It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything Kingsman-related (thank the global pandemic for that). Tomorrow (December 22nd), however, The King’s Man releases in theaters. The cast and crew of the film sat down with members of the press and moderator Erik Davis to answer some questions about the film. Included on the panel were: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Harris Dickinson, Djimon Hounsou, Rhys Ifans, and director Matthew Vaughn.

Seeing as how the film has been delayed a couple of times, this press conference came at the perfect time for fans of the Kingsman series. Starting off, Matthew Vaughn gave a bit behind his inspiration to make The King’s Man.

Matthew Vaughn received one of the first questions of the day about the inspiration behind The King’s Man.

Well, I rewatched a movie called The Man Who Would Be King, and I afterwards joked saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to make The Man Who Would Be Kingsman?” And sort of-it reminded me why I fell in love with cinema.  The-the idea of an epic historical adventure film, but with great actors, great characters, uh, humor, pathos, and, uh, just pure escapism and entertainment.  And, uh, and then I remembered the speech that Harry gave to Eggsy about how, when, why, and what Kingsman was founded for.

And it was 1919, and, uh, and then I s-read up about-I mean, I got it wrong, I can admit to it now.  I thought World War I ended in 1919.  [My date?].  I wasn’t that great at history at school.  And then I found out about the Treaty of Versailles, and then I was looking into why the war broke out.  And I’d always been obsessed with Rasputin for all the wrong reasons…

Gemma Arterton On Polly

Polly is an immense presence in The King’s Man, Gemma Arterton plays her with style and strength. Here’s what she had to say about the character.

Yeah, it was a real mixture.  I mean, first and foremost, it was really apparent on the page that Polly was a really cool character.  I think Matthew had written a really great, uh, a great character.  And, um, I was just sort of trying to bring her to life as much as I could.  Um, but yeah, I did draw exper-uh, draw inspiration a little bit from, you know, I grew up in a working class background, and there were a lot of women around me who were, you know, real fighters, and, um, you know, took no shit, and, uh, straight down, you know, straight down the line.

Um, and also, yeah, there were, I guess at that time in history, there were a lot of, you know, women working behind the scenes, not necessarily kind of in leadership roles.  So, you know, all of those amazing women, suffragettes, and also, um, you know, slightly later, but there-there were actually women who were code crackers that were really instrumental in the Second World War.  Um, [CLEARS THROAT] so yeah, but, um, a real mixture of inspirations.

Finally, All About The Best Villain Of The Film, Rasputin

Rhys Ifans is undoubtedly one of the highlights of The King’s Man with his turn as Rasputin. They talked about the different things that went into his performance including a fascinating scene of “ballet fighting”.

Um, so-so yes, we were working with a trainer, and with this brilliant stunt team, uh, you know, i-initially trying to find a kind of, um, uh, language, or a-a physical language, or a vernacular that was specific and unique to Rasputin.  And then I remember Matthew, um, in a light bulb-another-yet another light bulb genius moment of his, came up with quite possibly one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard.  He kind of came into the stunt room one day and he went, “Russian dancing, martial arts, mix em up.” 

And, uh, we were, you know, I mean, what a challenge. You know, between Matthew and-and us, and the-of course the stunt team, we arrived at this language with f-f-with Rasputin, which is, um, extraordinary.  And, you know, for-for me in terms of how I wanted Rasputin to-to live within that physical world, i-is th-this sense that Rasputin, uh, had this looming hypnotic, um, um, presence, um, that al-almost in the sense he-there’s the-there’s the-he had this dervish quality about him.

So the-th-the sense that he would dance his-his adversaries to death, that everyone Rasputin kills has a drunken smile on their face having been spun around the room, and then-and then killed almost in rapture.  Um, so th-all these elements came to play, and-and it was really a-a-a huge group effort.  And it’s, you know, and it was really satisfying to-to-to see the end result, um, all of which was based in-in-in kind of facts, uh, a-and-and-and-and elements of Rasputin. That we knew to be true.

Check Out The King’s Man Tomorrow December 22nd!

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