British actor Colin Firth, who has often played the role of a quintessential Englishman in his many films, has become an Italian citizen, Italy’s Interior Ministry said.
“The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the film ‘The King’s Speech’, is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land,” the ministry said in a statement.
Firth said he would remain a dual national, adding that his Italian-born wife would also be seeking British nationality.
“We never really thought much about our different passports,” the actor said in a statement.
“But now, with some of the uncertainty around, we thought it sensible that we should all get the same,” he added, in an apparent reference to last year’s British vote to leave the European Union.
Firth has been married to Italian film producer Livia Giuggioli since 1997 and the couple live with their two sons in Britain. Unlike some other EU countries, Italy and Britain both allow dual nationality.
“My wife and I are both extremely proud of our own countries,” Firth said.
A number of EU countries, including Germany, France and Ireland, have reported a surge in British citizens seeking a new nationality in the wake of the Brexit vote.
The Italian announcement came just hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Florence to make a keynote speech to try to revive stalled Brexit negotiations and reassure worried business leaders.