Colin Firth has admitted he has reached a stage in his life when he is increasingly being offered father roles instead of the stereotypical brooding love interest.

The 48-year-old actor shot to fame in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice when his portrayal of Mr Darcy instantly made him the subject of desire for millions of women around the country.

Speaking at the Mayor of London gala screening of his new film Genova, Firth admitted he was more than happy to no longer be offered the same types of roles.

"I've reached a time of life where father roles are coming my way and they are a hell of a lot more interesting than young lovers," he said, admitting it was one of the factors that drew him to part of Joe in the film.

Genova, directed by Michael Winterbottom, sees an America family uproot and move to Italy after the sudden death of their mother and Firth's character is left to care for two young daughters struggling in a foreign environment.

And the Bridget Jones actor admitted it had always been a desire of his to work with the British director.

"Even before I read the script I knew I wanted to work with Michael Winterbottom," he said.

"I think it would be hard to find an actor who doesn't really. I think because no one else makes films like him, I don't think there's anybody more interesting writing in film in this country, or anywhere really."

There were a few problems that needed to be overcome, however, to bring the pair together, namely the fact Firth was shooting the Abba-inspired musical Mamma Mia at the same time as Winterbottom was filming Genova.

"I was filming Mamma Mia at the same time, it [Genova] was a film about bereavement and then I'd be on a plane and into spandex and high heels and a couple of other numbers and then back to this!" he joked.

Asked if he was looking forward to meeting the mayor of London Boris Johnson at the screening, Firth was slightly less enthusiastic.

"I'm... err... I love the film," he diplomatically told

Genova is currently showing at the London Film Festival.

24/10/2008 01:01:01