Firth's 'inadequacy' over PoW role

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Colin Firth attending the UK film premiere of The Railway Man at the Odeon West End, Leicester Square, London. Colin Firth attending the UK film premiere of The Railway Man at the Odeon West End, Leicester Square, London.

Colin Firth has spoken of his feelings of "inadequacy" approaching his latest role as a prisoner of war in The Railway Man.

The King's Speech actor, arriving for the premiere in London's Leicester Square, star s in an adaptation of his character Eric Lomax's memoir about being a PoW forced to work on the Burma-Siam train line known as the Railway of Death.

Eric was brutally tortured and forced to witness terrible violence which he suffered trauma from for many years after the war on his return home.

On playing a prisoner of war, Oscar-winner Colin said: "We're actors, we don't have any experience which compares to this.

"So I was dogged by a sense of inadequacy of my limitations, not really as an actor, but just in terms of the experiences I've had, none of which enabled me to comprehend it."

Lomax's wife Patti, played by Nicole Kidman, was determined to help him come to terms with his experiences and helped him to confront one of his captors 50 years later.

In the film, Lomax as a young man is played by Jeremy Irvine and Colin said of the man who was his younger self: "He's a better me than I am."

Jeremy, also at the premiere, said filming had been difficult: "I did a lot of things for this film that I wouldn't normally have done, lost a lot of weight.

"When it came to decisions about the torture scenes then it wasn't something we even thought about, it was obviously yes, we're going to do the waterboarding sequences for real.

"It made it an experience that I've not really moved on from this role particularly, but it was the only way to do it."

Colin also stars in the upcoming Paddington, and in Before I Go To Sleep with Nicole.

He said: "It's a very strange job, you meet a stranger and then you have to assume years and years of intimacy and connection and if you actually know a person, it's a wonderful shorthand. I think we just connect very well professionally."

They were joined on the red carpet by veterans of the Burma-Siam line prison camp.

The Railway Man, which also stars Stellan Skarsgaard, is due to be released in cinemas on January 1, 2014.

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