The Four Surprising Characters That Inspired Julianne Moore’s Kingsman Villain

Julianne Moore as Poppy in The Golden Circle

Crafting a truly great movie villain isn't the easiest job- just ask Marvel studios. For major franchises, it's easy for villains to all follow the same relatively predictable model. They make an evil plan, you maybe get some exposition explaining what made them bad, and then they die at the end of the film and are quickly forgotten. But Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman franchise does things a bit more interesting. His villains are equal parts devious and quirky, as seen with Samuel L. Jackson's lipsing portrayal in The Secret Service. Julianne Moore has taken over the reins in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and Vaughn recently told CinemaBlend which figures helped him develop the villainous and forever perky Poppy for the sequel.

I sort of had this, I don't know why, mixture in my head of this Martha Stewart, Margaret Thatcher, Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days all sort of put together, and then add in Hannibal Lecter. And Julianne Moore brought her to life. I love the idea of a celebration of the America that I fell in love with as a kid, and she's disarmingly sweet but you don't want to mess with her.

Well, that is a motley crew of characters to combine for Julianne Moore's Poppy. But the mixture of both evil and traditionally "good" characters is what makes Moore's peppy performance in The Golden Circle so fascinating. And Matthew Vaughn's comments to me about the character Poppy only makes the role seem even more exciting.

In all of the Kingsman: The Golden Circle footage and trailers, you see that Poppy is a villain with a surprisingly charming attitude. The influence of Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days can be felt, who always had dinner on the table with a smile. But Poppy is also the head of a major drug cartel, so there are hints at more insidious and leadership elements from Martha Stewart and the always controversial Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.

But Matthew Vaughn also threw in Hannibal Lector, who is one of the most terrifying figures in literature and film history. And aside from being a villain capable of mass murder and a plot that will endanger the entire world, there are certainly specific Lecter-esque moves that Poppy will pull off when The Golden Circle arrives in theaters. The comic con footage from the sequel saw Poppy (spoiler alert) order one of her underlings killed and stuck into a meat grinder for questioning her authority. She then creates a patty from the meat, and forces another underling to eat it. All she's missing is some fava beans and a nice chianti.

You can catch all of Poppy's horrifying and delightful antics when Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Golden Circle arrives in theaters tomorrow. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2017 release list to plan your final trips to the movies before the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.