Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Kim Izzo
Kim Izzo is a journalist and a writer living in Canada who had the chance to meet Mr Darcy in person. Time travelling? No, of course. She was lucky enough to meet and interview Colin Firth in Toronto. In this guest post she shares with us at My Jane Austen Book Club about what happened on that memorable occasione and gives to all of you commenting her story the chance to win her new book: THE JANE AUSTEN MARRIAGE MANUAL.

Meeting Mr Darcy 

"The year 2005 was remarkable for two reasons. It was the first time I’d broken a limb and that wasn’t any fun at all. But I also got to meet Colin Firth and that was very fun indeed.
It was a riding accident that did me in. I was thrown from a friend’s horse and as soon as my ankle cracked down hard on a railway tie that was lying on the ground I knew it was broken. That was in July. Recovery required surgery and the insertion of five pins and screws to fuse my ankle together. Weeks of physiotherapy followed and by September the cast and brace were removed and I hobbled around on crutches.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy
For ten days each September my hometown of Toronto gets taken over by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and as an entertainment journalist by day (novelist by night) I have to make the rounds of the various junkets and interview the stars. It’s exhausting on two solid legs. With my left leg atrophied I felt more like a muppet than a reporter but off to work I had to go. It was to be my first day in shoes.
My editor had the best assignment she told me. Knowing my obsession with the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice – which was all about Colin Firth – she guessed I’d want to interview him. She was right! He had starred in Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s film Where the Truth Lies that co-starred Kevin Bacon. I had to interview both actors at the same time in a swanky hotel suite at the Park Hyatt.
But hobbling in on crutches seemed undignified so my physiotherapist loaned me a different type of crutch. The kind you slid you arm into, you see people with permanent disabilities using them because they are easier for longer periods of time. She was right, I was able to navigate more swiftly and because I could wear shoes no one could tell I was injured or what the injury way. What I realized later was that a cast or brace says broken bone, these types of crutches used with shoes said I might have bigger issues.

Colin Firth at the 2005 Toronto Festival with Kevin Bacon and  Rachel Blanchard
Off I went. I made it to the suite and the film representatives helped me with the doors, getting a seat and taking my handbag so I would be comfortable. The extra attention was nice but I didn’t really think much of it and admitted that I was recovering from a broken ankle.
I’ve interviewed loads of famous faces. But this time I was nervous. This time was Colin Firth! I sat there waiting and then I heard him. That unmistakeable voice from P&P…the deep smokey sound of Mr. Darcy/Mr. Firth. My nerves got shakier.
“Ms. Izzo, it’s your turn,” the press officer called me over to the other room where the voice had beckoned.
I stood up as straight as I could and threaded my arms through the crutches and went into the room. There was Kevin and Colin standing up to greet me. I wish I could describe Kevin for you but the truth is I didn’t really notice him. I only had eyes for Colin. He was as tall, handsome and gentlemanly as Mr. Darcy. Not every star lives up to the fantasy. Colin did and then some. But what happened next can best be described as a farce.
I held out my right hand to shake his. He took my hand. We shook hands. My right arm slipped out of the brace and the crutch crashed to the floor. The look of horror on Colin’s face was priceless. He thought he’d knocked the crutch out of a disabled girl’s hand and was mortified. He dove to the floor to pick it up. I did my best to grab it too all the while muttering, “It’s just a broken ankle, I’m fine, really…”
I know how to make an entrance put it that way! We sat down and I was out of breath and stuttering my questions. But Colin, still unsure what he had done or not done was extra sweet and gave me more than my allotted time for the interview. Kevin weighed in and I made sure to ask him stuff too. I kept imagining what it must be like for Kevin to spend the day with all the female journalists ignoring him for more Colin time. But it’s Mr. Darcy!
Interview done I got up as gracefully as I could and walked out one step at a time. Thankfully my ankle healed. I’m still waiting for a second shot at a Colin meeting. Though I wonder if he will remember…."

Kim Izzo

Wow! I've got 3 copies of Kim's THE JANE AUSTEN MARRIAGE MANUAL to give away but you must carefully follow the instructions below to be included in the final draw:

1. post your comment
2. add your e-mail address
3. specify the country you live in

I've got 1 copy for Europe, 1 for Canada and 1 for the US. Thanks to Kim's publishers in the UK (Hodder & Stoughton), in Canada (Harper Collins)  and in the US (St Martin's Press). The giveaway ends on May 23rd when the names of the winners are announced.

US cover

Katherine Shaw—Kate— is happy with her life. She has supportive friends, a glamorous magazine career, and a love of all things Jane Austen. But when she loses her job, her beloved grandmother falls ill and a financial disaster forces a sale on the family home, Kate finds herself facing a crisis that would test even the most stalwart of Austen heroines.
Friends rally round, connecting her to freelance gigs, and presenting her with a birthday gift— title to land in Scotland—that’s about to come in very handy. Turns out that Kate’s first freelance assignment is to test an Austen-inspired theory: in the toughest economic times is a wealthy man the only must-have accessory? What begins as an article turns into an opportunity as Kate—now Lady Kate—jet-sets to Palm Beach, St Moritz and London where, in keeping company with the elite, she meets prospects who make Mr. Darcy look like an amateur. But will rubbing shoulders with men of good fortune ever actually lead her to love? And will Kate be able to choose between Mr. Rich and Mr. Right?


Janet T said...

Congratulations on your debut novel. It sounds great!

I loved reading about you meeting Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy. What a dream come true that must have been! It would have been for me! :) I am sorry that you had to have ankle but glad it is healed. I hope you get the chance to interview him again. It is thrilling to know that he was as nice as you expected and more.

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
United States

Janet T said...

Sorry, I meant to say 'a broken ankle'. Should proof before posting, huh!

