Colin Firth Kingsman: The Secret Service

Colin Firth Kingsman: The Secret Service

Colin Firth Kingsman: The Secret Service

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Mark Hamill, Michael Caine
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Synopsis: Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

When the father of five-year-old Gary 'Eggsy" Price sacrifices his life in the line of duty during a classified military exercise, his family is given an unconventional medal – and a phone number they may use only once, should they need a favor of any kind.

Seventeen years later, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is an unemployed school dropout living a dead-end existence in his mother's flat. After he is arrested for joyriding, Eggsy uses the medal to secure his release from jail, and finds himself rescued by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy who owes Eggsy's father his life.

Dismayed to learn of the path Eggsy has taken, yet impressed by his better qualities, Harry offers Eggsy the opportunity to turn his life around by trying out for a position with Harry's employers: Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organisation.

Eggsy must make it through the highly competitive and often perilous series of tests that each prospective new Kingsman agent must pass, while also dealing with the emotional struggle of being a social outcast in an environment where everyone else is well-educated, well-connected and well-mannered.

Meanwhile, Harry is trying to solve the mysterious disappearances of several prominent academics, scientists and entertainers, and hunt down the man he believes to be responsible – Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson), a tech billionaire and disillusioned eco-campaigner whose desire to save the earth at any cost has led him to devise a scheme that will have devastating consequences for everyone.

With Harry's help, Eggsy learns to become both a gentleman and a spy – but will he triumph over his rivals for the coveted position at Kingsman?

And can he and Harry discover the truth about Valentine's ingeniously evil plan in time to stop it?

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: February 2nd, 2015

About The Production

Kingsman: The Secret Service wryly subverts the conceits of the spy genre, telling the story of a gentleman spy who takes an ordinary working class kid under his wing and trains him in the art of espionage. It's about a street kid's journey from one social class to another, set in the two colliding worlds of life and death adventure and a very ordinary street existence. 'The film is a blend of everything I learned from making Lock Stock, Snatch, and Layer Cake, which were gangster movies, as well as my comic book films Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, notes director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn.

Adds co-writer Jane Goldman: 'Matthew Vaughn's got such a love for the James Bond movies, and Kingsman: The Secret Service is about embracing that genre, while also doing something new with it. Matthew Vaughn's been talking about doing a spy movie for years – even back when we were working on [Matthew Vaughn's 2007 fantasy film] Stardust."

It was on the set of the genre bending Kick-Ass that Matthew Vaughn and noted graphic novelist Mark Millar conceived the concept for what would finally become Kingsman: The Secret Service. 'We agreed we wanted to explore the origins of an elite spy, but focus on an unlikely candidate," says Mark Millar.

Mark Millar told Matthew Vaughn about a newspaper article he had read about how Terence Young, who directed the first Bond picture Dr No, had cast Sean Connery against the wishes of 007 author Ian Fleming. Fleming had seen 007 as more of a James Mason or David Niven type. Says Mark Millar: 'Terence Young realised he had to turn Sean Connery, this rough Edinburgh guy, into a gentleman, and before they started shooting the film he took him to his tailor, to his favourite restaurants, and basically taught him how to eat, talk, and dress like a gentleman spy."

That conversation started the ball rolling on creating Kingsman: The Secret Service, but it would take a few years before Mark Millar began writing The Secret Service graphic novel, upon which the film is based. While they had toyed with the idea of setting it in America, Matthew Vaughn insisted on keeping the story based in Britain, so Mark Millar knew he'd need to find a British illustrator to capture the subtle differences between the classes.

Immediately, he thought of Dave Gibbons, a legendary illustrator famed for his work on Watchmen with Alan Moore. Mark Millar remembers lining up for four hours to get Dave Gibbons's autograph as a 17-year-old comics fan, and cherishing his 15 seconds of face time. 'I couldn't have been more delighted," he says. A year later, Mark Millar, still at school, wrote to Dave Gibbons to tell him he wanted to be a comic book writer and that Dave Gibbons should work with him.

'I wrote Mark Millar a very polite letter back and said, -Perhaps not now, but maybe in the future,'" Dave Gibbons recalls. 'The years rolled by and by the time I bumped into him again, I'd become a huge fan of his work and we agreed we would collaborate on a project."

