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Oscars 2017
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'Kingsmen: The Secret Service'

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Leave it to Matthew Vaughn — director of the genre-bending superhero indie Kick-Ass — to envision Colin Firth as a deadly secret agent skilled in lethal combat. Even Firth was surprised. ”Matthew told me, ‘One of the reasons I’m casting you is because you’re probably the last person anyone could imagine fighting off the villains,”’ says the actor, who costars with Michael Caine and a nefarious Samuel L. Jackson. In the thriller, Firth’s spy must groom a rebellious teen (Taron Egerton) into an intelligence operative worthy of the Queen’s service. ”Anyone who’s a Colin Firth fan won’t be able to believe what they’re seeing,” Vaughn explains. ”At the beginning it’s Mr. Darcy, but Mr. Darcy has to save the world this time.”