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Exclusive The King’s Man Clip Shows How Historical Characters Were Brought To Life

Walking the line between honoring reality and introducing blockbuster thrills is something that The King’s Man successfully navigated in its wildly entertaining finished product. Matthew Vaughn’s latest offering in the Kingsman franchise took a left turn into actual historical events, keeping the fantastical in check when the occasion called for it. Part of those efforts are undoubtedly chalked up to the hair and makeup for characters real and fictional, and an exclusive clip from the home video release explains why that was so important.

Thanks to 20th Century Studios, we’ve been given an exclusive clip from the special features attached to The King’s Man’s upcoming home video release. Showcasing a discussion with Jenny Shircore, the film’s Hair & Make-Up Designer, we are given a closer look at the costuming for various villains and heroes. This allowed Ms. Shircore to provide this insight into her process of historical fashion: 

Because they are actual people, they are real characters, you have to do a certain amount of research to know what they look like. So that Joe Public can recognize these characters, as they are called by their real names in the film.

As shown in the video above, the cast of characters sees Ralph Fiennes’ Orlando, Duke of Oxford rubbing shoulders and crossing swords with some very real people. Figures like Lord Kitchener (played by Game of Thrones vet Charles Dance) and Rhys Ifans’ outrageous, but true-to-history depiction of Grigori Rasputin make up both ends of that spectrum. In both cases, Jenny’s research turned out very close proximities to the people you see in real-life photographs. 

Even with keeping The King’s Man in the realm of historical accuracy, there were some liberties taken. We’re not talking about the outrageous deleted scene involving Rasputin’s penis, but rather the film’s triple header of Tom Hollander characters. Playing King George, Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas, Hollander had to not only change accents, but also costumes and facial hair to portray these cousins of monarchy. 

One small difference that separated the three sovereigns from each other was their eye colors. Though that’s something that was freely altered from reality, as Tom Hollander admitted that this particular detail was changed for the film. Even with the swapped eye colors, the rest of the details applied do justice to their reality-based counterparts. When all was said and done, Jenny Shircore chalked The King’s Man as the hardest film she’s ever undertaken, thanks to the following stats: 

I’ve done films that had 60 speaking parts, this was 122. And the actors come at you, flying, exactly at the same speed, and you’ve got to get them ready in their look, which is wigged, bearded, moustachioed. But I’m thrilled that I’ve been part of it.

As the ending to The King’s Man promises even more potential for the historic antics of the Kingsman Agency, Ms. Shircore’s work might be getting started. With results such as these, that’s a delightful prospect to behold. Much like those who are still hoping Kingsman 3 is still in play, it’s all going to come down to the continued response to the latest installment, which looks ready to heat up once again.

If you missed it in theaters or want to nab it for your Kingsman franchise collection, The King’s Man will be released digitally, and on Hulu’s streaming library, on February 18th. For you physical media collectors, you can pre-order this film individually (opens in new tab), or in a 4K Steelbook collection with both previous Kingsman movies, starting February 22nd. 

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.