Warning: This article contains spoilers for Kingsman: The Golden Circle's controversial sex scene. It's spoiler-free for the rest of the movie.
Taron Egerton defends Kingsman: The Golden Circle's controversial Glastonbury scene, saying it was always intended to shock. The sequel has received a more mixed reception than unexpected hit The Secret Service in 2015 (read our review here), and while there's a lot of reasons for that - a doubling-down on the same tropes, a somewhat underserved villain, some strange pacing - one of the biggest has to be the Glastonbury-set sequence.
Around the start of the film's second act, protagonist Eggsy (Taron Egerton) travels to Glastonbury and has to get intimate with mission target Clara (Poppy Delevingne) so he can plant a tracker in a very private area. Before doing the deed, he calls his girlfriend to check if a sexual act on a mission is OK with her, naturally getting him in hot water. He almost backs out but, seeing a window, goes through with it, planting the tracker in a highly graphic shot down (and inside) Clara's body. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a backlash amongst those who've seen the films for its audacious presentation and questionable sexual morals.
When Screen Rant talked with Taron Egerton about the film at the Kingsman 2 junket in London, we asked him about the scene - what its purpose was and how he expected it to be taken by audiences. Here's what he had to say:
"It's what Matthew [Vaughn] does, it's his signature thing. He likes to do something that shocks. In Kick-Ass it was Chloe Grace Moretz saying the C-word, in Kingsman 1 it was the bum shot of the Swedish princess, and in this one it's the thing. And, you know, it's not to everyone's tastes, but it certainly gets people talking. All it is is explicitly showing what Bond alludes to and says in a double entendre kind of way."
Vaughn - and Mark Millar, who wrote graphic novel The Secret Service, on which Kingsman is based - are indeed known for their shocking moments that intentionally challenge audiences, so something like this was to be expected. And Egerton's Bond point is particularly pertinent as the whole central idea - using sex as an accepted form of aggression - does line up with a common criticism of the James Bond character, especially in the Daniel Craig era.
Of course, the question is less the intention and how it's executed tonally in the film. The "anal scene" in The Secret Service - which includes the "bum shot" Egerton alludes to - came right at the end, so felt like a cheeky coda - this is an essential plot point whose sexual politics overshadow a lot of the movie.
In our chat, Egerton also discussed the practicalities of shooting the scene, explaining the key difference between the controversial moments of the two films. In a word: his willingness.
"It was a day that I was anxious about. The shot in the first film I was so anxious before we did it and Matthew didn't tell me that I wouldn't actually be in the shot. The way it was described in the script it was like 'I'm going to do what?' But it wasn't me, it was a POV. In this one, I'm in the shot and I said to Matthew 'I'm not comfortable doing this'. So it's not my hand - it's Poppy [Delevingne]'s husband's hand. He saved the world."
That's not to say Egerton was up for doing the establishment of a sex scene in the first Kingsman, but that what goes on in this film was a step too far to even consider. And, given the context, that's not hard to disagree with; even just setting up the clearly CGI-augmented sequence would be a highly intimate situation for the two actors.
Read Next: Our Full Interview with Taron Egerton
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) release date: Sep 22, 2017