The Kingsman: Secret Service Production Notes

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Main Cast: Colin Firth, Samual L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson
Release Date: 2015-02-13

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 organization.

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?

Please note: Some production notes may contain spoilers.

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 organization.

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?

Twentieth Century Fox presents, in association with MARV, a Cloudy Production, a film by Matthew Vaughn, KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton and Michael Caine.

Casting is by Reginald Poerscout-Edgerton, CSA, the costume designer is Arianne Phillips, and the music was composed by Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson. The co-producer is Jane Goldman, and the film is edited by Eddie Hamilton, A.C.E. and Jon Harris.

The production designer is Paul Kirby and the director of photography is George Richmond. The executive producers are Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Stephen Marks, Claudia Vaughn, and Pierre Lagrange.

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE is produced by Matthew Vaughn, David Reid, and Adam Bohling. The screenplay is by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn, based on the comic book “The Secret Service,” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

The film is directed by Matthew Vaughn.

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’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’s been talking about doing a spy movie for years – even back when we were working on [Vaughn’s 2007 fantasy film] Stardust.”

It was on the set of the genre bending Kick-Ass that 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 Millar.

Millar told 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 Millar: “Young realized he had to turn 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 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, Vaughn insisted on keeping the story based in Britain, so 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. Millar remembers lining up for four hours to get 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, Millar, still at school, wrote to Gibbons to tell him he wanted to be a comic book writer and that Gibbons should work with him.

“I wrote Mark a very polite letter back and said, ‘Perhaps not now, but maybe in the future,’” 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.”

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

“Matthew and Jane work together so brilliantly,” notes 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.”

Vaughn and Goldman were keen to make some changes to Millar’s story and take Kingsman: The Secret Service in a slightly different direction. They crafted a backstory for the organization 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 organization 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 organization 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 Firth was something of a no-brainer for Vaughn. 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 Vaughn. “It was a big risk, but Colin 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 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. Firth, who played le Carre’s Bill Heydon in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, relished the chance to explore an action hero. “What Matthew 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 organization looks for a new recruit. Explains 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, Vaughn was still trying to find his Eggsy.

More than 60 young actors were screen-tested before 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, 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 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, Vaughn told Egerton he’d like him to come back and read with Colin Firth. The young actor was unaware 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,” Egerton recalls.

“Finding a talented young actor is hard,” notes Vaughn. “And finding one that can carry a movie is even harder. Taron had never done a movie, but you get a feeling about someone. When Jennifer Lawrence came in to play Mystique [in 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 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 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’s done it with real aplomb.”

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

Firth is equally complimentary about Egerton. “I feel like I was the one who learned from Taron – 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 Vaughn cast as Arthur, the head Kingsman.

The actor playing Arthur needed to have gravitas and be someone Harry would look up to. Says 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.”

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 organization’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 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 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,” says 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 Cookson to the part. “I’m quite tired of reading scripts where women are over-sexualized 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.”

Cookson 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 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.”

Jackson loved Vaughn and 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 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.”

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 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.”

Vaughn says 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 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 has set up.”

Agrees 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. “Sam 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.

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 Vaughn, hiring an American costume designer offered an objective view of British tailoring that was essential to the film. “Matthew’s brave and thinks outside the box,” explains 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 Phillips was to embrace the unique and wonderful tradition of the classic British spy film, seen through the prism of Vaughn’s modern interpretation. In a globalized world, in which clothes are mass-produced and mass-distributed, bespoke tailoring is all the more special. For 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 Phillips. “Sam 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 is a director who likes to be bold and unapologetic,” says 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, 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.”

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 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 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 Firth taking out the entire congregation. Incredibly, the scene was done in one take.

Much of the stunt work was a new experience for 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 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 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.”

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 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’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 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 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.”

