Screen heart-throb Colin Firth is dumping his English gentleman persona in favour of grittier roles - and he has already thrown off his MR DARCY image in his latest film WHERE THE TRUTH LIES.

The intense thriller, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival yesterday (13MAY05), shows the hunky actor playing a 1950s entertainer hiding his dark, sex-obsessed personality under an amiable facade.

And director Atom Egoyan admits one of Firth's scenes - where his character viciously attacks an audience member - is one of the most graphically violent scenes he has ever filmed.

Firth, who is famed for portraying dashing romantic heroes, is thrilled to be able to get his teeth into the monster role, but insists he is not trying to shock people by agreeing to the project.

He says, "I was not trying to manipulate the perception of me. I just go where I find it most interesting. I feel very comfortable in this sort of drama.

"The romantic comedy thing came relatively late in my life and took me by surprise. I'm still rather surprised I'm still so associated with it."

15/05/2005 21:17