I'm in love with Colin Firth!

Category: Third Culture Kids

NigerianGBUSTCKHi World…Cami here…and I am in love!

Libby mentioned to me a while back that Colin Firth was a TCK, but I had no idea how deeply he reflects the culture until I began reading about him. Maybe everyone “out there” in the Third Culture world already knows Colin Firth is a TCK, but do they know just what an amazing TCK he is?

Colin was born September 10, 1960 in England to TCK parents…yes! He is second generation TCK. *Heart flutters* Within two weeks of being born, he and his family moved to Nigeria (it’s legit, he’s a TCK) where his brother and sister were born. His strongest memory is of his friend, Godfrey, an African boy. (No surprise here…TCKs value their relationships!)

After 4 years his family moved back to Great Britain. He told Freshair WHYY radio in 2001 that when he returned to his passport country he found England a difficult place to adjust to. The prejudices against people of any faith and racist remarks made toward others were huge issues to the 4 year old (major TCK clue). After living in Africa where he learned his kind of “normal”, he found England to be cold in climate as well as in the way people lived. The family moved several times within Great Britain for the next several years. (Hello, highly mobile child!)

It was when Colin was 5 years old that he discovered his love for acting. He landed the role of Jack Frost in his primary school. (Surprise, surprise…TCKs are the best actors! It’s no wonder; we have to act every time we move to a new place.)

When Colin was 11 the Firths moved again. This time it was to the United States. (3 countries in 11 years!) In the Freshair interview he recalls the year as being difficult, but also seeing it as one of the best and most memorable. (ahhh…to be a foreigner again!)

After a year it was back to England. To avoid being bullied and beaten up for being different, Colin adopted the accent of the kids in his school (though he did not like it), and feigned disinterest in school, yet could be found reading The Odyssey at home in the evenings. -biography.com (enter the Hidden Immigrant)

kings_speechAt 14 years old, he eventually made the decision to become a career actor.

So did all of this have an effect on Colin’s adult life? You bet it did! Just take a read at some of his own words:

“My first four years of my life were in Nigeria, not that one remembers a lot about the first four years of one's life, but it did make an impression on me not least because people we'd known there continued to be in our lives as visitors. There were constantly people from India (both my parents were born and raised in India) and so there was an immense cultural diversity under my own roof throughout my entire upbringing, and I consider that to be absolutely nothing but a privilege!” -Biography.com (TCKs know cultural diversity is more than color.)

"I had the intelligence, but never worked out how to do exams. Arrogance got me through school." -The Mirror 2001 (TCK arrogance…sometimes real, sometimes a false perception by others)

“I have a very long relationship with America. My mother grew up there and I felt to some extent that I partly belong there.” -Brainyquote.com (TCK roots: the place of the roots has to do with who the roots are.)

"To me it's just basic civilisation to help people. I find this incredibly painful to see how we dismiss the most desperate people in our society.” -Wikipedia

So today Colin Firth is a successful actor. Skills he learned as a child to get through some of the rough spots of transition became his livelihood. But that is not the only thing he brings from his childhood into his adulthood.

Take a look at what he is doing off the stage and away from the camera:

  • ColinFirthOXFAM - Make Fair Trade
  • Survival International
  • Brightwide.com
  • Amnesty International

(What an amazing 3 dimensional worldview he has! And he is doing something with it. Such a TCK thing!)

So, after reading about his life, I caught myself wondering…

  • Does he speak French?
  • Does he love to tell stories and hear them?
  • Has he been back to Nigeria?
  • How does he define “home”?
  • Who does he cheer for in the World Cup?
  • In his opinion, what are the 3 biggest issues we face as humans today?
  • How does he define “patriotism”?
  • Is his Italian wife, Livia Giuggioli, also a TCK?
  • Does he know he is a TCK?

Hmmm…. I think he needs a sit down chat with Libby. :)

TCK stars in my eyes,



Camilla is a TCK who gets to travel with Libby Stephens. Missed her intro? Meet Cami!

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