SDCC ’14: Colin Firth Charms in KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
Kingsman: The Secret Service feels like an odd blend of Men in Black and James Bond. Starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton, Sophie Cookson, and Sofia Boutella, the film follows a secret agency tasked with protecting Britain. Based on a the popular comic book by Mark Millar, and directed by Matthew Vaughn this one looks like it could be a ton of fun and packed with slick spies that know to have a little fun too.
It pays homage to the classics while also being a thoroughly modern and original take – Colin Firth said that this filme is “like stepping in to the shoes of the people who were your hero growing up.” Mark Millar especially liked the lighter tone of this film compared to Skyfall. He joked, “It’s fun to see a spy movie that’s fun again. Now you see Bond and he’s crying in the shower….You don’t want to watch a spy movie that you want to kill yourself after.”
When asked about his influencers and if there were any specific films or comic books that came in to play when creating Kingsman: The Secret Service. I loved Mark’s answer: Everything you do is a pledge to your childhood. Kick-Ass was because I wanted to do my own Spider-Man, Hit Girl was from my daughter asking me to create a super hero for her/like her. She’s still not allowed to read it just yet though.”
Also discussed was how this role is unlike anything else Colin Firth has done. While he’s always been able to play charming, he hasn’t really done the whole ass-kicking thing before. He stressed that the only thing that was different was the physicality of the role – the training was extraordinarily intense and unfamiliar. He said, “I wish I’d done more if it, it was 6 months of daily work with the best experts around.”
While it was grueling physical work at times, what ultimately drew him to this project was the particular kind of style these spies exude. “Growing up in the ’60s – the character of the spy had his roots then, it’s the Man from UNCLE, it’s the guy in that suit who seems slick and cool and capable but cross him at your own peril. He’ll get you with a slick move or a gadget.”
Not only did the style draw him in, but it took Matthew Vaughn. He was the one who decided it was a good combination. Colin expressed that Vaughn “likes to take people’s presumptions and turn them on their heads.” Vaughn basically said to him, “[Colin], you’re the last person people will think of kicking anyone’s ass.” It was going to be a challenge and he had to be ready to handle some pain, but Vaughn really wanted him to really do it for real, not just cut to a stunt man for the more demanding moments. Vaughn wanted it to be utterly and convincingly Colin Firth on that screen.
While we didn’t get to see any footage during the press room, we did get treated to a hilarious moment when Samuel L. Jackson was trying to answer a question. A reporter was using their iPhone to record the interviews when suddenly their ringer went off. Flustered, Samuel L. Jackson picked it up and just said “Your friend is trying to do an interview right now and they fucked up.” and the whole room exploded with laughter. I can’t imagine being the owner of that phone! Apparently, they didn’t want to be yelled at like their friend was so the phone went unclaimed for a while after the panel ended – at least until the cast and most of the other press cleared out. Well, there’s a lesson to be learned here: if you’re recording with your iPhone, set the thing to airplane mode first!