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From Kingsman to Dancing Queen, here are five of Colin Firth’s most iconic roles


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With his 35-year acting career continuing to flourish, Colin Firth is recognised globally as one of the greats. The past three and a half decades have seen him win numerous awards, including an Academy Award for best actor, as well as tackle some of ABBA’s greatest hits.

Whilst his most iconic role is arguably as Mr. Darcy in the BBC TV miniseries Pride and Prejudice, Firth has transformed into countless other classic film roles; ones that have cemented him in the hearts of film viewers of all ages.

In celebration of his 58th birthday, here are five of Colin Firth’s most iconic film roles.

5. King George VI – The King’s Speech (2010)

Earning him his first, and so far only, Oscar, The King’s Speech sees Firth step into the shoes of one of Britain’s beloved monarchs. Suddenly made King after his brother’s abdication, King George must take on all aspects of his new role, including addressing the public. However, struggling with a severe stammer, he fears he cannot fulfil his responsibilities so his wife, Elizabeth, enlists the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue.

Firth tackles such a prestigious role with ease. Despite playing a person held in such high regard, Firth’s performance makes for a relatable and very ‘human’ character. The challenges of job pressure and overcoming personal hurdles are proven to be universal, even for royalty. A triumphant performance of silent strength and resilience, Firth brings this story of British heritage to life.

4. Harry Hart – Kingsman: The Secret Service/The Golden Circle (2014-2017)

From King to Kingsman, this franchise sees Firth play an equally gentlemanly role but one with a different kind of fight in him. Whilst The King’s Speech sees Firth tackle inner strength, the Kingsman films see him turn physical as secret agent Harry Hart.

Living by his motto ‘manners maketh man’, Harry only engages in physical combat when necessary. Harry has the classic Firth flair of charm and class but takes the actor down a refreshingly action-packed route alongside his new protégé Eggsy. Seeing Harry take Eggsy under his wing means this role sees Firth as caring, charismatic and absolutely no-nonsense.

3. Harry Bright – Mamma Mia (2008)

Firth plays royalty once again in this ABBA musical but this time he’s the nation’s dancing queen. Showing his versatility as he steps away from his more dramatic roles, Firth adds singing, dancing and a whole load of spandex to his skill set and the results are legendary.

But before the iconic shiny suit donned in the end credits, Firth brings both humour and emotion to the musical as not-so-spontaneous Harry, one of three of Sophia’s potential fathers. One of his most tender moments being his rendition of ABBA’s Our Last Summer whilst sailing with his (potential) daughter – Colin Firth singing in the sun on a boat, what more could a film need?

2. Mark Darcy – Bridget Jones’s Franchise (2001-2016)

The other roles mentioned may see Firth in a charming light, but none quite compare to Mark Darcy. Classic British charm at its best, Firth plays one of Bridget’s potential love interests and from the first time they meet, it’s clear they are made for one another.

As a character known for not only his charm but also his verbosity and dry wit, the path to love isn’t easy for the pair and sees many awkward obstacles. Yet these obstacles can be overcome and by the end of the franchises third instalment, Mark Darcy, as a real and familiar character, has won the hearts of Bridget and viewer alike.

1. Eric Lomax – The Railway Man (2013)

The most emotional performance on this list, Colin Firth plays real-life prisoner of war, Eric Lomax. A truly tormented man, suffering post-traumatic stress after being tortured for information by the Japanese army, Lomax is the epitome of bravery and forgiveness.

To fill such shoes is no doubt a daunting task but Firth approaches the role with incredible sensitivity and confidence. Due to the passion in Firth’s performance, Lomax’s pain is almost tangible, with each piercing scream and cry for help highlighting the true horrors of war. This performance is one that shouldn’t be missed, Firth finds the perfect balance between ‘acting’ and respect.

With a multitude of other iconic roles, it can be no argument that Colin Firth is one of Britain’s greatest actors and he will undoubtedly provide the film industry with many more exceptional performances in the years to come.


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