Like an astronomer discovering a new star or a botanist finding a new plant species, when I uncover a previously unknown Inner Italian, my heart races.
British actor Colin Firth took home the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday night for his role in the film The King’s Speech. But, far more impressive, to me, is his connection to bel’italia.
Thanks to a Diario Di Una Studentessa Matta post by Melissa Muldoon, my amica in the blogosphere, I learned that Firth speaks beautifully in Italian. She posted a video clip from the Red Carpet where the typically stiff-upper-lip actor jokes in Italian with a reporter whom he knows.
In the blink of an eye, he becomes more warm and animated than I’ve ever seen him onscreen.
The link to Firth’s Inner Italian is his gorgeous wife Livia Giuggioli whom he married in 1997. Giuggioli is a director, documentary film producer, environmentalist, eco-entrepreneur, and mother of two sons with Firth.
According to the New York Post, “Livia’s ‘Green Carpet Challenge,’ for which she dolled up in 100 percent eco garb and jewels to each of a number of award shows, had its climactic finale Sunday night as she strolled down the carpet in a gown assembled from 11 different vintage frocks—some, appropriately, dating back to the reign of King George VI.”
In an interview several years ago with The Independent, Firth commented on his Italian language skill. “Her English is better than my Italian will ever be. But if you’re going to live your life with someone you should, as a mark of respect, try to learn their way of conceptualising things.”
Firth is also taken with the power of la famiglia, as he explains in this quote to Vanity Fair Italy. “What strikes me about the Italians is their attachment to family. Livia’s family is beautiful and very close. From the family is derived a sense of inner security and stability that is not found in other cultures. We English, on the other hand, are always wandering apart … When I met my wife, I had to court her, present myself to her father. Before this, I had never met a 26-year-old woman who was still living with her parents.”
Colin Firth. Un bravo attore! Un bravo Inner Italian!