Though A Single Man is a film about grieving, Colin says it is also about falling in love with life again. "It sounds like an almost absurd comparison, but one of the films it most makes me think of in terms of its subject matter is It's a Wonderful Life," he says.
Playing George has given Colin a new appreciation of his own circumstances, he says. "[It's] given me a real sense of what I have to be grateful for in my own life. The present moment, for a start, which is really all we have, is something to be absolutely cherished. And because this man thinks he has no future, the present's become a beautiful, resonant and vibrant and important thing. There's something about [George] that has haunted me ever since and gives me a kind of a tug," he says.
Though he didn't realize it during filming, Colin says his character also brings to mind his own father. "The differences between George and my dad are obvious. They're not quite the same generation, my dad's not a gay man, he's not suicidal. He doesn't have the same issues at all, but there's something about the quiet humanity and gentle, thoughtful dignity that George has," Colin says. "I recognized it in the performance, and it's a very interesting thing, to surprise yourself. I think that's what's enriching about what I do that you keep unearthing aspects of yourself that you weren't aware of."