The King's Man Stars Harris Dickinson and Ralph Fiennes Prove Being a Gentleman Will Always Be in Fashion 

"You're going to need a suit."
IMAGE 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

It's 2021, and "gentleman" is an outdated word—but the Kingsman franchise would like to prove otherwise. In the latest gun-slinging, knife-toting addition to the popular film series, veteran star Ralph Fiennes and up-and-coming actor Harris Dickinson are the newest Kingsmen to make our acquaintance. 

After months in monotonous lockdowns and quarantines, a loud, brash, and action-packed spy film is exactly what we need. The King's Man delivers the franchise's trademark fight scenes and gentlemanly fashion to fans' satisfaction, with an added touch of family drama. Leading the charge are the film's father-son duo, Ralph Fiennes as Orlando, the Duke of Oxford, and Harris Dickinson as his son, Conrad.

At the heart of the movie is a heartwarming bond between father and son, one that created and inspired the Kingsmen organization. The relationship is perhaps the most emotional in the Kingsman franchise, but it was portrayed almost effortlessly by Fiennes and Dickinson. Of course, for Dickinson, growing up watching Fiennes on the screen no doubt made it easy to step into the shoes of Conrad. 

Photo by 20th Century Studios.
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"I was nervous working with Ralph. I've grown up watching Ralph in so many different roles and been fascinated by him as an actor and the choices he's made the career he's had. The commitment to the craft is something that is admirable, the amount of work he puts in," shared Dickinson in a roundtable interview with Esquire Philippines. 

The young actor, best known for Trust and Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil, had only glowing praise for the esteemed industry icon. 

"He was the first one there, he used to go to the gym before work, and we'd start work at 6 a.m. Sometimes, he'd get there like two hours before. It was crazy the amount of time and effort he put into this film. I was lucky to witness it." 

As the youngest member of the cast, Dickinson was just as lucky to witness other more seasoned actors join the production. As with every installment, the franchise gathered some of the finest British actors in the industry, from Rhys Ifans as the notorious Grigori Rasputin, Matthew Goode as Morton, Charles Dance as Herbert Kitchener, and Tom Hollander as cousins King George, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Tsar Nicholas (what a talent fee). 

Photo by 20th Century Studios.
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While the film is a smorgasbord of action scenes, it still requires its characters to dress their best, even when they're battling drug-addled, ballet-dancing Russian mystics. Only full tuxedos, with tailcoats and all, will suffice. If the battle requires something a little less formal, then as per the Duke of Oxford, "You're going to need a suit."

Joking aside, every Kingsman film has new gentlemanly advice to dole out, with this film's most memorable token line being, "Our enemies think we are gentleman, but reputation is what people think. Character is what you are." 

On what he thinks being a gentleman entails, Dickinson has this to share: 

"I think the notion of being a gentleman has definitely evolved over the years, where perhaps being a gentleman can be defined by more things than just a distinguished sort of class or distinguished set of manners because that's a little bit outdated," shared Dickinson. 

"We're now dealing with something that's more just about being a good person and being kind and being respectful. It might seem like the basics of being a person, but I think everyone on this was genuinely just a good person and very kind and very generous. That's something I definitely took away from everyone." 

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In true Kingsman fashion, The King's Man never takes itself too seriously throughout the film, and its irreverence is best illustrated in its almost satirical depiction of important historical figures. History buffs might be scandalized, but the outlandish portrayal of Rasputin and the cousin-kings of Europe will leave you in stitches. 

No stranger to playing historical figures, Ralph Fiennes has played almost every British king on stage, everyone from Charles Dickens to Hades on the big screen, and even voiced Jesus Christ at one point. The Duke of Oxford might be a fictional character, but we wouldn't be surprised to find Ralph playing another historical figure quite soon. 

"Who would I like to play in history? I like our British naval hero Nelson. I've always liked the Duke of Wellington, who won the Battle of Waterloo, who was tough a tough old guy but quite a charismatic figure. Maybe King Arthur," shared Fiennes. 

We certainly wouldn't be opposed to a King Arthur Kingsman spin-off.

The King's Man is now screening in local cinemas.   

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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