By Caroline Briggs
BBC News entertainment reporter in Cannes
Colin Firth has said his part in his latest film which features nudity and violence is a far cry from the romantic roles that made him a household name.
Firth [R] stars in the film with Kevin Bacon and Rachel Blanchard
The actor plays an over-sexed, bisexual star in Where the Truth Lies, which gets its world premiere at Cannes and is up for the prestigious Palme d'Or.
He is famed for playing Mr Darcy in BBC TV's Pride and Prejudice, as well as starring in the Bridget Jones films.
The actor was also in British romantic comedy Love, Actually.
And he starred with Scarlett Johansson in historic romance Girl With a Pearl Earring.
He starred in the Bridget Jones films with Renee Zellweger
Where the Truth Lies, directed by Atom Egoyan, also stars Kevin Bacon and is in competition for the Palme d'Or prize.
Firth and Bacon play Vince Collins and Lanny Morris, a double act who are the most beloved entertainers in 1950s America.
But when a dead woman is inexplicably discovered at their hotel suite, their world comes crashing down and their partnership is destroyed.
Fifteen years later, an up-and-coming writer tracks them down and attempts to find out was really happened.
Firth joked that his role in Where the Truth Lies was "not usually a stretch for most actors", adding that "a Lord of the Manor riding around on Dartmoor requires more research".
"I feel very comfortable in this sort of drama," he said, adding it was more like roles he had earlier in his career.
"The whole rom-com thing came relatively late in my life," he said.
"It took me by surprise and it still takes me by surprise."
Canadian director Egoyan defended the graphic sex scenes in his movie.
"It's an essential part of the film," he said.
"I always saw this as a really sensual movie. I wanted it to be unbridled - these characters could take any amount of drugs they wanted, they could have any amount of sex they wanted.
"I don't know about the censors. They probably will have issues, but we are pretty firm about what we want the film to do."
Where the Truth Lies is one of 21 films competing for the prestigious Palme d'Or in a competition that features many leading auteurs.
Other films vying for the prize include David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, and Don't Come Knocking by German director Wim Wenders.