Thursday, August 11, 2011

The King's Speech

A podcast with the screen-writer
of this excellent film about how
Colin Firth learned to stutter.

Blog Transcript: David Seidler

Well, I worked with him a great deal; or, I think he worked on me a great deal. Anyway, he said, "Look, you're writing from your own experience; this is your story, as well as Birdie's." And, of course, he was quite correct. So we worked together a great deal during the pre-production rehearsal period. We had three weeks, which is extraordinary for a film. That's almost as long as you get for a Broadway or West End play. They only rehearse for four weeks, so it's really amazing. And it's great that we had it. And Colin questioned me very thoroughly: first, working from the out towards the in. He was asking me how it felt, physically: which muscles, how did the chest feel, where did the shoulders go, what's happening in your stomach, what happens to the column of air, the way the jaw juts forward and locks? All of these things: he wanted exactly as much muscle memory as I could convey to him. And then, he started questioning me about the internals: the sense of frustration, the sense of loneliness, the inner silence because you can't speak. He really delved into it very, very deeply. And then, of course, everyone said, "Well, I wonder if Seidler really knows what he's talking about." So, they got all the very top British speech therapists to come in, and they said, "Yeah, actually, he does know what he's-- yeah, he's been there. That's the way it is."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I remember being so impressed with the contractions of his neck muscles as he stuttered. It was quite a performance!