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Kingsman: The Secret Service - Taron Egerton interview

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Compiled by Jack Foley

TARON Egerton talks about the making of Kingsman: The Secret Service, including auditioning for the film and then getting into shape to tackle the many action sequences.

He also discusses his newfound love for Colin Firth (who he hugged in a men’s room at the premiere) and how much he learned from his first movie experience. Kingsman: The Secret Service is out on Digital HD on May 24, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD on June 8, 2015, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Q. Can you tell us a little about the premise of Kingsman: The Secret Service?
Taron Egerton: 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.

Q. How was the audition process?
Taron Egerton: The whole experience of auditioning for this film was something of a whirlwind. 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 ever done, at least in studios. 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 – but he still cast me though [smiles]. The lesson is don’t do the work, no [laughs].

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 and, yeah, basically he wanted to see me deliver every line that was in the script at that point, because he’s Matt, and that’s what he’s like, you know? But do 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. Every few pages he would say: “I really liked what you did there.” And it was fab, it was great. And then one Saturday morning, I think it was about five weeks after the initial audition, he called me and 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?”

But 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.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Q. What was it like being your first film experience?
Taron Egerton: I was tremendously nervous for a full set of reasons. Matthew was always very encouraging to me and always did whatever he could to dispel any nerves. But that being said, he’s quite a forthright chap. He’s someone who’s quite easy to be nervous around, 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 because you want to do 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?

Q. How was working with Colin Firth?
Taron Egerton: I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my short career to have worked with some incredibly generous older actors. I did a television show called The Smoke with Jamie Bamber and Rhashan Stone, who were 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 kind of needed a pal; it nearly killed me making this film. I loved every second of it but it was exhausting. But before the first day of filming he called me and I was asleep. I do that a lot… I like to sleep. But he left a message basically saying he was pleased I had been cast and felt I was the right man for the job and he was excited to be working with me. A

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 from Oscar winner Colin Firth! So, yeah, he seemed like the best. I just adored him. We were at the premiere last night and we were both in the loo having a wee, and I just sort of gave him a hug and said: “Mate, 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.

Q. How was filming the action sequences of the film?
Taron Egerton: It was the great unknown for me, I suppose. 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. The fighting, for example, requires a real discipline and very specific choreography. I just had to go for it. It wasn’t always easy and 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 how am I going to get through this.” But I worked with the most extraordinary team of men.

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 name, and Damien Walters, two lads who were on Brad Allen’s team. One of them built my body with me and the other taught me how to move. So, they kind of have as much responsibility for what Eggsy is in the film as I do really.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is out on Digital HD on May 24, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD on June 8, 2015, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.