For two years, Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges were Oscar rivals - the pair were both up for Best Actor in 2009 and 2010, with Bridges winning for Crazy Heart and Firth for The King's Speech in those respective years. Despite sharing awards tours, the actors had never been on the silver screen together - until Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Firth returns as the resurrected Harry Hart, a key agent of the titular spy agency, while Bridges plays Champ, the head of Kingsman's US counterpart Statesman.
The pair don't have all that much time together in this film, but they do in Screen Rant's interview. We talked with the pair about working together, being in the franchise and the thorny issue of de-aging.
Two Oscar winners! You've never crossed paths professionally before, at least on screen. What was it like to work together?
Jeff Bridges: Delightful, but we probably did more work here than we actually...
Colin Firth: This is working together, here today.
Bridges: Yeah. We're really getting to...
Firth: Handcuffed to each other for two days solid here.
And loving every second, of course.
Firth: I'm loving it.
Bridges: Yeah, I'm digging it.
Firth: If you guys didn't keep interrupting.
Colin, I have to ask about the de-aging - I don't think that counts as a spoiler - how was that process?
Firth: Oh, I didn't have much to do with it.
Did you provide the basis?
Firth: Oh, it was me. It's amazing, the miracles. If only I could walk around with it.
Back to Darcy! It's interesting because, Jeff, you obviously did that in TRON. You were de-aged for that.
Bridges: A-ho, they really took me there.
What are your guy's feelings on that as you've both done it, about being de-aged.
Bridges: I looked like a weird version of Bill Marr. I didn't like it. They didn't polish it. [To Colin] And you probably looked - to your own eyes - it might have looked...
Firth: I don't know. My wife when she saw me didn't recoginize my young self. She said "who's he?"
Bridges: Yeah, yeah.
Firth: I don't think... he did fine as a young Harry fleetingly in the movie, but I don't think it looked like the real [me]. I mean, there's plenty of evidence, photographic evidence one can compare but it didn't remind me of my young self.
Colin, obviously, you're back, even though you died in the last one.
Firth: If you say so.
When was it known that you were going to be coming back? Because obviously, we found out through teaser posters and stuff around the time of filming. When did Matthew [Vaughn] come to you about that?
Firth: The conversation never really stopped. I feel like… the first shoot was a long one and then conversations were carrying on after the film was finished and before I knew it, it was coming out and we were doing press together and by that point we were already talking about number two and Matthew had pretty much made up his mind that I would be back one way or another. So it feels like one long continuous process really.
Where do you guys see Kingsman going? Where do you see Champ and Harry in particular going in future movies, because the ending definitely sets that up?
Bridges: Well, I wouldn't know about definite. You know, we're hoping though. It depends on if people see this one. But if that goes, there’s no script, but everybody’s been throwing ideas out.
Firth: We’ve been entertaining ourselves all day with our version.
So what’s your version?
Bridges: Well we can’t tell you. We gotta tell the boss and see what he thinks.
Firth: We’re revealing nothing.
And one last question. This is an R and very hard R, so while it's a big franchise movie, it is violent and it's very different from your typical summer blockbuster. How exciting is that being able to come into that sort of environment and do something a little bit different - or be a part of something a little bit different?
Bridges: I don't know about the R thing. Being a part of something different, that's always exciting for me. That's what I look for really.
Firth: Yeah, and it's also you don't - there's plenty on the page when you read the script and make you think "Oh, that's going to be intense", and then when you get onto the set it's more intense. He'll [Matthew Vaughn] have an idea. There were one or two things that are in the film, some that are not. There may be a directeor's cut one day where actually your jaw drops.
You filmed stuff?
CF: Yeah, yeah. All will be revealed at some point, I'm sure.
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) release date: Sep 22, 2017