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Colin Firth

'Speech' wins big at British awards show

London -- "The King's Speech" was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards show, picking up prizes for top actor and supporting actor and actress.

Colin Firth won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of King George VI, Geoffrey Rush earned Best Supporting Actor honors for playing the monarch's unorthodox speech therapist and Helena Bonham Carter picked up the Best Supporting Actress prize for playing George's queen consort, Elizabeth II's mother. The film's writer David Seidler took home the award for Best Screenplay.

Gareth Edwards won the Best Director award for his low-budget horror flick "Monsters" as well as the award for Best Technical Ahievement. The film also earned the Best Achievement in Production honor.

Firth blasts 'Catstrophic' surgery for actors

Colin Firth has lashed out at actors who go under the knife to remain youthful - insisting it is "catastrophic" for big screen stars to undergo cosmetic procedures.

The 48 year old - who turns 49 on Thursday (10Sep09) - stars in the remake of Dorian Gray, the adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel about a man who stays eternally young after trapping his soul in a portrait.

But Firth is convinced actors should not try to halt the ageing process - because stars can't express themselves on-screen if they have their faces tampered with.

He says, "Your face is supposed to move if you're going to act. Why on earth would you take a violin and make the strings so that they don't vibrate?

Firth extols Coward's 'Virtue'

New York -- British actor Colin Firth says he was well-versed in Noel Coward's work long before he signed on to star in "Easy Virtue," a film based on a Coward play.

Asked if he was a big fan of the scribe, Firth told United Press International in New York recently: "Yes. ... We grow up with it, really."

"I had done a Noel Coward film before," the 48-year-old actor added. "It didn't really get out there very much. It was a film of 'Relative Values.'"

Firth pointed out that 2000 movie, much like the upcoming "Easy Virtue," was about "an aristocratic family where the son brings home an American girl and the mother doesn't approve."

"I didn't play quite the same kind of guy," the film star said, comparing his "Virtue" and "Values" characters.