British Colin Firth now also Italian

Actor Colin Firth with his wife, Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli.
Actor Colin Firth with his wife, Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ROME •British actor Colin Firth, who has often played the role of a quintessential Englishman in his many films, has become an Italian citizen, Italy's Interior Ministry said.

"The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the film The King's Speech, is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land," the ministry said in a statement.

Firth, 57, said he would remain a dual national, adding that his wife, Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli, 48, would also be seeking British nationality.

"We never really thought much about our different passports," he said in a statement.

"But now, with some of the uncertainty around, we thought it sensible that we should all get the same," he added, in an apparent reference to last year's British vote to leave the European Union (EU).

The couple have been married since 1997 and live with their two sons in Britain. Firth also has a son, actor Will Firth, from a past relationship with actress Meg Tilly.

Unlike some other EU countries, Italy and Britain allow dual nationality. A number of EU countries, including Germany, France and Ireland, have reported a surge in British citizens seeking a new nationality in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The Italian announcement came hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Florence to make a keynote speech to try to revive stalled Brexit negotiations and reassure worried business leaders.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2017, with the headline 'British Colin Firth now also Italian'. Print Edition | Subscribe