EXCLUSIVE: Rhys Ifans Discusses “Larger Than Life” Portrayal of Rasputin

In an exclusive interview with Rhys Ifans, the King’s Man actor discusses his “larger than life” portrayal of Rasputin.

Every movie has that stand-out character you keep thinking about after the film is over. If the marketing for The King’s Man is any indication, it may be Rhys Ifans‘ Rasputin that takes the cake there.

During a recent interview with the Welsh actor to promote The King’s Man, I was able to ask about his unrecognizable portrayal of the famed Russian mystic. After I mentioned the actor typically played more subdued characters, he seemingly agreed. For Ifans, everything he’s done before is “subdued” when coming those roles to the likes of Rasputin. As he puts it, there’s a certain “Matthew Vaughn-ness” to the character.

I think everything is subdued compared to what I do in this. What was required of me in this movie – I think Rasputin has to be, in this manifestation, in this movie…a weather system. When he arrives, he can’t be ‘Rasputin’ he has to be ‘RASPUTIN’. It has to have that Matthew Vaughn-ness.

Rhys Ifans

Ifans continued, discussing the actual Rasputin’s influence on his performance:

Although, the real Rasputin was very much larger than life. He was referred to as the ‘Mad Monk’. He was impossible to kill. He had a huge physical presence. It was great fun to play. Characters like that lend themselves well to franchises like this where you can bend the rules and magnify moments in time. I had so much fun working on it…It’s as extreme as it gets.

Rhys Ifans

Grigori Rasputin is a renowned historical figure, best known for being a wildly influential holy man in his native country. In the film, he’s one of the many villains going up against Ralph Fiennes and his fellow heroes.

The King’s Man opens nationwide in theaters on Dec. 22nd.

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