In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn plays with the conventions of a well-known genre – twisting and subverting, but never denigrating, them. Summing up, he says: “It’s a modern love letter to every spy film ever made but told in a very irreverent, fun way. I wanted it to be truly entertaining and capture the spy films of the ‘60s and ‘70s in a modern manner. Kingsman: The Secret Service is very postmodern in the sense it has a lot of references to those films, but it’s reinventing them.”

About The Cast

A classically trained British theatre actor, Academy Award® winner COLIN FIRTH (Harry Hart) is a veteran of film, television and theatre, with an impressive body of work spanning over three decades. He has appeared in three films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture: The King’s Speech, Shakespeare in Love and The English Patient.

Firth earned an Academy Award, Golden Globe® Award, Screen Actors Guild Award®, British Independent Film Award, Critics’ Choice Award and his second consecutive BAFTA Award in 2011 for his performance as King George VI in The King’s Speech. The film also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.’ Firth won the BAFTA Award in 2010 and the Volpi Cup for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2009 Venice Film Festival for his performance in Tom Ford’s A Single Man.

Firth was recently seen in Devil’s Knot, directed by Atom Egoyan and also starring Reese Witherspoon. The film chronicles the infamous “West Memphis Three” case involving the savage murders of three young children that sparked a controversial trial of three teenagers. He also recently starred in Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man, based on Eric Lomax’s experience as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp. Firth starred in Magic in the Moonlight, opposite Emma Stone, written and directed by Woody Allen. This year, he shot the literary drama Genius directed by Michael Grandage. The film is based on the book of the same name, which surrounds the relationship between Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins.

Firth previously worked with Railway Man producer Andy Paterson on the Oscar®-nominated film Girl with a Pearl Earring opposite Scarlett Johansson. His film credits also include Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opposite Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy; Mamma Mia! (the highest grossing film of all time in the UK); Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Love, Actually written and directed by Richard Curtis; Helen Hunt’s Then She Found Me; Anand Tucker’s When Did You Last See Your Father?; Stephan Elliott’s Easy Virtue; Michael Winterbottom’s Genova; A Christmas Carol; The Importance of Being Earnest; Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies; Marc Evans’s thriller Trauma; Nanny McPhee; What a Girl Wants; A Thousand Acres with Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange; Apartment Zero; My Life So Far; Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch; Circle of Friends; Playmaker; and the title role in Milos Forman’s Valmont opposite Annette Bening.

On the small screen, Firth is infamous for his breakout role in as Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor and the National Television Award for Most Popular Actor.

Firth is an active supporter of Oxfam International, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty and related injustice around the world. He was honoured with the Humanitarian Award by BAFTA/LA at their 2009 Britannia Awards. In 2008 the Hollywood Reporter named him Philanthropist of the Year and, in 2006, the EU voted Firth European Campaigner of the Year.

Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, SAMUEL L. JACKSON (Richard Valentine) is an undisputed star as demonstrated in the fact that his films have grossed the most money in box office sales than any other actor in the history of filmmaking.

Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of Jules, the philosophizing hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

In 2014, Jackson reprised his role as Nick Fury in both Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be in theaters in 2015. Recently, he starred in David Yates’s Tarzan, alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz.

Jackson portrayed Pat Novak in Jose Padilha’s remake of the 1987 classic RoboCop, Chaney in Spike Lee’s American remake of the 2003 Korean cult classic, Oldboy, and the charismatic snail Whiplash, in DreamWorks Animation’s feature Turbo.

In 2012, he co-starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as Stephen, alongside Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also starred in The Avengers, which is part of his 9-picture deal with Marvel Studios. The highly anticipated film opened on May 4, 2012 to a record shattering $200 million opening weekend and has grossed $1.51 billion worldwide.

Jackson made his Broadway debut at the Bernard B Jacobs Theater in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, co-starring Angela Bassett and directed by Kenny Leon. The Mountaintop is set on the eve of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, whom Jackson portrayed.

Jackson was seen in HBO’s The Sunset Limited, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s play. Tommy Lee Jones co-starred and directed the telefilm.

