- Title: UK: Colin Firth attends premiere of Genova
- Date: 26th October 2008
- Summary: FANS WILLA HOLLAND POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
- Embargoed: 10th November 2008 12:00
- Reuters ID: LVA7WB4IPIWWJV3K9HDMAVYJ23EV
- Story Text: Colin Firth praises Michael Winterbottom's direction of their latest "intimate" drama, Genova.
Colin Firth walked the red carpet in London on Wednesday (October 22) night at the premiere of "Genova", one of his two films at the London Festival.
The drama is directed by British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, whose recent works include "A Mighty Heart" in 2007 starring Angelina Jolie.
"Genova" is the story of a family who try to rebuild their lives after the death of the mother. Firth plays Joe, a university lecturer and father to two young girls. After the death of his wife, Joe decides to take a year-long teaching job in the Italian town of Genoa (Genova).
The film follows the challenges faced by the family of three, with teenager Kelly (played by Willa Holland) learning more about herself as a young adult in a new city, and Mary (played by Perla Haney-Jardine) grappling with the recent loss of her mother. Joe tries to keep everything together, juggling his duties as a father and a professor at the university.
American actress Willa Holland is most known for her role in the US TV series 'The O.C.', where she played the younger sister of Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton). Despite the very sophisticated outfit she wore, the 17-year old was a bit sheepish about a scene she had to do for the film -- and talked about how she saw it as a bit of a challenge.
"The love scene. The love scene for sure. Just because um, doing that on camera is a little difficult," she said, and jokingly continued: "To feel like you know, natural about it, you know, get into it, it's kind of hard when um, you know... I'm not a porn star, I'm not used to being videotaped while I kiss somebody so."
But the love scene for the young actress was probably where the 'unnatural' feeling ended -- Winterbottom did not use the usual big cameras, but rather took a different approach to filming. The director tried to keep it real by keeping things to a minimum.
"Well it's about trying to keep it as relaxed as possible for the actors, you know. It's a film about a father and two daughters, it's a very intimate film about a family and their love for each other in a way. So the idea was to keep the filming as simple as possible and hopefully as honest as possible. So the actors are free to, kind of react to each other as they feel is the right way rather than imposing on them how to act," he said.
And it appears his approach worked.
"The way Michael Winterbottom works, with very very little crew, with very little paraphernalia, no technology, I mean it's just a camera smaller than this one really (points to camera), and four walls. And it creates an intimacy which I found helpful," said Colin Firth.
The London Film Festival runs until October 30th.
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