"Watching two middle-aged men in a room talking, slowly becoming friends, is not exactly a pitch you put out there if you want a film to tear it up at the box office," Colin Firth recently said of the King's Speech. Even now, with an Oscar on his mantelpiece on the back of the historical drama, the 50-year-old still finds it difficult to accept what the movie-going public decided long ago – he is, quite simply, box office gold.
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Which is why, despite the presence of some top notch British thesps, he was clearly the star of the night when his latest film premiered at the Venice Film Festival. He and his wife Livia Guiggioli – whom he once described as "an Italian beauty and the smartest woman on the planet" – lit up the red carpet at the presentation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Colin, who learned Italian to impress his in-laws, played a secondary role, leaving the "heavy lifting" in the John Le Carre Cold War era drama to Gary Oldman and John Hurt.From Darcy to King George: Why Hollywood's giving Colin the royal treatment