Chocolate said...

I am so jealous. Imagine, meeting Mr Darcy!! Though I am sorry for the broken ankle. But my, Mr Darcy - I mean Colin Firth! - in flesh and blood. If ever the cast for a film has been well done, that is the one for the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth does not play Mr Darcy, HE IS Mr Darcy.
Thank you for this great post, very original.
I would be happy to enter the giveaway for Europe. I live in France.

cyn209 said...

oh wow!! ColinFirth!!!! lucky lucky Lady!!!

congrats & good luck!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!!!

i'm from the US......

cyn209 at juno dot com

Unknown said...

What a story Kim! It's as if I'm reading a passage from one of Jane Austen's novels herself, and hey, you must admit that despite the situation you were in the meeting with The One And Only was very romantic ;-) So see it this way: your broken ankle was meant to be {sigh}
Congrats on the novel, wish you lots of success! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to win one of your books, would love to read it!
I'm from the Netherlands btw and my email address is:
Take care, Ira

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

is this a first? 1 for Canada?! YAY!
delited to read this ;)
and of your interview triumph! yes ~ you came away w/ benefits for the troubles :) well done!
love also to hear of Colin's reality of the Darcy role - so could not have been and disappointments colour our perceptions for sure..

loved this post Kim & TY for the giveaway generosity..
CANADA entry hoping for the Win !
faithhopecherrytea at *gmail.*com

Kelli H. said...

Oh my, meeting Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth would be my dream...well at least one of them! I loved reading about your encounter with him and I am very excited to read your new book. It sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway!!=)
I'm in the US.

Unknown said...

What a very funny story about meeting Colin Firth, i'd be a wreck too. Love for a chance to win the book. email I'm in the US.

BeckyC said...

What a story! Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your debut. Thank you for the giveaway! cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net (US)

Monica said...

I hope you will be able to interview Colin Firth a second time.
Don't forget to let us know if you succeed!


I live in The Netherlands

Tanya said...

pick me pick me pick me!! Oh this looks lovely - a must read


I'm in the US.

Laura Ferrari said...

Reading about your funny meeting with Colin, I couldn't help myself and thought about Bridget Jones :-D you know, in the second book she kind of have the same experience ;-)

I would love to read this novel!

I'm in Europe (Italy) and my email is

~Brandy~ said...

Your story is a little Jane Eyre-esque with a few stretches of course. I did my undergraduate thesis on Jane Austen and the Social Convention of Marriage so I would LOVE a copy of your novel.

My email is

I'm a Canuck! (Canadian)


Anonymous said...

Hi there! I love all Jane Austen-related novels. I can only imagine how wonderful it was to meet Colin Firth, one of my "boys". ;) I'm recovering from breast cancer surgery and before I "took to my bed" to recover I brought out my 2 favorite Austen novels to re-read. They make me laugh, smile, cry...etc. Love your blog!

Best wishes,

Lucy (USA)

Literary Chanteuse said...

That is so great! Colin Firth will always be the true Mr. Darcy to me. Thanks so much for the giveaway!



DDCKnitt said...

Congrats and thanks for the giveaway.


Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

That is the best story ever :o) Love it! Poor Colin, hehe... I hope you do get another chance to meet him!

Love the sound of your novel, hope I get lucky and win! :o)

::fingers crossed::

US of A!

Arti said...

This is a wonderful piece on what must be a truly unforgettable experience. I LOL reading it. I mean, Colin Firth has such a big heart! Like picking up Meryl Streep's shoe and putting it back on her. He's such a gentleman.

I'm from western Canada (Alberta) but whenever I can find time, I'd attend TIFF every Sept. I was there in 2007 and watched Colin Firth's When Did You Last See Your Father. Too bad he wasn't there to answer questions... only director Anand Tucker and Jim Broadbent.

My email address is Thanks!

Danielle said...

I am so jealous that you got to interview Mr. Darcy! I do think next time you need to tell him in advance to dress more appropriately. Not a single stitch of Regency attire! And if you needed help I am sure many of us would have eagerly jumped at the chance to carry your stuff around all day just to be able to meet Mr. Darcy. :-)

Danielle, US, drcopeland(at)hotmail(dot)come

Felicia said...

Sounds like a great read! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. I'm from the US.

felicialso @gmail. com


Vava, A country dreaming mum said...

What a lucky lady (apart from the broken ankle, of course!)! I think you did really well though: if it had been me, I wouldn't even have remembered my own name :-) Your book sounds really good, I'd love to read it.
My address is and I'm from Italy

aurora said...

You vividly described your encounter with Mr Firth or shall I say Mr Darcy?
I enjoyed reading your article. I hope your leg is better now. I live in Croatia. Thank you

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

only one more day to the winner announcement! sooo excited for this!
faithhopecherrytea at*gmail.*com
yay! Canada~

Unknown said...

What a story Kim, thank you for sharing it! Makes me wonder if breaking an ankle is worth meeting Colin First ;-D lol

What a wonderful book, it sounds lovely! (and the cover is pretty as well!) Thank you so much for drawing my attention to it!

I live in Europe

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Melanie said...

I know this giveaway has ended, but when I saw this post, I just had to comment.

It sounds like Kim Izzo has a fascinating job! I can only imagine what interviewing recognizable people is like. I'm impressed she was able to keep her cool around Mr. Firth. I would have been a mess. :D

free sudoku said...

Meeting Colin Firth? Oh lucky you are! I love his not only for his stunning performance in Pride and Predjudice but for all his great roles. He 9is an amazing actor and I just can't imagine someone else's playing Darcy.

Carol Perrin said...

Sorry about your break. Can't even imagine meeting "Mr Darcy/Colin Fifth. If I had to interview him, sure I wouldn't be able to speak!
Your new book sounds great.
United States