Mark Millar pitched Dave Gibbons the story for The Secret Service. Gibbons was drawn by the fact it was set in Britain and that the characters were intrinsically British. 'There's nothing that's really quite as exciting as things that are grounded in reality," he explains. 'Even with the most outlandish fantasy, you have to ground it in reality for it to remain feasible. So if you're going to have people flying around in jetpacks and ejector seats and possess all the wonderful gadgetry, the fact that The Secret Service comics are set in a believable South London, that the kids looked believable, and that the cars fit, is really important to sustain and feed the fantasy."

The Secret Service rolled out onto the shelves of comic book stores in February 2012, telling the story of a gentleman spy training his street-punk nephew to be the next great secret agent, and exploring two co-existing sides of British culture.

Meanwhile, Matthew Vaughn was fleshing out ideas for the film version with his co-writer Jane Goldman. The pair has collaborated on all of Matthew Vaughn's films to date, and they created the new script as Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons were producing the comic, in much the same way Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman had approached the adaptation of Mark Millar's in-progress Kick-Ass story.

'Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman work together so brilliantly," notes Mark Millar. 'Whatever you give them it always comes back better. There's nothing lovelier than seeing your book adapted and actually being better than you had imagined."

Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman were keen to make some changes to Mark Millar's story and take Kingsman: The Secret Service in a slightly different direction. They crafted a backstory for the organisation that was slightly less governmental, and the gentleman spy was no longer the street-punk's uncle, but a former colleague of his father's, who'd lost his own life saving his.

Assembling the Team: Casting the Kingsmen

Kingsman is an elite organisation of operatives working outside of the government. Martial in style, they are an altruistic unit that gets things done. 'They're the good guys," says Colin Firth, who plays Harry, whose Kingsman name is Galahad, named after the Arthurian legend. 'We're living in an age in which we're very suspicious of our institutions and our governments. Whatever trust we've once had has been undermined, so I think it's interesting to explore the idea that there is an organisation with pure motives. One not compromised by the politics and bureaucracy of these institutions. The Kingsmen are the modern-day Knights of the Round Table."

Casting Colin Firth was something of a no-brainer for Matthew Vaughn. Colin Firth is much loved and lauded as the quintessential British gentleman, so the notion of showing his kick-ass side was a tough one to refuse. 'Watching Colin do action is fun and different," says Matthew Vaughn. 'It was a big risk, but Colin Firth really pulls it off. I knew he could do the gentleman aspect of the spy, but I wasn't so sure he could handle the action. We took him right out of his comfort zone and he put in so much work. Colin Firth could definitely be an action star after this."

The gentleman spy is a classic trope of British cinema, from the authentic view presented by the John le Carre novels – the lonely sleuth – to the high-tech, high-testosterone fantasies of the 1960s' James Bond films. Colin Firth, who played le Carre's Bill Heydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, relished the chance to explore an action hero. 'What Matthew Vaughn does so skillfully is to find a way of harvesting bits of all of them," he says. 'So you have a bit of [author Len Deighton's spy protagonist] Harry Palmer, a bit of Bond, and a bit of le Carre, and it's all there for the sake of entertainment.

'The palette and the sensibility of Kingsman: The Secret Service is somewhat old fashioned: the gentleman spy," he continues. 'It's elegant – the cufflinks, the suit, the gadgetry built into the umbrella. It's also futuristic and quite outrageously makes the implausible plausible."

In fact, he says, the role appealed to the eight-year-old version of himself that relished playground fantasy. 'The film has that element of exuberant, high action and larger-than-life make-believe, where you have clear cut heroes and villains who can do anything. There's a form of superpower here. We're not people who can fly, but we have gadgets that can do the impossible, from lighters and pens, to blades in our shoes."

Harry feels responsible for the death of Eggsy's father, and that he owes the man a debt. When a Kingsman agent is killed, the organisation looks for a new recruit. Explains Colin Firth: 'When Harry sees that his fallen comrade's son, Eggsy, is on a fast track to disaster in the way he's growing up, Harry rises to the challenge of seeing if he can save the boy. That's partly guilt, but he wants to see if he can mold Eggsy into Kingsman material. He says quite explicitly that being a gentleman has nothing to do with accents or upbringing; it's something one learns and proves in one's behavior."

