Watch Colin Firth Swear in Italian

Of course when he says bad words, they still sound classy

Colin Firth’s wife is Italian. Therefore Colin Firth speaks Italian. When Firth dropped by TIME’s offices to promote his new movie The Railway Man, he acknowledged that he spoke it well enough to make an Italian movie, as long as he were playing an English guy. Firth’s particularly fond of Italian insults, which he claims are more precise than the ones in the language you are currently reading.

In Firth’s new movie, which also stars Nicole Kidman, he plays a former POW who worked on the horrific Thai Burma railway during World War 2. (This one of the most brutal episodes of the Pacific theater, but is not as well-known as some of the horrors of Europe.) Firth’s character is based on a real person by the name of Eric Lomax, a railway enthusiast who survived the war but not without a marriage-damaging amount of emotional damage. Lomax is bent on revenge and the movie follows what happens after he finds one of his tormentors showing tourists around his old prison camp.

In the fuller interview, which subscribers can read here, Firth also talks about the horror of naked costars and what he feels about his dreamy reputation.

Watch a longer version of the interview below.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team