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Suit Up: A Conversation with TARON EGERTON

Kingsman: The Secret Service

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE is this year’s most exciting espionage thriller and centres on a teenage hoodlum, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he’s recruited to join a spy organisation by a veteran secret agent. Colin Firth is the suave super spy Harry Hart, who takes a tearaway teen known as Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, under his wing in the hopes that he will ultimately pass muster in an elite spy agency. Meanwhile, a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius, Richmond Valentine, played by Samuel L. Jackson, which the agency must try and thwart.

In our interview, newcomer Taron Egerton tells us about working with Colin Firth on his feature film debut and approaching the action sequences of the film…



Tell us about the premise of the film…
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a new film by Matthew Vaughn, and it’s a kind of sort of riff on the spy genre really. It’s a kind of love letter I suppose to the spy films of days gone by when things were a little bit, potentially a bit more far fetched, a little bit more theatrical, a bit more sort of a reference of itself as a genre. Basically the story is of a young man who has a wonderful skill set, a fantastically physically and mentally able young man who through circumstances has kind of fallen to being a little bit dysfunctional and fallen into petty crime and what have you. And basically Colin Firth’s character Harry Hart offers him the chance, the opportunity to channel his abilities towards something more constructive, i.e. being a spy for Kingsman.


Talk us through your audition process…
The whole experience of auditioning for this film was something of a whirlwind. It was kind of, yeah it all just happened very, very quickly. So it was one Thursday when I got these three scenes to audition with, the meeting with Matthew was the following day. And it was by far the most elaborate audition I had every done, at least in studios. And basically I went along, I only learned two of the scenes because I didn’t have much notice, which Matthew wasn’t very impressed with, still cast me though. The lesson is don’t do the work, no. Yes, basically I wasn’t able to learn it in all in the space of time because I was filming. So I went along and auditioned and he seemed to enjoy it, and what followed was a series of almost Kingsman like trials, where I kind of did stunt auditions. And I did in fact go up to his house in Suffolk I think it is and yeah, basically he wanted to see me deliver every line that was in the script at that point, because he’s, because he’s Matt, that’s what he’s like, you know? So yeah, you know what? It was actually a really lovely experience. We sat there; we read through the whole script, he read through the other parts. And he was so kind about it as we went along. You know, he would, if he thought, every few pages he would say, you know, “I really liked what you did there.” And it was fab, you know it was great. And yeah basically one Saturday morning we kind of, I think it was about five weeks after the initial audition, he called me and said, yeah he said, “Yeah I think we’re about to offer you this part.” And I went, “I don’t know what that means.” Couldn’t you have waited a couple of days and just offered me the part?” And basically what he meant was there was a set of sort of conditions basically to that and it was all confirmed for me Monday and I had to begin to being Eggsy.



This was your first film, how did you find that experience?
Tremendously nervous, you know for a full set of reasons. Matthew you know in his, he was always very encouraging to me and always did what ever he could to dispel his nerves, that being said, he’s quite a forthright chap. He’s someone who’s quite easy to be nervous around, you know particularly as a newbie. And the script was so good, it was so good, that that in itself kind of makes you a bit nervous, you know because you want to justice to it but equally when something is this exciting it kind of makes you go, “let’s grab this bull by the horns.” You know? So yeah it was my first day on any film set was on this movie. Yeah, casual, you know?


How did you find working with Colin Firth?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my short career to have worked with some absolutely and incredibly generous older actors. I did a television show called “The Smoke” and you know Jamie Bamber, Rhashan Stone was so good to me on that. And on “Kingsman” Colin was the same really. But I think it was such an intense experience for me that it matters all the more. I really, I kind of needed a pal; it nearly killed me making that film. I loved every second of it, but it was exhausting. You know I’m, yeah and he was just someone, you know before the first day of filming he called me and I was asleep. I do that a lot, I like to sleep. And he left it on message and basically saying he was pleased I had been cast and felt I was the man for the job and he was excited to work with me. And I had a partner at the time and we sat and listened to it and we just both went, “God, what is going on?” You know? I’ve got an answering message of Oscar winner Colin Firth! So yeah he seemed like the best. I just adored him. We were at the premiere last night and I. we were both in the loo having a wee, and I just sort of gave him a hug and I said, “Mate, I can’t, I’m not going to be too soppy about this, but I’ve just got to thank you for everything,” because he’s just been a great friend to me. An extraordinary man, he really is.


How did you approach the incredible action sequences of the film?
It was the great unknown for me, I suppose, you know? I had never really been involved in, I had done action of sorts but it’s the stylized nature of action in ‘Kingsman” that makes it extraordinary and that makes it really demanding. You know it requires the, the fighting for example requires a real discipline and very specific choreography. And I kind of, I just had to go for it. It wasn’t always easy, you know there were times when I really didn’t feel I was getting things, and there were times when I was just so exhausted that you think, “My word, I really don’t know if, how am I going to get through this, you know?” But I worked with the most extraordinary team of men. You know Colin is someone that praises a lot as well. I owe a huge debt to Rudolf Vrba, and that’s an awful pronunciation of his checks, and Damien Walters, two lads who were on Brad Allen’s team. They kind of you know, they built one of, one of them built my body with me and the other taught me how to move. And yeah, they kind of have as much responsibility for what Eggsy is in the film as I do really.



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