The Oscar-winning actor plays badass secret agent Harry Hart who, in one particularly brutal scene, takes out an entire congregation during a church massacre.
But while many of Kingsman's most violent scenes involve a heavy dose of comedy, there is always the question of whether actors should stop short of glamourising bloodshed. Did Firth ever contemplate refusing the role on these grounds?
“That’s a question that has to be kept alive,” he told The Independent. “The simplest approach would be to say there should be no violence in any storytelling whatsoever but the trouble is, you’re taking away a great deal of Shakespeare, Greek drama, Punch and Judy, Westerns.”
Firth insists that cinema-goers should not be deterred by the movie’s violent elements as “conflict is inevitable and it’s in comedy as well”.
“I think this is more in that category,” he said. “[Kingsman] reminds me more of the old Batmans with the word bubbles saying ‘Pow!’ or even Monty Python where the violence is actually absurd. I don’t think it’s glamourous, I think it’s silly.”
Based on the comic book by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar Firth believes that Kingsman was created “in the spirit of pastiche”.
“If you channel search through things about aliens and zombies, or conflict in the Middle East, you’re going to see an awful lot more cruelty in that material than you see in this,” he added. “This is actually kind of a technicolour cartoon.”
Kingsman: The Secret Service reaches UK cinemas on 29 January.
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