In “The King’s Man: First Mission”, Gemma Arterton and Ralph Fiennes play the first very special agents of Matthew Vaughn. From their discovery of the universe to the assertive style of a director capable of combining humor, seriousness and epic action scenes, the two British comedians tell us about the prequel.
The king’s man : back to basics
After Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn takes on another Mark Millar comic book in 2015 with Kingsman: Secret Service. The British director brings to the cinema a shocking London agency made up of the phlegmatic Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and the sassy Eggsy (Taron Egerton). A team that reformed two years later in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. At the end of the year 2021, following several postponements, The King’s Man: First Mission finally arrives in the room and goes back to the origins of the secret organization.
In this beginner prequel at the dawn of the First World War, Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) tries to stop several formidable enemies from coming to the end of their evil plan, with the help of faithful Polly (Gemma Arterton) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou), as well as that of his son Conrad (Harris Dickinson). Offering a new deluge of action, The King’s Man: First Mission adopts an unprecedented seriousness without sacrificing the humor of the franchise. For the exit, Gemma Arterton and Ralph Fiennes talk to us about their collaboration with Matthew Vaughn and the singular tone of this new opus, in the tradition of certain classic adventure films.
Meeting with Gemma Arterton and Ralph Fiennes
What do you like about the world of Kingsman and made you want to put on the costumes?
Ralph fiennes : I think we both liked the script. We liked its historical elements and the fact that Matthew (Vaughn) had fun with these outsized figures. But also the creation of interesting relationships between Gemma, Harris (Dickinson) and me, a family dynamic. I think there is a mixture between the intimate and a disproportionate story.
Gemma Arterton : Yes. I didn’t really know what to expect. I remember when I read the script I hadn’t seen the first two movies yet, came in with a whole new look and loved it. You can watch this film without having seen the others. On the other hand, if you loved the other two movies, you’ll love this one too because it has the same fun, stunts, spying, and Matthew Vaughn’s humor. I loved this universe. There is a very strong identity in Matthew Vaughn’s films. This one is probably his plus… I think it’s an adventure movie classic. Those movies that we grew up with and love, like Indiana Jones and the films of David Lean.
RF : Yes thats exactly it.
GA : There is that in the film and the historical aspect makes it even more epic. There are also a lot of emotions and you really care about the characters. This is what I liked while reading the script. Then I looked at the other two Kingsman and I was like, ‘This is it, I understand now! I see what they were talking about! ‘ (Laughs)
As you said, Matthew Vaughn has a very strong identity as a filmmaker. What is it like working with him?
RF : He’s very demanding, in a good way. He was always very courteous and encouraging but we felt he didn’t hesitate to redo takes, not because he was frustrated that we didn’t achieve what he wanted, but because he was interested. to see what more we could offer the scenes he wrote. So he kept pushing to see what other little flavors, other answers, what other colors if you will, he could get. Because I think he sees the slightest cracklings of emotion, of humor between people. I felt he had a real appreciation for what we could offer if he allowed it or encouraged us.
GA : I agree. I think he really enjoyed watching us work. He’s a director in the visual sense, but he also lets the actors do it, which is great because sometimes when it’s such a stylized project, the acting takes a back seat. There, performance was paramount and he really let us do it, but at the same time what he needed was very clear. I loved working with him because he was very clear and direct.
RF : We shot it two years ago, right?
GA : I feel like it’s been longer than that. It was…