social media, working out and bespoke suits with welsh star of kingsman, taron egerton

Taron Egerton doesn’t do selfies, which is a shame, but the breakout star of Kingsman: The Secret Service better get ready for his close-up, because the big time beckons.

by Colin Crummy
29 January 2015, 11:30am

Taron Egerton says he's got "podgy" potential, but the camera says otherwise in Kingsman: The Secret Service, in which he stars as a buff, bold, wise-cracking boy who winds up being recruited into an international espionage unit, charged with saving the world. In the hands of Kick Ass director (and Claudia Schiffer's hubbie) Matthew Vaughn, and adapted from Mark Millar's cult comic book, Kingsman is all anarchic, action-packed energy and pop cultural nous. Its young leading man, the 25-year-old, Welsh-born, RADA-educated Taron shows why he's hitting the big time with an assured performance amid British acting royalty like Sir Michael Caine. What's also assured is Taron's continuing rise. Next up, he's in Kray twins tale Legend with Tom Hardy and will play Eddie the Eagle in a biopic about the unlikely skiing star. In fact, the only thing this new star's not sure of is whether he's keen on the social media spotlight. He might have to get used to it…

Where were you when you got the call for Kingsman?
I was in bed on a Saturday morning when I got the call from Matthew [Vaughn]. Obviously I was jolted into sobriety.

Did you do a little victory dance?
I can't remember. You'd expect I probably screamed but it was such an enormous thing to happen to me that my brain couldn't quite process it. I think I went and had a sit down and made a cup of tea.

Milk and two sugars?
Builder's every time.

You'd done TV up to now. What were the most exciting and daunting things about a film project as big as Kingsman?
The most daunting aspect was probably the promotion side of it, having to go on television and things like that. In terms of making the film, some of the stunts were pretty scary like the underwater scene shot in what was like a gargantuan fish tank. But having a chance to act with Michael Caine was up there. He's a proper movie star. I feel like I've been part of his filmography in a small way.

You look really fit in the underwater scene. Did you hit the gym hard?
It was a funny few months with a very regulated diet to get myself in shape. I'd never been in that shape before and I'm certainly not now. It's part of the package; if you're going to save the world you've got to look like you're going to save the world.

What was banned in your diet?
I gave up lager. I gave up bread. Two things I love. Basically the diet consisted of brown rice, chicken and white fish. I was a very dry person for that period of my life.

Were you a Kick Ass fan?
Yes, I'd watched all of Matthew Vaughn's films. There's an anarchic, mischievous quality to his work. They're really great escapism, really fun romps and I knew from the script that Kingsman was going to have a lot of the qualities of Kick Ass.

What's the key to good acting?
Relaxation and confidence are important. Being completely relaxed. It's clichéd to say but also to think about the other person in the scene. Not thinking about what you're doing but what they are doing.

Your character Eggsy is transformed from an urban kid to a Savile Row tailored young Bond type. Did you enjoy getting suited and booted?
I've certainly never wore a bespoke suit before. It was amazing to wear when I was in such good shape as well. I was aware it was the best I was ever going to look and it was a nice feeling. Those suits are works of art.

You were tempted to put yourself on Instagram in that shape or in those suits?
I would never, ever do that. It's the most vain thing. It's unreal. No grown up does that. Selfies of your own body! Those photos exist but for my own personal record and to make my mates jealous. Putting them on a public forum is not my style. It's in the film anyway.

You're back on Twitter. You were off it for a while?
Yes. I don't like it. The other thing is I find myself on there addicted in a weird way. I find myself checking for crap that I don't care about really. I think what the fuck am I doing there?' I won't be on there forever, just from time to time like a rare Pokémon.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is in cinemas 29th January 


Text Colin Crummy

taron egerton