Actor laments turning down Colin Firth’s Oscar-tipped lead role in The King’s Speech

ACTOR Paul Bettany, who grew up in Brookmans Park, has spoken of his “regret” at turning down the Oscar-tipped lead role in The King’s Speech.

Bettany appears as Inspector John Acheson, alongside Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in action thriller The Tourist, which is set for a Blu-ray and DVD release in April.

The A-Lister moved to Brookmans Park as a nine-year-old when his dad taught at Brookmans Park’s Queenswood School.

He is famed for taking varied roles, appearing in such diverse films as The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind.

But he turned down the role of King George VI in blockbuster The King’s Speech because his family missed him.


You may also want to watch:


He said: “Of course it’s a regret to not be working with such great, really great, people; Geoffrey Rush [and] Tom Hooper.

“I think it’s a little inelegant for me to discuss it.

Most Read

“I had been working for five months solidly and my son – both my sons – and my wife missed me.”

He added: “I regret not working with such amazing, amazing actors and directors and writers, but I have to do the right thing by my family every time.”

Bettany’s replacement, Colin Firth, has been tipped to win best actor at this month’s Academy Awards after scooping a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for the role.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter