Taron Egerton stars in the titular role in the upcoming rendition of 'Robin Hood'.
Directed by Otto Bathurst ('Peaky Blinders'), it also features an eclectic cast including Eve Hewson (Maid Marian), Jamie Foxx (Little John), Ben Mendelsohn (Sheriff of Nottingham) and Jamie Dornan (Will Scarlet), and Tim Minchin (Friar Tuck).
Taron, 28, is known for his starring role in the action franchise, 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' (2014) and 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' (2017), as well as 'Eddie The Eagle' (2015). His upcoming role in one of England’s most beloved stories, 'Robin Hood', will surely cement his A-list status in Hollywood.
Taron is currently shooting 'Rocket Man', a biopic about Elton John, in which he plays the lead.
This is very much an ensemble of actors from all over the world. Yes, one of the really joyous things is that it's a very eclectic mix of performers with very different backgrounds and sounds. Jamie Dornan and Eve are both embracing their gorgeous, gorgeous (Irish) accents. I’m from Wales and Jamie Foxx is from Texas originally. It's a really diverse mix of people and we're all embracing who we are and I think it does something to this world. It's a very diverse Nottingham. It’s a big budget, roller-coaster adventure which we are hoping will have broad appeal. Off set we all get on very well. We’ve all hung out. We've all been out, gotten drunk and done all those things that actors do when they're on location together (laughs).
Which is the first 'Robin Hood' movie you ever saw? The first one I saw would have been the Disney movie (1973) when I was a boy. The first one I would have been aware of would be the one that made Alan Rickman the household name that he was ('Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', 1991) which was the Kevin Costner version. It was one of those movies that my father showed me and got me into it. I don’t think Kevin Costner's mullet would make it into a movie now, but I do believe that film's fantastic, despite having an American Robin Hood. The Disney one is amazing and is still my favourite.
Tell us about Robin Hood school? So, there is a fantastic Danish archer named Lars Andersen, who I worked with because Otto Bathurst was very keen that we have a style of archery that has never been put on the big screen before.
How is it different? He knocks the arrow on the outside and it enables him to fire very, very quickly. He holds 4 in his hand and it's actually a technique that I've learned. I am not as amazing at it as Lars, but essentially, it's like chambering four in the barrel so you can fire very quickly. Lars can fire 11 in 5 seconds, I think. Either way his hand is a blur. You can see him on YouTube. It's got about 30 million hits.
Other than archery, what new skill did you learn mentally or physically playing Robin Hood? I'd love to be able to tell you I learned to hunt wild boar or something (laughs) but I also did some horse riding.
What does Nottingham look like in this movie? Obviously, the story takes place in medieval England but our version of Nottingham is not the Nottingham of old. We shot it in Dubrovnik, by the sea. With the universe we've created, it's very much our own and it in some ways resembles the real world at this time but in some ways it doesn't.
And your Robin? I believe stylistically I play Robin as if he's a young man who's around now. It doesn't feel like a different way of thinking but as with any film, the learning of new skills is a joy and something that I really enjoy very much. The horse riding was a challenge, but I've enjoyed it immensely and the archery's fantastic. I now feel equipped for the unfortunate eventuality if someone broke into my house I've got a bow on the wall and I can defend myself (laughs).
You voiced one of the main roles in the movie 'Sing' (2016) and you’re starring with Jamie Foxx in 'Robin Hood', there must have been some singing on the set? Well, I sing every day on set. I have done a little bit of singing with Jamie on set. It's just something that I love to do when I'm in a good mood, I sing. I'd like it to be a greater part of my professional life. I loved doing 'Sing'. I'd love to sing something where you can see my face as well. That's the next thing on the list. It makes me very happy. In Wales we sing a lot.
What kind of music? I love all sorts. I love soul, I love jazz, I love rock. I'm a fan of pop. I love – I mean, all from Otis Redding, Beatles, Stevie Wonder right through to George Michael. I love it all.