‘I’ve been fortunate’
The makers of The King’s Speech, that won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at the recently concluded Academy Awards, approached actor Geoffrey Rush in a very interesting manner.
They got someone to drop the script of the film (in the form of a play) in his mailbox with an apology note for using those means. “But I believed that the central idea of an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue assisting King George VI with his stammer would make for quite the film,” says Rush, who plays Logue’s character. Unlike other actors, Rush actually got first-hand information to understand his character. Lionel Logue’s grandson Mark Logue shared with him the speech therapist’s diaries to help him understand Lionel’s method. “Up until then, I thought I would have to invent this guy as an unknown quantity and try and create him as a counterpoint to the King. Then I was able to read his original diagnostic notes about the first meeting he had with the Duke of York. This was invaluable,” says the actor, who has won an Oscar for his role in Shine (1996).
The actor, who also plays the role of Caption Barbossa in The Pirates Of The Caribbean series, has spent almost three decades in film now. Looking back at his work, he says, “I’ve been fortunate. Enough scripts have come my way that have provided me with confronting and imaginative challenges.” Recollecting his films The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers (2004) and Quills (2000), he adds, “I’m hoping at some point that things of that ilk will come my way. You just never know.”
The King’s Speech releases in India on March 4.