Colin Firth had to undergo a “nightmare” six months of intense training to prepare for his first big action role in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The Oscar winner, 54, assumed director Matthew Vaughn would use stuntmen to pull off the elaborate fight scenes in the spy movie, but soon learned he would be put through his paces by a team of experts in order to get him in shape so he would look like a believable action man onscreen.
Firth, who is known for starring in dramas like The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Pride and Prejudice, reveals he could barely complete a squat at the start of the training process and the rigorous sessions completely drained him.
He explains, “(Vaughn) cast me not because I was right for the role, but because I wasn’t, really. If he was looking for the last person on Earth who would be expected to be lethal (it would be me), and I actually thought, ‘That’s interesting. I guess you get the best stunt guys in and double for me and I’ll look great.’
“(He said), ‘No, you’re not going to be in your trailer while this is going on, this is going to be you. This is why I’m telling you a year ahead, so that we have a year for you to get from where you are, which is nowhere, to being an expert.’ He said, ‘You’re going to hate me by the end of it’, and sure enough, the first month was misery.”
Firth continues, “The beginning was a nightmare; a feeling of intimidation and inadequacy. There were a team of 10 guys who could do this stuff in their sleep, trying just to get me to achieve a squat! But by the end of six months, if you persist, something’s going to change, so I started to think, ‘I’ve wasted the last 30 years!’.”