Secret Pop

Jan 23, 2006

Colin Firth and his underpants.

First off, let me say that I really like Colin Firth. He is handsome and charming and has a lovely accent and a reluctant smile. And you get the sense that a lot of the awkwardness in the characters he plays is genuine. Not debilitating. Just sort of ordinary. Like a person would be. Not always certain what to do or say in a given situation. By contrast, Hugh Grant is generally the opposite of this. But I adore him, too. I would allow either of them to beat me past recognition and take all my money. Or date me, I suppose.

So Colin Firth is a guest on the Ellen De Generes Show at the moment. And I find myself both liking and pitying him. Ellen started off by thanking him for doing her show when she knows he hates doing that sort of show. Which I suppose makes for a rough start. And then she coaxed him into telling a story about an embarrassing incident that happened to him recently, which I'm sure was the product of the pre-interview. But he just sort of stumbled through the story, making very little eye contact, and getting a few laughs and looked, at the break, as if he didn't expect to still be sitting there when they returned from commercial. He was, and he seemed more at ease. And I was glad for him.

He wasn't the winning raconteur that a Hugh Grant or an Alec Baldwin would be in that seat, but I almost liked him more. Especially when he described himself as not being very neighborly. He doesn't strike up a conversation with his seatmate at the beginning of a flight. What if they're awful? You might chat with them twenty minutes before landing when the stakes are lower. Genius. And he doesn't "do neighbors." When he's about to "move house," yes, but not generally when he's just moved to a neighborhood. Bravo for that. I think there is too much of a premium on being nice and being friendly. It's great when you only meet nice people with whom you might share common interests and common standards of social behavior. But when you're just friendly to everyone, you will end up receiving phone calls at all hours from the worst people, and all because you felt bad that no one else was talking to them. That's more of a sign from nature than a call to action. There's no real prize in being the only person in town who likes that guy. The movie Forrest Gump really blew this quality out of proportion.

Anyway, I like Colin Firth. I don't think Ellen is the most skilled interviewer there ever was. And I wish my neighbors would mostly fall down a hole at the bottom of which was a river of pure magma.

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