Casting a young actor capable of embodying Eggsy and his journey from errant street boy to suave secret agent was an enormous challenge. With the film deep in pre-production and most of the other roles cast, Matthew Vaughn was still trying to find his Eggsy.

More than 60 young actors were screen-tested before Matthew Vaughn met Taron Egerton, a 24 year old from Aberystwyth, in Wales, and fresh out of drama school. With no film credits to his name, Taron Egerton was working on a television drama when his agent presented him with some Kingsman: The Secret Service script pages and told him to prepare for an audition the next day. 'I don't think I even knew the title of the film," recalls Taron Egerton. 'It was just a scene between two characters called Harry and Eggsy. But it was just such great writing and I was very excited about the opportunity."

At the audition, Matthew Vaughn told Taron Egerton he'd like him to come back and read with Colin Firth. The young actor was unaware Colin Firth had been cast as Harry. 'Within five minutes I also learned that Michael Caine was in the film, and my heart was beating so fast," Taron Egerton recalls.

'Finding a talented young actor is hard," notes Matthew Vaughn. 'And finding one that can carry a movie is even harder. Taron Egerton had never done a movie, but you get a feeling about someone. When Jennifer Lawrence came in to play Mystique [in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class] she was just 19, but as soon as you turned the camera on her you knew that she had something. It was the same with Taron Egerton."

Taron Egerton described the process of shooting the film as 'scary, but wonderful. What more can any young actor want? It really is a dream come true and I feel lucky to be one of the few people in the world who can genuinely say that."

'Eggsy is a tough role to pull off," notes Matthew Vaughn. 'He is a street kid who becomes a gentleman. He must be credible at portraying both, while also being likeable, which isn't easy. But Taron Egerton's done it with real aplomb."

From Taron Egerton's first meeting with Colin Firth, the two actors bonded. 'His talent is extraordinary," notes Taron Egerton of his acclaimed co-star. 'I'd have paid for the masterclass of working alongside him, let alone be paid for it. Colin Firth is very kind, encouraging and reassuring, and always offering support and advice. I think it was a stroke of genius on Matthew Vaughn's part to cast him."

Colin Firth is equally complimentary about Taron Egerton. 'I feel like I was the one who learned from Taron Egerton – about his spontaneity, sensibilities, reference points, use of language and energy. It was invigorating for me – and an immense gift – to stay connected with people at completely different ends of the generational spectrum. I had all that with this film," he says, referring also to Michael Caine, whom Matthew Vaughn cast as Arthur, the head Kingsman.

The actor playing Arthur needed to have gravitas and be someone Harry would look up to. Says Dave Gibbons: 'Arthur is the establishment, and when it comes to movies, Michael Caine is the governor. He always invests the parts he plays with authority and a sense of world-weary experience that make him ideal for this role."

Michael Caine immediately responded to the script. 'When I read it, I found the screenplay to be very unusual, very funny and a big adventure."

Rounding out the Kingsmen is Mark Strong, who plays Merlin. In the tradition of Arthurian legend, Merlin is slightly outside the 'round table," serving as a trainer for the recruits and the organisation's tech wizard. Strong notes that Merlin can handle a computer as easily as he can fire an automatic rifle.

'Merlin possesses both efficiency and toughness, but he's also a very likable character," says Mark Strong. 'He's the kind of sergeant major figure who likes and cares about his charges, so there's soft side to him. Merlin is a tough-love merchant, and we're rooting for him because he's rooting for them."

Strong is one of Matthew Vaughn's most frequent collaborators, and jumped at the chance to reteam with the director. 'This is the third film I've done with Matthew Vaughn," says Mark Strong. 'When you go to work with him you know you're going to be with somebody you enjoy working with, as well as with somebody who's going to make a film you'll like."

All of the Kingsman recruits give Eggsy a run for his money, but in Roxy, played by Sophie Cookson, Eggsy finds what Jane Goldman calls 'a worthy opponent. They're buddies and rivals and there's a respect between them. In a way, that's part of our divergence from James Bond; there isn't a romance between them and it isn't just about him bedding women."

It was this aspect of Roxy's personality that drew Sophie Cookson to the part. 'I'm quite tired of reading scripts where women are over-sexualised and it's all about being an accessory to a leading man," she explains.

