Michael Hoffman: Colin Firth was a laugh on Gambit set

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Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth take part in a modern reboot of the 1966 British caper comedy starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. British art curator Harry Deane (Firth) has devised a finely-crafted scheme to con England's richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman), into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen (played by Diaz) to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII. While the new accomplice seems perfect, Harry himself becomes enraptured with her, causing his plan to take a series of wrong turns.

November 9th, 2012

Michael Hoffman thinks Colin Firth was unintentionally funny in 'Gambit'.

The director confessed the 52-year-old actor provided a lot of laughs at his own expense in the new Coen Brothers' scripted comedy, especially during a scene involving a real-live lion which had the cast and crew in stitches.

Speaking at the world premiere of 'Gambit' in London's Leicester Square on Wednesday night (07.11.12), Michael told BANG Showbiz: ''Colin is more unintentionally funny. Cameron you're always laughing along with. Sometimes with Colin you get to laugh at him.

''The stuff that always made me laugh was the lion, who was at times more interested in the art on the wall than he was in Colin. That was a little embarrassing for Colin because he was supposed to be under threat from this lion and it was literally looking at these pictures behind him.''

The film is a remake of the 1966 crime flick in which a bumbling man ropes in a Texan cowgirl to con his abusive millionaire boss into buying a fake Monet painting, and Michael thinks he provides a ''fresh'' take with a British twist on the original story.

He explained: ''I think it's a completely different movie. If anything makes it worth watching, is it really goes back and excavates that traditional British comedy from the 'Carry On' movies, 'The Goon Show', and it takes all that and sort of twists it into this amalgam.

''So it's a lot funnier, it's a lot more committed to being funny. It is a comedy yet it doesn't want to be and that's what makes it fresh. You've got an incredible cast and the Coen Brothers' words and engaging in a lot of funny physical stuff.''

Fellow 'Gambit' stars Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Tom Courtenay joined Michael on the red carpet.