In September 2010, Jackson played PK Highsmith in Columbia Pictures’ The Other Guys. Additionally, Jackson co-starred in the indie drama, Mother and Child, directed by Rodrigo Garcia. He received an Image Award and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his work. Jackson was also seen in Marvel’s Iron Man 2 as Nick Fury, after making a surprise cameo appearance in Iron Man in 2008. He reprised the role in Captain America in the summer of 2011.

Jackson’s career began on stage upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts. Among the plays were Home, A Soldier’s Play, Sally/Prince and The District Line. He also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays at Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in Mother Courage and Her Children, Spell #7, and The Mighty Gents.

In 2008, Jackson’s films included the Neil LaBute thriller, Lakeview Terrace, which premiered at the Deauville Film Festival, followed by the Dimension comedy Soul Men, alongside the late Bernie Mac, and the Frank Miller action drama The Spirit, in which he portrayed the nemesis, Octopus. Also in 2008, Jackson starred in the Doug Liman directed sci-fi action film Jumper for 20th Century Fox and New Regency.

In 2007, Jackson had a starring role in the acclaimed drama Resurrecting the Champ, and a co-starring role in the successful horror film for the Weinstein Co, 1408, based on the Stephen King novel. Earlier that year, Jackson starred in the Craig Brewer film Black Snake Moan, and in Irwin Winkler’s MGM war drama Home of the Brave.

In 2006, Jackson starred in the cult classic film Snakes on a Plane, directed by David Ellis. Jackson starred opposite Julianne Moore in Revolution Studio’s Freedomland, directed by Joe Roth, based on the best-selling novel of the same name. He appeared as Agent Derrick Vann in New Line’s The Man, opposite Eugene Levy.

In early 2005, Jackson topped the opening weekend box office charts with the success of the Paramount Pictures film, Coach Carter. Jackson portrayed real-life high school basketball coach Ken Carter, a dedicated role model and advocate for students succeeding in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. Coach Carter was screened as the opening night film of the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival. Jackson received the Career Achievement Award for Acting from the Festival.

Jackson starred opposite Juliette Binoche in the Sony Classics indie In My Country based on the best-selling novel Country of My Skull by South African writer Antije Krog. Jackson portrayed an American reporter coping with the aftermath of apartheid as his newspaper assigns him to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Trials, established by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In My Country was directed by John Boorman and produced by Bob Chartoff and Mike Medavoy.

In 2005, Jackson reprised his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons in XXX: State of the Union and as Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith. To no one’s surprise, Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith made an incredible impact at the box office, breaking numerous opening day records.

In 2004, Jackson “appeared” as the character Frozone in the Disney animated action-adventure film, The Incredibles, which was released to record box office results. The film was directed and written by Brad Bird and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture as well as two Academy Award nominations.

In 2003, Jackson starred in S.W.A.T for Columbia TriStar. Directed by Clark Johnson, S.W.A.T. is about an arrested drugs kingpin who is transported by a Los Angeles Police Department S.W.A.T. team and led out of the city and into Federal custody. Plans go awry when the kingpin offers $100 million to anyone who can free him. Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez also star.

In 2002, Jackson starred with Ben Affleck in the box office and critical success, Paramount’s Changing Lanes. Jackson delivered an intense yet sympathetic performance of a father who was down on his luck, but intent on getting even with the man that wronged him. Also in 2002, Jackson starred and executive produced the Sony/ Screen Gems film Formula 51, with Robert Carlyle; co-starred in the sci-fi thriller, XXX; and reprised his role as Mace Windu in George Lucas’s Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

In 2001, Jackson starred in Jersey Franchise/Universal’s Caveman’s Valentine. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film followed the story of a homeless man in New York City who discovered a murder. Jackson also served as an executive producer on the project, which was the most successful independent film of the year. This was Jackson’s second project with Kasi Lemmons, the first being the applauded Eve’s Bayou, which he also produced in 1997.