'Roxy isn't like that. She has her own objectives and ambitions and she's very much her own entity. Roxy is one of two female candidates for Kingsman, so she's surrounded by a little too much testosterone. She feels an affinity towards Eggsy, even though they're very different."

Sophie ookson embraced the role's many challenges. 'There were times where I wondered what I was doing, dangling in a harness upside down, about to vomit. But I'm really happy to have been a part of it. Matthew's eye for detail is like nothing I've seen before. He's got the shot in his head, and as an actor that's great because you can trust him."

Taking Over the World Finding the Villains

Every good spy needs a suitably evil villain, and in Samuel L. Jackson's Valentine, the genre may well have discovered its most maniacal antagonist. A billionaire genius, whose plan to 'save the world" involves wiping out the human race, Valentine is forged in the mold of classic spy movie bad guys. But the tech-savvy entrepreneur is also inspired by the world's newest superpowers: the CEOs of giant media conglomerates and tech behemoths.

A voracious comic-book fan, Samuel L. Jackson had already read the books by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons when he heard Matthew Vaughn was interested in him for the part of Valentine. 'The Kingsmen were different kinds of gentleman spies," he reflects. 'I thought the concept was great and I always thought it would make a wonderful film."

Samuel L. Jackson loved Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman's script, and says he immediately understood Valentine's motivations. 'The really crazy thing was that it totally made sense," he laughs. 'The film is full of great visual images, and I felt a thrill taking the ride."

Valentine's logic posits that the global population has swelled to uncontrollable levels, so it requires culling. His deadly plan is to produce SIM cards that he will distribute freely around the world, and which will both stimulate aggression and reduce inhibition. They'll literally cause people to tear each other apart, save for a select few chosen for their intelligence, power and beauty. With protective chips implanted into the heads of these elite, Valentine has rounded them up and transported them to his secret base.

Explains Mark Millar: 'I borrowed' the idea from a professor I met from Glasgow University. He had explained to me that if the Reptilian complex at the very base of the human brain was activated, we would be extremely territorial and aggressive, and ultimately destroy each other. There's a radio frequency that drives everyone nuts."

Samuel L. Jackson describes Valentine as a moral, pragmatic man. 'He understands that you have to make certain choices in order for things to work, and in order for the world to succeed, sacrifices must be made, and somebody has to be willing to make them."

Argues Colin Firth: 'Valentine is genocidal! He's a mass murderer and a psychopath. He may have the greater good in his mind but if that involves the death of millions of people, that ideology is unlikely to be shared by the rest of humanity."

Still, he understands why Jackson found a reason for Valentine's actions. 'I think it's perfectly appropriate that Sam doesn't see his character as a villain. As actors our job is to inhabit our characters, and you have to see them the way they see themselves – but with my own character's subjectivity, Valentine is a villain in the classic Bond tradition."

Matthew Vaughn says Samuel L. Jackson was 'everything we wanted and more. The same way Nicolas Cage brought something totally unique to the character of Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, Sam brought ideas to the rehearsal that we played around with, and while they scared me at first, he h really pulled it off."

One of the film's highlights is a dinner scene in which Valentine and Harry swap their contrasting philosophies and discuss classic movies in the context of who they wanted to grow up to be. 'When I was a kid," says Valentine, 'that was, like, my dream job - gentleman spy." Replies Harry: 'I always felt the old Bond movies were only as good as the villain. As a child I rather fancied a future as a colorful megalomaniac." 'Well," retorts Valentine, 'isn't it a pity we both had to grow up?"

'It's thrilling to get two contrasting characters and put them together," says Colin Firth. 'They're evenly matched. They're both formidable, dangerous and have a great deal of power. But their tools are entirely different, and to see those pitched against each other is part of the dynamic Matthew Vaughn has set up."

Agrees Samuel L. Jackson: 'We're playing this cat-and-mouse game, where Harry pretends not to know who Valentine is and Valentine pretends not to know who Harry is, until they actually sit down and say it. Game on; let's see who comes out victorious."

A classic villain needs an unforgettable henchman, and Valentine has Gazelle, a beautiful, super-smart double amputee with deadly running blades. She's a killing machine. 'She's called Gazelle because she's in total control of her legs," explains Sofia Boutella, who takes on the role. 'Gazelle wears prosthetics that, when she's fighting, unleash razor sharp blades, which makes her very dangerous."

