I didn’t realize until he referred to it in his acceptance speech that Seidler was himself a stammerer. It was a condition he developed as a toddler and struggled with for most of his life. Like the character in his screenplay (King George VI, or Bertie), Seidler was forced into some pretty useless therapies, like stuffing his mouth full of marbles. It may have been Bertie’s relationship with his therapist that Seidler wrote about, but he was writing about his own life, too.
As director Tom Hooper explains, Seidler exposed his childhood experiences through the mouths and eyes of the two main characters, the King and his speech therapist. That line: “I have a voice,” was Seidler railing against his inability to ask a girl out on a date.
And the string of F-words that Colin Firth pulled off so brilliantly in the movie was the psychological turning point that allowed Seidler to overcome his speech impediment.
‘Write what you know.’
Could there be a better example of this? Seidler created a classic that’s authentic in every sense. His brilliant screenplay led to a movie that captured hearts — and a handful of Oscars – because of it.