Lead roles with an Oscar winner, pep talks from Tom Hardy… If you judge an actor by the company he keeps, then get ready to rave over Taron Egerton
FIT!’ ‘Fiiiiiiiit!’ ‘Oh my god, he issooo fit!’ A pause. ‘Who is he?’ Not that we objectify in the ASOS office, but if you’ve seen the trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service, you’ll understand our reaction.
‘He’ is Taron Egerton, 25-year-old star of Matthew ‘Kick-Ass/X-Men’ Vaughn’s new spy movie, co-starring Oscar-winning Colin Firth. The film involved months of stunt training and got Taron a sandwich made by a supermodel [Vaughn is married to Claudia Schiffer].
If comic-book adaptation Kingsman didn’t pluck him from obscurity [he had been on Sky 1’s The Smoke and mum faveInspector Lewis], it did kick-start his career. His next movie is Legend with Tom Hardy, while last month saw the release of London Film Festival smash,Testament Of Youth.
Category: Photoshoots & Outtakes
2 portrait sessions of Taron & Sophie Cookson taken in Australia have been added to the gallery. Check them out in the gallery below!
Taron Egerton stands a lean, muscular five foot eight inches tall and he has the type of cheeky grin that will let him get away with murder. At the age of just twenty-four, since coming out of RADA, Egerton has two television series under his belt and three big-budget films The Rise of the Krays, Testament of Youth (which saw him nominated for Best Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival Awards) and Kingsman: The Secret Service, an upcoming British action film adapted from Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar’s comic book The Secret Service, which sees Taron co-lead with the nation’s most-loved actor, quintessential English gentleman, Colin Firth.
Meeting Taron is a pleasant reversal of expectations. Not that I thought he was going to mirror the east London juvenile delinquent he’s playing in Kingsman: The Secret Service IRL, but you know, it’s always hard to pre-empt the situation. “Brooke meet Taron,” his publicists voice rang through the room. I had just stuffed my mouth with half a tube of Smarties, so it wasn’t the way I envisioned myself meeting a guy who’s sure to be listed in GQ’s hot one hundred in a matter of months, but we continue all the same.
Kingsman: The Secret Service co-stars Colin Firth and his 25-year-old Welsh co-star Taron Egerton hold forth on their new spy film and the state of the British man in 2015“I call this the established actor pose,” quips Colin Firth draping himself over an armchair in Claridges, to the delight and amusement of ShortList’s photographer. “Oh God, the pressure’s on me now to say something absolutely hilarious,” laughs 25-year-old Taron Egerton, Firth’s co-star in the forthcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service and a young man on the cusp of announcing himself as one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood.As you’ll almost certainly know, Kingsman is the new action-spy film directed by British auteur and comic-book fan Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake, X-Men: First Class). Expect a genre-busting mash-up of James Bond, Austin Powers and The Ipcress File, as a dapper gentleman spy (Firth) trains a council estate tearaway (Egerton) in the art of old-school British espionage.Hence ShortList is about to question the Oscar-winner and his young Welsh co-star (Egerton is pretty much fresh out of drama school) to find out what they’ve learned from each other, and what defines British gentlemen in 2015…
In Kingsman: The Secret Service, the latest cinematic riot from Kick-Ass director Mr Matthew Vaughn, Mr Taron Egerton plays Eggsy, a promising youngster from the wrong side of the tracks who is recruited by the “Kingsmen”, an international intelligence agency operating out of a Savile Row tailor’s shop. With the help of veteran Kingsman agent Harry Hart, AKA Galahad, played by the ever-dapper Mr Colin Firth, Eggsy runs the gauntlet of the agency’s training programme: a spy equivalent of finishing school. It’s a rags-to-riches tale complete with gadgets, girls and a mega villain bent on world domination: think Connery-era Bond meets My Fair Lady.
Which raises the question: which version of his character will Mr Egerton turn out to be? On the Eliza Doolittle scale of rags to riches, which Eggsy is Egerton? The unrefined London street kid decked out in sweats, baseball cap and Nike Air Force 1s? Or is he Eggsy, AKA Lancelot, the newly qualified secret agent, softly spoken and smartly dressed in a Savile Row suit?Well… neither, as it turns out. For starters, he’s not even from London. He’s Welsh. “Just a simple country boy,” as he puts it. “I’m definitely not that guy in the suit. But I’m no Eggsy, either. I just don’t have that urban edge.” Originally from the Wirral, just west of Liverpool, he moved with his family to the Welsh isle of Anglesey before relocating again at the age of 12 to Aberystwyth, a Victorian tourist town on the west coast of Wales. He still calls “Aber” home, and is heading back there, post-photoshoot, to celebrate his 25th birthday. But just to confuse things further, he’s spent the past five years pursuing his acting career in London. The resulting accent is from everywhere and nowhere: a twist of south, a dash of west and a little Welsh mixed in with an occasional, lilting Scouse inflection. Whatever he sounds like, it certainly isn’t Eggsy. Either of them.
“I listened to a lot of Plan B to get that voice right,” he says, citing rapper, actor, director and all-round Renaissance man Mr Ben Drew as the inspiration behind his foolproof impersonation of a London street kid. “I watched Ill Manors and Harry Brown. Watched a series called Top Boy, too. Watched a lot of those lads – Riz Ahmed, Noel Clarke, Adam Deacon, Ed Skrein.”
The men Mr Egerton has listed might not be household names, but they represent some of the best acting talent to have come off the streets of London in recent years. Mr Ahmed, who was born in Wembley and studied at Oxford university, recently starred opposite Mr Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, while Mr Skrein, from Camden, became one of the few actors to have left the cast of Game of Thrones with his character’s head still on his shoulders when he quit the role of Daario Naharis to step into Mr Jason Statham’s shoes as the star of the new Transporter movies. A lot of them, Messrs Ahmed and Skrein included, also have links to the city’s underground grime scene – a musical genre that has played a crucial role in the development and dissemination of the contemporary London accent. In other words, Mr Egerton has done his homework.
I’ve added 2 photoshoot/portrait sessions Taron did within the last few months. Check them out in the gallery below!
Taron appeared in the December 2014 issue of Harrods Magazine. You can check out the scan as well as a textless version in the gallery below!