Colin Firth was last seen saving the world as veteran spy Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service, and now the versatile star has become a sailor in preparation for his role in a currently untitled Donald Crowhurst biopic.

Colin Firth at Kingsman New York premiereFirst Kingsman, now yachtsman for Colin Firth

Attending a yacht party at the Cannes Film Festival, the Academy Award winner told the New York Post's Page Six that he has been taking sailing lessons before filming on the drama begins in England on Monday. He revealed he will captain a "41ft trimaran" with a cabin so tight, "there's very little room to act in."

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The film will follow Crowhurst's disastrous attempt to win the 1968 Golden Globe Race, which ended with the yachtsman inventing an outrageous account of travelling the world alone by sea. It's being directed by James Marsh, who helmed the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything, and Rachel Weisz has also been linked to the film after Kate Winslet reportedly pulled out of the role of Crowhurst's wife.

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Firth, 54, may be best known for his serious roles, winning his Oscar for The King's Speech and enjoying critical praise for A Single Man, but he's definitely branching out. And after the surprise success of action comedy Kingsman, he's keen to carry on working in that especially fun genre. "I guess this is the audition," he told Page Six. "If I passed it and they invite me in, I'll be there."