Spying on Colin Firth On The Set Of Kingsman: The Secret Service
The star reveals some classified information to MTV while filming the super-spy adventure...
Inside the giant Leavesden studios, just outside London, Colin Firth is explaining the scene he’s in the middle of filming for the upcoming comic book adaptation Kingsman: The Secret Service.
“This scene is all about the unexpected. We see a respectable, rather mild-mannered older gentleman sitting in a rough pub being threatened by five rather aggressive goons who’ve come in. My character tells them, ‘Listen boys, I’ve had a rather emotional day, so if you’d just let me finish this lovely pint of Guinness I’ll be on my way…’ and then all this breaks loose.”
The ‘this’ Firth is referring to is the tightly choreographed fight scene which follows, where Firth’s character Harry Hart singlehandedly takes on the bunch of ruffians, armed with just an umbrella and a stiff upper lip.
Hart coolly but effectively dispatches the gang without breaking a sweat, and in the process impresses Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a young tearaway who Hart thinks has the potential qualities needed to join The Kingsmen, the ultra-elite secret agency he works for.
As Firth explains, the Kingsmen are, “essentially a highly finessed vigilante group who work outside the system. They’re out there for the greater good. I’d be very alarmed if they were out there in real life, but thankfully this is a fantasy world.”
Independent of any government, the Kingsmen are an immaculately turned out group of gentlemen who have been discreetly fighting crime for the last century, equipped with well-cut suits and enough high-tech gadgetry (poison gas pens, rifle umbrellas, grenades disguised as cigarette lighters) to make Q from the Bond films green with envy.
The almost balletic fight scene requires several takes as Firth, who handles the majority of his stunt work himself in the film, perfects the incredibly complex series of moves - in the process revealing a side of himself very different to his that which audiences have grown used to in The King’s Speech or Bridget Jones’s Diary.
“You weren’t really supposed to see that, it’s classified,” Firth says in reference to his attempts to nail the shot. “I’ve never done anything like this sort of fighting, I’m not sure anyone has.”
It was partly the chance to go so against type that attracted Firth to the role, along with the opportunity to work with Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn.
“I think Matthew is a very skilled entertainer,” Firth says. “He uses a lot of very familiar genres and satisfies one’s appetite for them, but he also plays games with them and subverts your expectations as he goes along, not least with casting choices.
“I mean in Stardust he had Robert De Niro dressed in women’s underwear, and now he’s got me as a killing machine!
“Matthew doesn’t just satirise the genres he’s playing with though, he clearly adores them. With Kick-Ass it was with superheroes and with this it’s spies – it’s rather like James Bond meets Eliza Doolittle.”
Kingsman: The Secret Service looks set to become a lot less secret when it hits cinemas later this year.
All photos by Japp Buitendijk for TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation