Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci’s real-life friendship informed on-screen gay romance

Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci have said their 20 year friendship helped inform their on-scren gay romance in upcoming film Supernova.

Supernova follows gay couple Sam (played by Colin Firth) and Tusker (played by Tucci) as they journey around England in an RV visiting friends, family and places from their past.

The couple’s journey is an important one as it comes just two years after Tusker is diagnosed with early onset dementia.

However, their journey becomes even more complicated when old secrets emerge and the strength of their relationship is put to the test by illness.

Firth and Tucci told Deadline that their 20-year friendship helped them capture a sense of connection between their characters that would otherwise have been impossible.

The actors revealed that they first met while playing Nazis in the 2001 film Conspiracy.

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth hit it off when they were filming the 2001 film Conspiracy.

“I don’t really remember the full circumstances of it, but I do remember we got along for some reason,” Tucci said of their first encounter.

He said Firth was “very kind” to him and was “very generous and very easy to talk to” – and their friendship continued to grow after they finished work on the film.

When Tucci was approached to work on Supernova, he immediately contacted Firth and asked if he would play his on-screen romantic partner.

Tucci said their long friendship helped them to convey a powerful connection when playing a couple in the upcoming film.

“Oh, it made a huge difference, I think,” Tucci said. “Colin’s a great actor and he was right for it, but also there’s a shorthand you have with friends that’s very hard to achieve with someone you don’t know.

“Actors are good at it; you make friends very quickly and you have these relationships that sort of happen instantaneously because you’re in these intense situations together.”

Meanwhile, Firth said: “In the 20 years we’ve known each other, it has gone through many shades, because a lot of it has been frivolous and fun, but we’ve also seen each other through hard times.

“It’s comprised of a lot of elements that I don’t think either of us would have done an inventory of looking back, but I think they’ve all probably fed into whatever connection we have today.”

He continued: “I totally agree with Stanley. I think, yes, you can hit the ground running sometimes rather miraculously with a new team of people, whether it’s fellow actors or the director you’re working with, but I think the shorthand Stanley’s talking about has immense power.

Colin’s a great actor and he was right for it, but also there’s a shorthand you have with friends that’s very hard to achieve with someone you don’t know.

“I think there’s just a recognition which reads. I suppose if I’m reflecting on the specifics of this film, in some ways, I think it was possibly at its most helpful with the lighter stuff.

“That can be much harder to achieve; a kind of casual familiarity in the very early stages of a film where we’re just driving along in the van. The banter. The little, tiny disagreements.”

The actors also revealed that they both travelled to University College London to meet Sebastian Crutch, a professor of neuropsychology, ahead of shooting the film to learn more about dementia in an effort to create a meaningful representation of the condition.

Firth said it was an “informative” but “very emotional” experience.

Supernova will debut at the San Sebastián International Film Festival on Tuesday, 22 September.


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