Returning to the Kingsman World: A Conversation with Taron Egerton and Mark Strong
“Kingsman: The Secret Service” introduced the world to Kingsman – an independent, international intelligence agency operating at the highest level of discretion, whose ultimate goal is to keep the world safe. In “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy…
Taron Egerton is best known for the action comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service and also appeared in the 2014 drama film Testament of Youth. He featured in the 2015 crime thriller film Legend, and starred as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards in the 2016 biographical film Eddie the Eagle. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle he reprises his role as the leading man, Eggsy…
Mark Strong has appeared in a clutch of popular films, including Revolver, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, Stardust, Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle he reprises his role as Merlin…
How do your characters evolve in this film, particularly Eggsy?
Taron Egerton: What’s particularly fun about this film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is that we get to see that Eggsy has changed and evolved since the first film. It’s been a few months, probably a year, since the events in the first film where Merlin and Eggsy manage to save the world. And you get the impression that he is a little more assured. He has a few missions under his belt and he now has a girlfriend who he is trying to be good to. He tries to have an active relationship with her but his work commitments do get in the way.
Mark Strong: The status quo has righted itself again. In the first film Merlin got an overview and it all goes wrong and he steps in to help save the world. And then when we meet them at the start of the second film we are back to normal. Normal service has resumed. Eggsy is out in the field. Merlin is his eyes and ears. They’ve saved the world, they now have a relationship, and they have to do it all again.
And Merlin gets some great moments. He sings at one point…
Mark Strong: I do get to sing, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a singer unlike this man here [Taron].
Taron Egerton: I think Mark sings brilliantly in the film.
Mark Strong: Bless you.
Taron Egerton: I seem to be garnering a reputation as a singer! I do love singing — it’s very important to me — and Mark does a blinding job.
Mark Strong: What’s great about that John Denver [Country Road] track is that it can be intimate and small but you can belt it out as well. That’s what I do. I think I sell it well rather than hit the notes perfectly.
Did this film feel even bigger and bolder than the first film?
Taron Egerton: There were some incredible sets on the first movie but I remember the first day I stepped onto the set of Poppy Land [on The Golden Circle] and it was almost like a small town. I remember thinking, ‘Wow! We’ve stepped up a gear here.’ The Valentine, end-of-the-world sets from the first film were very grand in scale but only about a third of the size of the Poppy Land set. That was one point when I thought, ‘We’re into something a little bit bigger here.’
Mark Strong: The very first scene we shot [on The Golden Circle] was over the destroyed, charred remnants of the Kingsman shop. And for that one scene they created a whole avenue of charred debris with the buildings either side. There was rain, it was a night shoot, and it was a huge shot for that one scene. I don’t think anything else was shot there. And that was the first day — so you realised that you were in for something big!
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