In 2000, Jackson co-starred opposite Bruce Willis in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s suspense drama, Unbreakable for Disney. Jackson’s character, Elijah Price, a highly suspicious and wheelchair-bound man with a far-fetched theory, holds the key to the film’s underlying question: “Are You Unbreakable?”

Also in 2000, Jackson starred in John Singleton’s Shaft in the title role opposite Christian Bale and Vanessa Williams. Jackson also starred in Paramount’s courtroom drama Rules of Engagement where he played Col. Terry Childers, a military officer on trial for ordering his soldiers to open fire on civilians. Directed by William Friedkin, the film co-starred Tommy Lee Jones. Both Shaft and Rules of Engagement were screened at the 2000 Deauville Film Festival, where Jackson was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1999, Jackson starred in the Warner Bros. film Deep Blue Sea for director Renny Harlin. Jackson also made a cameo appearance in George Lucas’s highly successful and popular Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In 1998, Jackson also starred in The Negotiator and in Francois Girard’s The Red Violin.

In 1997, Jackson starred in Jackie Brown, his second film with director Quentin Tarantino. Jackson received a Golden Globe nomination and the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor in a Comedy at the Berlin Film Festival. Later that year he starred in 187.

Jackson starred opposite Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey in Joel Schumacher’s 1996 film, A Time to Kill, an adaptation of the famous John Grisham novel. For his performance Jackson received a Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP Image Award. He also starred opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance, the top-grossing movie internationally in 1995.

In 1991, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. He also won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for that performance.

His other film credits include Twisted, Sphere, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Hard Eight, Kiss of Death, Losing Isaiah and Amos and Andrew. Additional film credits include: Ragtime, Sea of Love, Coming to America, Ray, Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Mo’ Better Blues, Goodfellas, Strictly Business, White Sands, Patriot Games,Jumpin’ at the Boneyard, Father and Sons, Juice, Fresh and True Romance.

On the small screen, Jackson served as Executive Producer for the animated series for Spike TV, Afro Samurai, which premiered in 2007 and returned for a third season in January 2009. The series received an Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the Afro Samurai video game launched in February 2009. A film version of Afro Samurai is in development with the Indomina Group, for which Jackson is one of the producers.

On television, in addition to The Sunset Limited, Jackson starred in John Frankenheimer’s Emmy Award-winning Against the Wall for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

One of today’s most compelling and charismatic actors, MARK STRONG’s (Merlin) most recent credits include Nae Caranfil’s Closer to the Moon; Jorge Dorado’s Mindscape, Rowan Joffe’s Before I Go to Sleep, and Morten Tyldum’s acclaimed The Imitation Game. He led the cast of AMC’s drama series Low Winter Sun. Moviegoers have seen him in notable collaborations over the years with directors Guy Ritchie, on Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla, and Revolver; Ridley Scott, on Robin Hood and Body of Lies, for which Strong received a London Film Critics Circle Award nomination; and Matthew Vaughn, on Kick-Ass and Stardust.

Strong’s other films include Eran Creevy’s Welcome to the Punch; Nick Murphy’s Blood; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold; Andrew Stanton’s John Carter; Tom Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Gary Oldman and Colin Firth; Peter Weir’s The Way Back; with Jim Sturgess; John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, with Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle; Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern, opposite Ryan Reynolds; Jean-Marc Vallée’s The Young Victoria, opposite Emily Blunt; Pete Travis’s Endgame; Vicente Amorim’s Good, with Viggo Mortensen; Danny Boyle’s Sunshine; Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana with George Clooney; Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist; Kevin Reynolds’s Tristan + Isolde; Thomas Vinterberg’s It’s All About Love; Mike Figgis’s Hotel; David Evans’s Fever Pitch; István Szabó’s Sunshine (1999); and, also for Focus Features, Bharat Nalluri’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Kevin Macdonald ’s The Eagle.

