Following his SAG win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Sunday night, King’s Speech star Geoffrey Rush weighed in on the rumored re-cutting of the R-rated film, which, after Tom Hooper’s DGA win on Saturday night and Colin Firth's SAG victory, is better poised to take home the Best Picture Oscar.
“I just think it’s a shame considering that it’s all in the context of therapeutic play,” Rush told The Hollywood Reporter of the key scene in which King George VI (Firth) is asked to unleash a string of expletives by his speech coach Lionel Logue (Rush) in order to treat the king's lifelong stutter.
“It’s almost like a tongue-twister,” said Rush. “It’s gobbledygook. But it’s not aggressive, it’s not offensive. It’s not harmful.”
Rush said if the film is indeed recut by executive producer and distributor Harvey Weinstein in order to attract a wider audience and PG-13 rating, he thinks “they should just ‘bleep’ it. If you cut it, then you’re going cut one of the key thrills of the film.”
Rush also voiced his frustration over critics who say The King’s Speech distorts history by omitting details, such as Edward VIII’s (Guy Pearce) Nazi sympathies and Winston Churchill’s (Timothy Spall) support of Edward VIII during his embarrassing abdication of the throne to his brother.
“There were more scenes in the longer version of the film…that delved a little bit more complexly with Churchill,” said Rush. “But, ultimately, to tell a two-hour story, there’s a certain movement and momentum. The heart of the story needed to revolve around the key players of the royal family and the relationship between King George VI and Logue.”
In the end, Rush said the film’s main source material was the one he most believed in. “I would say that given we had access to Logue’s diaries…I don’t think we’ve over-mythologized anything,” he said. “If anything, we’ve put a kind of everyday humanity into a family blanketed with propaganda.”
Of the film’s critics, Rush added, just before leaving the Shrine auditorium: “It’s just one of those things that happens at this stage of an awards campaign.”