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Was it so long ago that Colin Firth was best known to TV-watchers and moviegoers either as Darcy in the 1995 BBC version of "Pride or Prejudice" or as Darcy's heir, the forbidding human rights lawyer Mark Darcy in 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary?"

With the one-two punch of his performances in "A Single Man" and "The King's Speech," Firth has elevated his international stature from sterling art house leading man to master movie actor. He gets the James Lipton treatment on "Inside the Actors Studio" tonight at 7 on Bravo.

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Advance quotes released from Lipton's interview include Firth's confession that his yen to perform dates from age five. Firth tells Lipton, "I got to play Jack Frost in the school play. And it involved little tight satin pants and a blue sash and a billowing white shirt and a polystyrene crown. And I felt like God. I was mobbed and clawed at by members of the opposite sex, it was like, you know...I just thought, next stop it's cocaine in the back of the limo."

Photo of Colin Firth by John M. Heller

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