but it's too late. Perhaps for the sake of Bridget Jones fans, Firth should avoid playing anyone with the title of "Lord" in the future.
Now, before you get too depressed about this list of contemptible Colin Firth characters, let me remind you that he'll be back as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones' Baby on Sept. 15, 2016, making everything in the world right again. But no matter what type of character Firth plays, Bridget fans still love him — just as he is.
Images: Miramax (3); Orion Pictures; Savoy Pictures; Serendipity Point Films; Alliance Films