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Opinion\Columnists\Raymond Zhou

Balancing eloquence and silence

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-19 07:09

Balancing eloquence and silence

Firth receives a lifetime-achievement award at the Beijing film festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese fans still scream at the mention of the name Darcy even though the current generation, amply represented in the audience, was only born in the years when the six-part series made its first splash on TV, including the Middle Kingdom.

"I would be curious to see what the fuss is about," Firth says, explaining that he had not watched the series in two decades.

In A Single Man, Firth, in the role of a gay British university professor living in Southern California in the 1960s, resorted to silence rather than language to convey the pervasive sense of loss and grief.

He recounted that he did not know fashion or Tom Ford, the fashion designer who wanted to make his directorial debut with Christopher Isherwood's novel of the same name. Firth took a risk and it paid off handsomely, winning him a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for best actor in a leading role and an Oscar nomination.

He did not play up the gayness of the character. "The fact he was gay was probably number eight out of the 10 qualities of this character," he explains.

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