Colin Firth tries to impress his parents with ''distinguished'' roles.

The actor has played a wide range of characters, from Britain's King George VI in 'The Kings Speech' to a heartbroken writer in 'Love Actually,' but Colin admits his parents aren't always supportive of his career.

He told HELLO! Magazine: ''I've tried to impress them with distinguished roles where you don't feel apologetic about your chosen profession.

''Playing a king is much better than when I'm prancing around in 'Mamma Mia!'''

Colin has recently finished working on 'The Railway Man' where he stars as Eric Lomax in a film based on the true story of a soldier who was taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in the Second World War.

The 53-year-old actor met Eric while making the film and admits forming a relationship with the man he was portraying put more pressure on his performance.

Colin added: ''I became good friends with Eric and that made it all the more important and meaningful to do the best job possible.

''We're telling a story on behalf of a lot of people who weren't able to speak out. Many died as a result of the brutality they endured as POWs so we're fulfilling a sacred trust to tell their story.''