He won the Oscar for his portrayal of the mentally challenged piano virtuoso in Shine, was nominated for his role of libertine pornographer the Marquis De Sade in Quills, and again as the theatrical entrepreneur in Shakespeare in Love.
Geoffrey Rush brings that magic to The King’s Speech, and rumour has it he’ll be nominated again. He plays Lionel Logue; an Australian national living in London in the 1920s who, with no formal medical training, “cured” speech pathologies like stammering. Logue’s most famous patient was Queen Elizabeth's father, Albert, Duke of York who became King George VI after his brother abdicated. Albert simply showed up at his home one day begging for help after humiliating himself on a national radio broadcast.
Rush spoke to people who knew Logue to get a feel for the man.
“The word sympathetic came up over and over again, 'You gave me a friend to talk to',” says Rush. “There was a great deal of compassion in his work, and in his pastoral care, and in his bedside manner.”
But Logue refused to be ruled by protocol and was especially tough on the King.
“He had to push him into a place of slight danger and responsibility for his own well being. 'I’m not going to let you hide behind this stuff that we have to meet this head on, until you are confident enough to speak.”