Playing a comfortably adoring couple only makes sense for decades-old friends Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth, since, as Tucci put on on Tuesday’s Late Night, “We seem to not get tired of each other—and it’s funny because we’re both incredibly boring.” Now that might just be the shared camaraderie of a couple of Oscar-baiting, aging screen idols, but the pair told Stephen Colbert about their experience shooting Harry Macqueen’s heart-crusher of a drama, Supernova, with such lived-in, anecdote-trading ease that a Firth and Tucci offscreen and onscreen coupling seem equally plausible. (Sure, they did originally meet playing a couple of nazis, but Firth admits Tucci was “the nicest nazi I’ve met.”) Tales of side-by-side, on-set bungalow living, long, languorous train trips to London, and comfy, Tucci-cooked family meals—interspersed with the occasional, uneventfully lovely Italian road trip—make the duo’s friendship feel deserving of its own movie. Maybe an even drier version of Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s trips, since, as Firth agreed with Tucci, “If you’re boring, it’s exhausting to keep up with fun people.”
With the two appearing in a starkly contrasting split-screen for the now mandatory late-night Zoom call (Colbert rightly noted that the actors appeared to be calling in from separate dimensions), Firth and Tucci were, unsurprisingly, wryly charming as they explained how, just weeks prior to shooting Supernova’s tale of longtime lovers coping with one partner’s slow decline from dementia, the actors politely asked writer-director Macqueen if they might, you know, just switch roles. In the end, reviews suggest that the production-panicking role-reversal worked out splendidly, even if Firth, with the customary self-effacement that makes Supernova’s concept sound like your mom’s Tucci-Firth slash fiction, said that Tucci essentially won the audition for both roles in the end. “They’d already hired him, so what are you going to do?,” deadpanned Tucci in response to Colbert’s pitch that he should have played both roles, Dead Ringers-style. (Which, to be fair would be a very different movie.)
On those long post-shoot bungalow nights, Firth did answer the internet’s perhaps greatest question concerning noted cookbook author and cocktail artist Tucci’s culinary acumen. Calling back to the Instagram post that started an equal number of masked lockdown runs to the liquor store and arguments about the perfect Negroni from guys with elaborate facial hair, Colbert broached the subject of Tucci’s meticulously serene preparation. Firth, attempting to draw out the suspense, admitted that, yes, he has tried Stanley Tucci’s Negroni on many occasions, telling Colbert, “I feel drunk with power now.” In the end, however, Firth had to concede that his pal’s immaculately concocted cocktail was “exquisite,” because of course it was. Supernova hits select theaters on January 29, but you’ll likely see it on digital platforms starting February 16.