For the Algerian model-turned-actress, the role was something of a gift. Boutella, who has graced catwalks, appeared in music videos and danced on Madonna's tour, has slowly been making the move to film and was thrilled to land the role. 'It was a trip," she says. 'I used to dance, but I stopped two and a half years ago, and I've since done many auditions, with much waiting and struggling. To wake up one day and get this part – which just came out of nowhere – was mind-blowing to me. I feel blessed to be a part of the film."

Working with Samuel L. Jackson was one of the highlights for Boutella. 'He's so impressive," she explains. 'Samuel L. Jackson has such a big energy and I was drawn into it. I admire him so much. On the first day of rehearsal I was just staring. I was like, -Oh yeah, it's my turn to speak now, sorry!'"

She notes the stunt training for the film was intense. 'They taught me Thai boxing, Taekwondo, and how to work with cables. Gazelle uses her legs to kill, so I had to learn different types of kicks. I'd never done anything like it before."

Sharp Suits and Secret Bases The Design of Kingsman

Effortlessly cool and elegant, and celebrating the 'Best of British" in style and design, Kingsman: The Secret Service introduces a collaboration with Mr. Porter – a 'costume to collection" series featuring Kingsman tailoring, designed by the film's award-winning costume designer Arianne Phillips. The collection showcases Kingsman-branded luxury accessories, including Turnbull & Asser shirts, Drake's ties, Swaine Adeney Brigg luggage, Bremont watches and George Cleverley shoes.

Arianne Phillips said the script for Kingsman: The Secret Service had her at hello. 'This film is about British elite gentlemen spies, and the base of their operations is a Savile Row tailor's shop," she says. 'It was a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the story in a narrative way – and not just visually."

For Matthew Vaughn, hiring an American costume designer offered an objective view of British tailoring that was essential to the film. 'Matthew Vaughn's brave and thinks outside the box," explains Arianne Phillips. 'While he's a traditionalist, he knows how to take something, spin it and make it more interesting, relevant and contemporary. I was intrigued by how he took this action piece and made it so incredibly stylish."

The first step for Arianne Phillips was to embrace the unique and wonderful tradition of the classic British spy film, seen through the prism of Matthew Vaughn's modern interpretation. In a globalised world, in which clothes are mass-produced and mass-distributed, bespoke tailoring is all the more special. For Arianne Phillips, infiltrating the 'secret society" of Savile Row was an incredible experience. 'I feel so lucky to have been welcomed into that world," she says. 'We've worked with some of the best tailors and shoemakers, and everything in the film has been made to order just as it would be for Kingsman."

But just as Savile Row tailoring is far from one-size-fits-all, the demands on the costume department on Kingsman: The Secret Service meant much more than simply ordering a single suit for each actor. There were many duplicates, as well as tailoring that needed to look perfect on camera while also holding up under the strains of the film's many action sequences.

Even the Kingsman recruits get to look good; while they're going through the Kingsman training program, the recruits wear 'siren suits" inspired by the one-piece garment famously worn by Winston Churchill. Phillips saw an opportunity to indicate the recruits' transformation by designing a hybrid of this classic jumpsuit and a Norfolk jacket – a classic sporting garment worn by the upper classes. Their costumes show off the full range of British textiles, from Eggsy's plaid check to Roxy's pinstripe velvet.

The film offered Phillips a chance to explore everything from Eggsy's street chic in the film's opening moments, to the bespoke world of the Kingmen and the unique styles of Valentine and his henchmen. 'With Valentine, we wanted to do something that was also unique: wholly American juxtaposed with the British bespoke world," says Arianna Phillips. 'Samuel L. Jackson is really fantastic with costumes and we had so much fun developing his look. We use lots of color, and since Valentine really believes he's saving the world, we gave him a spiritual aspect with luxurious Buddhist prayer beads on a necklace."

For production designer Paul Kirby, the film offered an opportunity to let his imagination run wild. 'Matthew Vaugh is a director who likes to be bold and unapologetic," says Paul Kirby. 'Stylistically, it's about how far to play those elements. On the one hand the Kingsmen are gentlemen, so they're suave and understated, and then in other parts of the film it's very bold and there are big strokes."

