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 do any potential leader good 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 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 his stammer, including rolling on the floor, swearing exercises, and vocalizing nursery rhymes. Firth told AMC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff, during an 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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