The King's Man belongs to a franchise with a reputation for over-the-top humor and action sequences as a predecessor to Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. This is a franchise that featured a continuous shot shootout in a church and a woman making a man eat his own friend as cheeseburger meat. What will likely be one of the defining scenes of The King's Man doesn't call for any tremendous violence but, instead, a funny sequence between Rhys Ifans as Rasputin and Ralph Fiennes as Oxford. Before any action sequence breaks out, Ifans has his hands all over Fiennes in places where the sun does not typically shine and it would be enough to make some people uncomfortable!
"I don't know about making 'people' uncomfortable," Ifans laughed in an interview with ComicBook.com. "I think it made Ralph uncomfortable." The two come together for a sequence which will certainly drum up laughs from audiences around the world when the World War I flick opens in theaters this week, already earning praise from critics who saw the film early. When it came down to performing a sequence which involved some sexual references, intimate hand placement, and a wild concept overall, Ifans credits his co-star Fiennes and director Matthew Vaughn for crafting the uncomfortable sequence which aims for comedy.
"Ralph is such an exquisite actor. You know what I mean? And he's incredible, his range is just vast, and every moment Ralph is on the screen, it is just devastating. Devastatingly good or devastatingly moving," Ifans said. "And then another component to Ralph as an actor is because he has all this power as an actor, he's also playful, he's a great improviser. So Matthew said to us, in that moment you are referring to, 'Just play, guys, I'm going to let you play and I'll step in.' And he did. And we did. And Ralph is such a generous actor and an inventive actor. We had great fun shooting that scene. But yeah, I never thought I'd get so close to an Oscar winner, shall we put it like that."
The Kingsman franchise, after all, seems to be about taking bizarre concepts which can typically be uncomfortable and tossing them into a blender with action and comedy. The King's Man becomes a World War I movie with touches of those key Kingsman traits. Like the original films, The King's Man doesn't shy away from referencing or outright featuring historical figures from our real world such as Ifans as Rasputin.
"Rasputin, I think that's the case for all the characters, you have to play something for real," Ifans said. "But in Rasputin's case, Rasputin is such a larger than life figure anyway, if he walked into a room now in real life, you wouldn't believe it I imagine. All the anecdotal evidence for him is that he was hypnotic, he had this incredible physical presence that was at once attractive and repellent."
"Anything you see about Rasputin in the film is based in a truth, believe it or not, because he is unbelievable this guy," Ifans went on. "But of course, in a Matthew Vaughn film and in a film like The King's Man there's room to tweak and to magnify and to change things accordingly to serve the narrative. And with Rasputin, we felt he had to be repellent, he had to be dangerous, he had to be frightening, but we have to be able to laugh at him as well. Albeit possibly through fear or revulsion. So yeah, so those were all stuff that was a collaboration, I guess, between myself and Matthew. And then of course there's the physical element, the fighting and all that, which was a-whole-nother head f-ck."
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(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)