That contrast forms a key part of the film's design. While the world of the Kingsmen is all about refinement and sophistication, Valentine's choices are big and loud, with bold architectural style. Given the film's influences, Paul Kirby embraced the opportunity to give a nod to famed production designer Ken Adam, who worked on many of the early Bond films. 'We made something with its own sensibility," he explains, 'but there are one or two subtle nods to acknowledge Ken's body of work. There's not a designer in the world that isn't a fan of his."

Paul Kirby, who has worked on many Bond pictures, himself, creates an entirely new spy world, starting with the Savile Row finery of the Kingsman shop. 'Working with the tailors on Savile Row has been amazing," he says. 'The Kingsman shop is based on the Huntsman shop, which is a world-renowned tailor."

Shooting on location was impractical, so Paul Kirby and his team built their own version of the Kingsman shop in the studio at Leavesden. 'We were then able to crank up the volume and density of some things, and strip away some others," he explains. The tailors at Huntsman loaned the production some props to add authenticity. 'If you walk down Savile Row and have a look in the Huntsman window, as I'm sure some people will do after seeing this film, you'll see some elements that are similar and some that aren't. We wanted to put our own mark on it."

One of Kirby's favorite creations was Valentine's house. 'There's a boldness to the scale of it," he says. 'The finishes and the wood veneer on the walls are very American. We did this relief pattern on the walls, which was quite audacious, and the paintings are unexpected. Valentine likes pandas – and why wouldn't he?"

Spy Games The Action of Kingsman

Brad Allan, an Australian martial artist and action choreographer who worked with Matthew Vaughn on Kick-Ass, coordinated the fight sequences with a team that included a parkour champion and a breakdancer Allen discovered on YouTube.

One of the film's many standout action sequences is a climactic fight set inside a church, which sees Colin Firth taking out the entire congregation. Incredibly, the scene was done in one take.

Much of the stunt work was a new experience for Colin Firth, whose character moves between high-octane action and pensive stillness. When Harry does get involved in the action, he's unstoppable – while losing none of his sophistication. 'It's the -not a hair out of place' world of fighting at first," explains Colin Firth. 'Then there's sheer mayhem, where there certainly are hairs out of place."

To prepare for the church scene, the production called upon the crack stunt team Colin Firth describes as 'the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. They have their own sets of amazing skills. You have the Jackie Chan-like training team of Brad Allan, who's one of the finest martial artists in the world, and then we a have a six-times world championship Thai boxer, an Olympic gold medalist gymnast, and someone from the special forces to do the gun training. I didn't know what hit me."

Colin Firth's training regimen took three hours a day, every day, for several weeks. 'I was learning to use parts of my body that I'd never used," he says. 'I didn't even know they existed. It was painful."

'The stunt people training Colin Firth were incredibly impressed," recalls Jane Goldman. 'It's not something he's done before and yet he was meticulous and so diligent in his training. Colin Firth's worked harder than anyone I've seen before. Not because he had to, but because he really wanted to. He nailed it, and almost none of his action work involved stand-ins."

For Taron Egerton, the stunts were a bit of a surprise. 'I kind of expected to walk on set and have a sort of strapping stuntman to do all the work," he laughs. 'And it wasn't like that at all."

Another of the film's action sequences sees the recruits' bunk room being completely flooded. 'It was the hardest work I've ever had to do," remembers Taron Egerton. 'I can't even imagine how many hours we spent underwater, and it was a bit terrifying. All the other recruits get breathing tubes, so they're happily down there breathing and doing their thing. Eggsy's left without one, which means I was left without one!"

'The word -tough' springs to mind," says Sophie Cookson about the sequence. 'In some respects there's very little acting involved."

The scene was achieved by building the set over a tank of water, and then lowering it in slowly so it appeared as though the water level was continually rising. 'It wasn't practical to build a set in a tank and then flood it with water," explains special effects supervisor Steven Warner. 'It made more sense to build above the water and then sink it. But the set kept growing – in the end I believe we ended up with something that was 54-feet long by 26-feet wide. When the set was on the surface it was 20 feet above ground, requiring two huge scissor lifts to move it. All in all the rig weight about 17 tons, and we had another 10 tons of weight on top of it."

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: February 2nd, 2015

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