Strong was a BAFTA Award nominee for his performance in The Long Firm, and also won the Broadcast Press Guild Award for Best Actor. His other telefilm and miniseries credits include Our Friends in the North, directed by Simon Cellan Jones and Stuart Urban; Adrian Shergold’s Low Winter Sun (which won the BAFTA [Scotland] Award for Best Drama) and Births, Marriages and Deaths; Pete Travis’s The Jury and Henry VIII; David Drury’s Trust; Diarmuid Lawrence’s Emma, opposite Kate Beckinsale; Roger Michell’s The Buddha of Suburbia; Danny Boyle’s Screenplay episode “Not Even God Is Wise Enough”; and, opposite Helen Mirren for directors David Drury and Tom Hooper, respectively, Prime Suspect 3 and Prime Suspect 6.

Strong has also performed in radio and stage plays, and was an Olivier Award nominee for his performance in Sam Mendes’s Donmar Warehouse staging of Twelfth Night (which he played in repertory with Uncle Vanya). U.K. audiences have seen him perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in Danny Boyle’s staging of Hess is Dead, among other productions; with the National Theatre, in four productions for Richard Eyre, David Thacker’s Death of a Salesman, and Patrick Marber’s Closer, among other shows; at the Royal Court, in Lindsay Posner’s production of The Treatment and Hettie MacDonald’s staging of Thickness of Skin; and Peter Gill’s New Ambassadors production of Speed-the-Plow.

Strong studied English and Drama at London University, and then acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Upcoming British actor TARON EGERTON (Gary “Eggsy” Price) makes his feature film debut in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Egerton made his acting debut in ITV’s Lewis, which he followed with a regular appearance in Sky1's series The Smoke. He recently joined the cast of James Kent’s Testament of Youth, starring opposite Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.

Egerton graduated from RADA in 2012 and has appeared on stage at both the Royal Court and the National Theatre in No Quarter and The Last Of The Haussmans respectively.

MICHAEL CAINE (Arthur) is one of the most iconic actors of our time. He got his international breakthrough playing the lead in Lewis Gilbert's Alfie in 1966. Since then, Michael has appeared in numerous films and television programmes over the last five decades including Zulu, The Italian Job, Get Carter, Jack the Ripper, Children of Men, Sleuth, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Inception. This year he rejoined Christopher Nolan for Interstellar.

Caine has won two Academy Awards for his performances in Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules, as well as three Golden Globes for Educating Rita, Jack the Ripper, and Little Voice. His performance in Educating Rita also landed him a BAFTA. Caine has written two autobiographies; What's it All About? and Elephant in Hollywood.

SOFIA BOUTELLA (Gazelle) is a gifted actress who established her career as a world-class dancer and brand ambassador for Nike. Boutella has performed with artists Mariah Carey, Gwen Stefani and The Black Eyed Peas, also leading in three of Madonna's world tours. She has recently finished filming Jet Trash with Robert Sheehan and will next be seen in Tom Green's Dark Continent.

SOPHIE COOKSON (Roxy) is a beautiful, young British actress who was still at drama school when she was cast in her first lead role. She made her television debut starring as Grace Mohune in Sky1’s popular two-part drama Moonfleet, with Aneurin Barnard and Ray Winstone. Set in 18th century Dorset, and directed by Andy De Emmony, Moonfleet is an adaptation of the John Meade Falkner novel of the same name, and tells the story of orphan John Trenchard (Barnard) and smuggler Elzevir Block (Winstone), who journey to find pirate Blackbeard’s treasure.

Cookson studied at The Oxford School of Drama.

About The Filmmakers

MATTHEW VAUGHN (Director/Producer/Screenplay) is a leading British filmmaker who has produced, written and directed an impressive array of films. Vaughn began his career as producer with Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, which starred Brad Pitt and received wide acclaim. Through his production company, MARV Films, Vaughn debuted as a director with Layer Cake, which starred Daniel Craig. Vaughn followed that up by directing and co-writing with his writing partner Jane Goldman, Stardust, which starred Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. In 2009, Vaughn produced Harry Brown, which starred Michael Caine. 2010 saw Vaughn producing and writing The Debt, which starred Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington, and directing, producing and writing Kick-Ass. In 2011 Vaughn wrote and directed X-Men: First Class and in 2012 wrote and produced Kick-Ass 2.

