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TIFF 2010 – Colin Firth’s Sister Taught Him Vocal Exercises for The King’s Speech

In actor Colin Firth’s new film, The King’s Speech, he portrays King George VI — the father of Britain’s current Queen, Elizabeth II. George ‘Bertie’ VI was a man who was considered unfit to be king because of his embarrassing stammer — a condition that would not fare any potential leader well in the early days of radio. But when his older brother King Edward VIII suddenly abdicates the throne in 1936, Bertie is crowned king. In the story in the film Bertie enlists eccentric Aussie speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to help him speak clearly on live radio in order to inspire his country, which is on the brink of war. Logue puts Bertie through unusual and hardly “royal” exercises to help Bertie’s stammer including rolling on the floor, swearing exercises, and vocalizing nursery rhymes. Firth told AMC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff during our interview at the Toronto International Film Festival that the therapy techniques used in the film came from Firth’s sister, who is a speech therapist.

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