Perhaps the most mesmerizing character in The King’s Man is Grigori Rasputin. The real-life historical figure has a fictional counterpart played by Rhys Ifans in Matthew Vaughn‘s prequel to the Kingsman franchise. Like any good installment in the series, The King’s Man features many riotous moments of action. One of these sequences has Rasputin in a prominent role, in which he uses a rather bizarre form of combative dancing to fend off his enemies.
In a recent interview, I was able to ask Ifans about this unique method and how it came about. He revealed the idea originated with the film’s director. It came about as they were looking for a “physical language” to use for the character. Vaughn ended up coming up with the combative dancing one day, and the rest is history.
Matthew [Vaughn] came up with the idea in the middle of the process. We were trying to find a language for Rasputin, a physical language. Y’know, we had one which was kind of a martial art-y thing but there wasn’t anything specific. Of course, it had to be humorous as well. It had to entertain, thoroughly. This is what Matthew does well. He stormed into the stunt room one day and said, ‘I’ve got it! Russian dancing and martial arts.’ And then he stormed out and the stunt team are going, ‘What!?”Rhys Ifans
Ifans continued to explain just how difficult it was for production to get the choreography right:
Even these highly trained stunt men couldn’t pull [the moves] off, so we had to get a couple of Georgian dancers in from Georgia. And these guys trained from the age of two to do these moves. It takes an incredible kind of core to cross a room with your [butt] two inches off the floor.Rhys Ifans
See the moves for yourself when The King’s Man hits theaters on December 22nd.