Colin Firth, the 53-year-old star has appeared in countless films and many fans will always think of him as the charming Mr. Darcy from '90s TV series Pride and Prejudice.
In action thriller The Secret Service he now takes on the role of a veteran secret agent who mentors a young upstart. Far from making him feel past it, it helped Colin appreciate his experiences so far.
"I love it. I love it. I mean, it's actually one of the things that makes me feel better about growing older," he smiled to insidemovies.ew.com.
"You know, I wondered when I was that age whether I'd end up one of those bitter, disappointed old actors who are jealous of young people. I fully expected to be that. But it actually gives me enormous gratification to see how much I'm learning.
"If someone wants to put me in a paternal role, that's great, but actually what's going on in reality is that I'm the one thinking, 'I couldn't do that at that age.' So it's a two-way process."
The young protege is played by Taron Egerton, whom Firth was so impressed by that he claims he often felt like the student.
Firth's kick-ass part in The Secret Service is a far cry from his usual roles, which often see him playing the charming British gentleman. It involved a great deal of training but the actor swears it hasn't given him an action man body.
"I think that a six-pack, that's a bit too far," he laughed.
"Well, I've got a one-pack. At 53, anything that isn't just a kind of blob of mozzarella just hanging there is something of an achievement. But it definitely changed me enormously. I was thankful but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the work. I felt bereft when it was over."
Samuel L Jackson also stars in the thriller, which is directed by Matthew Vaughn and has an October 2014 release date.
- Cover Media