Ralph Fiennes has said historical figures within his new movie The King’s Man are treated “a little bit irreverently, in a good way”.
The Bond actor, 58, stars as Orlando, Duke of Oxford in the action spy film which is set in the early years of the 20th century and explores the formation of the Kingsman spy agency which is formed to stand against a rebellion group who are plotting a war.
The film, which was created and directed by Matthew Vaughn and is a prequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, will screen in cinemas from December 22.
Discussing why he joined the project, Fiennes told the PA news agency: “Who wouldn’t want to be? It’s a great franchise, it’s Matthew Vaughn, it’s got a uniquely wacky anarchic, I suppose, British, English-ish thing that’s cool, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
“It laughs at itself, is constantly surprising with these famous first action sequences but Matthew also wants to change it up.
“This is the beginning of the Kingsman, it’s set in early 20th centuries and historical figures who are treated a little bit irreverently, in a good way.
“So I think it’s a cool mix, there’s an original mind behind it. But it’s not like an old movie. I think it’s got a sort of sexy, modern vibe in it.”
The actor reflected upon the challenges of the production and noted that getting the emotion “serious and right” was a task, as well as the stunts involved in the film.
— The King's Man (@KingsmanMovie) November 22, 2021
He added: “The stunts were challenging, they’re physically demanding but it’s the accuracy needed to deliver (them). And obviously, there are stunt people standing in for us and doing stuff but, between everyone involved in those sequences, that was new (for me).”
Vaughn told PA on the red carpet of the movie’s world premiere in central London that he took inspiration from old fashioned films which he “fell in love with” when recreating the movie, such as sword-fighting techniques from actor Errol Flynn’s work.
The director noted that they had to respect the sensitivities of the world wars while making the film, adding: “The main theme of the movie is, be careful who your leaders are because little things can turn into very big problems, and I think the world’s experiencing it now.
“And World War One is a pointless war. There was no one really won it, everybody lost, a lot of lives went. So I wanted to just remind the world that mistakes can happen and let’s learn from them and not repeat them again.”
He added that recreating no man’s land and the fighting scenes was “tough” in extremely cold conditions but explained the production team had to remind themselves of what the real soldiers had to endure on the battlefield whenever they began to complain.
The King’s Man also stars Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode and Tom Hollander, with Taron Egerton and Colin Firth featuring in the original films.
The movie has been delayed several times, partially due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will be in cinemas from December 22.