JANE GOLDMAN (Writer, Co-Producer) is a former journalist and the author of eight books, including the number-one best-selling The X-Files Book of the Unexplained, which was nominated for Writers’ Guild and Nibbie awards. She has also worked in television as a presenter, writer and producer on documentary and entertainment programmes.

Her first screenplay, Stardust, marked the beginning of her long-standing collaboration with Matthew Vaughn and won a Hugo award for best screenplay. She worked again with Vaughn again on director John Madden’s The Debt and Vaughn’s own Kick-Ass, which she also co-produced, garnering awards from The Writers’ Guild (Best Original Screenplay), Women in Film and TV (The UK Film Council Writing Award) and Total Film magazine (Best Writer). Vaughn and Goldman followed up with the critically acclaimed blockbuster X-Men: First Class, which received an Empire Award.

Goldman also wrote the screenplay for The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins, winning an Empire Award and garnering her the Glamour magazine Women of the Year award for Best Filmmaker for the second time in her career.

She has written the screenplay for Tim Burton’s upcoming Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and is currently at work on another as-yet-unannounced project for a major studio.

DAVID REID (Producer), with Adam Bohling, produced Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut Layer Cake, and Kick-Ass, and went on to partner Adam Bohling in producing the BAFTA nominated Indian box office hit Rang De Basanti, Mr Lonely, Nick Moran’s directorial debut Telstar and, most recently, Kick-Ass 2, directed by Jeff Wadlow.

ADAM BOHLING (Producer) produced with David Reid, Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut Layer Cake, as well as Kick-Ass. As producing partners, Bohling and Reid went on to produce the BAFTA nominated Indian box office hit Rang De Basanti, Mr Lonely, Nick Moran’s directorial debut Telstar and, most recently, Kick-Ass 2, directed by Jeff Wadlow.

GEORGE RICHMOND (Director of Photography) was director of photography on Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith and Wild Bill, and Nick Murphy’s Blood. In 2008 his work as cinematographer on The Hide earned him awards for Best Cinematography at both the Syracuse International Film Festival and the Monaco Charity Film Festival.

As a camera operator, Richmond’s credits include most notably Rupert Sanders Snow White and the Huntsman, Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, Louis Leterrier’s Clash Of The Titans, Rob Marshall’s Nine, Marc Forster’s Quantum of Solace, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen’s Burn After Reading, Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted, Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream, Alfonso Cuaron’s Children Of Men, Oliver Stone’s Alexander, Legally Blond, Something About You, Men Of Honour, and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

In commercials, he includes clients such as Adidas, Asda, Johnnie Walker and Guinness amongst his cinematography credits.

PAUL KIRBY (Production Designer) started his film career working on director Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin. Kirby has worked on more than 25 films, including Shadowlands, The Fifth Element, and three episodes of the James Bond series. Kirby served as art director on Batman Begins, Phantom of the Opera, and The Four Feathers.

Kirby gained his first production design credit during additional photography on Paul Greengrass’s Green Zone, and recently reunited with Greengrass to design Captain Phillips. Other recent credits include Lee Tamahori’s The Devil’s Double.

He has earned two nominations for the Art Directors Guild in Excellence in Production Design for his work on Batman Begins and Phantom of the Opera.

Kirby graduated in Production Design from the National Film and Television School in London.

HENRY JACKMAN & MATTHEW MARGESON (Music) have collaborated on several films, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain Phillips, This is the End, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Wreck-It Ralph, X-Men: First Class and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. On those pictures, Jackman was composer and Margeson composed additional music.

