The latest film in the series, which hits theaters today, mixes real and fictional characters and events in a proposal full of adventure and action that is worth seeing in theaters. But the Russian mystic is perhaps the most fascinating.
Rasputin is undoubtedly the most fascinating of all the historical figures portrayed in The KingsMan: The First Mission, the new film in the series based on the comics The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, which opens in theaters today December 29 and tells the origin of the most surprising independent and international spy agency.
In the new movie of Matthew Vaughn, fiction and reality mix to build a fascinating fantasy, which becomes a parade of great characters. But of course the one who takes the cake is Rasputin, the Russian mystic who had under his control the Tsar and the Tsarina in the court of Nicholas I. And he offers us a very funny conspiranoic version of how World War I was developed.
A dancing Rasputin, smeared with custard and memories of the shoot. This is how secret agency folklore was created in ‘The King’s Man: The First Mission’
The actor Rhys Ifans throughout his life he was obsessed with this historical figure. “When we were organizing the casting we got a message from him explaining that he had always wanted to play that character. I love the passion and enthusiasm. So I sat down with Rhys and we got on very well. And no one could have created a better villain, and that all we did was let flow and imagine the real Rasputin in these situations, “explains director Matthew Vaughn in the film’s production notes.
The real Rasputin must have had a lot of magnetism that rock stars tend to give off and also quite an actor himself.
“Although he has come down to our days as a mystic and priest, he was never ordained by the Orthodox Church at heart he was a pagan in disguise,” explains Rhys Ifans, the actor who embodies him.
For the screenwriter, Karl Gajdusek, no one better than Ifans could have played this crazy monk. “He shares the magnetism that Rasputin must have, that they say that he entered a room and no one could take their eyes off him. Although he was some kind of smelly and crazy monk, you were attracted to him. And Rhys has a similar energy. The two together merge into a single character. It’s something incredible, “explains the screenwriter.
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For Ifans himself it was a “dream role.” And he explains it: “What we know about him is gossip. He is such a mysterious, powerful, and well-referenced figure in history, that it is surprising that much of his life is a mystery,” says Ifans.
“That has led to a lot of wild assumptions about Rasputin. Not just in Russian culture, but in world culture. In a way, he held the fasciation that renegade rock stars wield on his audience. There’s also something of the murderer Charlie Manson in it. he, the mystical charlatan who hypnotized and seduced an entire generation, “explains Ifans.
A physical transformation
Transforming Rhys Ifans into Rasputin was a most interesting task for the royal referents. “We researched Rasputin and the character we created is a lot like how he dressed in long coats and Russian boots. But we’ve added a couple of things to give him a bit of height when they first meet him. So we put him on A very wide and large fur coat with a fur collar and a large hat, he looks like some kind of bear. Like an animal. A creature of the forest. Wild, “says the actor.
In addition, they added a suit in the shape of a bell with flight, which when moved opened like the skirts of dervishes. Which gives it a fascinating air, almost like a top that delivers punches and kicks in its wake.
A bespoke Cossack martial art
Ifans also had to put the batteries in when it comes to the fight and the action of this character. And in fact he stars in one of the most brilliant action scenes in the film, and even in action films of the last year, but for this there is even years of preparation and up to three weeks to finish shooting the scene.
In fact, the director was researching Cossack dances and discovered that Cossack dance styles were something like the different styles of karate. They relied on fighting styles for their dances, and then they were forbidden to fight like this, so they kept the routines and discipline as if it were a dance. So the director together with the specialists decided to create a kind of martial art of their own for Rasputin. The Russian dancers they hired to help worked closely with the head of the stunt team to design Rasputin’s fighting style.
“When we brought in the Georgia National Ballet dancers they did things my stunt team couldn’t do, and my stuntmen would just gasp. They have a core strength that is unique. So we were excited to use it to build a dancing Rasputin. But in the meantime He dances, he is killing. We wanted to do a different style of action, but also to make it seem real, coherent. Everything that you see him do, we made sure that it could be done in reality, by trained dancers “, explains the director.
The Great War, spies and even a karate Rasputin. We visited the filming of ‘The King’s Man: The First Mission’ in Turin
Then Ifans had to get down to business to get it. He learned this martial art that mixes judo, ju-jitsu, karate, and Russian dance. “It is extraordinary. Because it is as if with his Rasputin dance he hypnotized his victims, with a sensation of musical vertigo. She spins and dances with them, and suddenly, out of what seems like a benign dance, a fatal blow emerges sinisterly, “describes Ifans.
A haunting death
Rumor had it that Rasputin had made a deal with the devil. And it also has something of the Terminator and an immortal creature, like the real character who took several assassination attempts in the same night to finally eliminate it. Victim of a conspiracy by several Russian nobles -and also with several British agents involved, as the film shows-, they first tried to poison him with cyanide, after shooting several times without him dying, and finally they threw it into the frozen riverAnd when they did the autopsy they discovered that neither the poison, nor the bullets nor the cold had managed to kill him, but that he died drowned.
Before dying he had left a letter to the tsarina, with whom he supposedly had a love affair, in which he announced that he would die violently at the hands of various names, and that two years after his death, the Russian royal family would also disappear. Both predictions were fulfilled to the letter.