Jackman has had a successful and eclectic musical career. He studied classical music in the U.K. at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University, then switched gears, producing chart-topping dance remixes, electronica and club music.

Jackman was the composer on X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn, for whom Jackman wrote the score on Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Jackman’s other film scores include The Interview, Big Hero 6, Turbo, Winnie the Pooh, Puss in Boots, Gulliver's Travels, Monsters vs. Aliens and Henry IV.

Prior to his film music career, Jackman spent several years in the record industry, collaborating with producer Trevor Horn on the Art of Noise album The Seduction of Claude Debussy. Jackman also worked with Seal, co-writing and producing “This Could Be Heaven” for the motion picture The Family Man. This gained the attention of prominent film composers Hans Zimmer and John Powell, and Jackman received additional music credits on their scores to: The Dark Knight, The Da Vinci Code, Kung Fu Panda, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Hancock, It's Complicated, The Holiday, and The Simpsons Movie.

Jackman's ability to approach such a wide range of film genres with a fresh point of view is due to his unique advantage of coming from both the classical and record industry worlds.

In addition to his collaborations with Jackman, Mergeson is composing the score to the upcoming Scouts vs. Zombies.

ARIANNE PHILLIPS (Costume Designer) is one of the most unique costume designers in the entertainment industry, and a gifted visual artist who brings her exemplary eye to film, fashion and music. Known for her cutting edge designs, Phillips was recognized with her second Oscar nomination in 2012 for Best Costume Design for Madonna’s 2012 directorial debut W.E, as well as winning the Costume Guild prestigious industry award for Best Costume Design. Phillips’ first Oscar nomination was in 2006 for Walk the Line. She was also honored in 2010 with a BAFTA nomination for Costume Design for Tom Ford’s A Single Man.

Her credits as a costume designer include Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, 3:10 to Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, One Hour Photo, Girl, Interrupted, The People vs Lary Flynt, Identity, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tank Girl and The Crow.

Phillips made her Broadway debut designing costumes for the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris, reuniting her with the filmmakers with whom she worked on the original film version in 2000.

Phillips is also known for her work with Madonna, with whom she has been collaborating since 1997. Her association with Madonna for the past 16 years includes print for her album covers and magazine editorials; over twenty music videos; London's West End theatre production of Up For Grabs; the film Swept Away; as well as the award winning costumes for the singer's past five world tours – the 2001 Drowned World tour, 2004 Reinvention tour, the 2006 Confessions tour, 2008-2009 Sticky and Sweet tour, and 2012 world tour for MDNA.

In between film and music projects, Phillips works as a freelance fashion editor/stylist, collaborating with photographers for such publications as Italian Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Russian Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W, and Numero, to name a few. Phillips also consults for well-known fashion and cosmetic brands, of which she is an industry favorite.

CHRISTINE BLUNDELL (Make-Up & Hair Designer) first got involved in hair and make up when styling bands in the late ‘70s and working in a salon in Kensington Market. She went on to open her own hairdressing salon, which she ran successfully for four years before embarking on an intensive three-month make-up course. After completing the course, Blundell worked on Phantom of the Opera doing prosthetics and went on to work for LWT, gaining invaluable experience on sketch shows and TV films.

Her first feature with Mike Leigh was Life is Sweet, which marked the beginning of a long and successful working relationship that has spanned more than 20 years and produced 11 features, including Secrets and Lies, Topsy Turvy, Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky, Another Year and the soon to be released Mr Turner. For Topsy Turvy, Blundell won both an Academy Award and a BAFTA Film Award. In 2004 she received BAFTA nominations for both Vera Drake and Finding Neverland.

Blundell’s other varied film credits include The Full Monty, Closer, The Constant Gardener, Casino Royale, Eastern Promises, London Boulevard, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Gambit.

More recently, Blundell worked on Trance, which marked her second collaboration with director Danny Boyle and starred James McAvoy; About Time for director Richard Curtis; and The Fifth Estate for Bill Condon starring Benedict Cumberbatch.