Actor Rhys Ifans, who plays Rasputin in ‘The Kings Man’, has called the character a mysterious and powerful figure. He said that it was a “dream role” because of Rasputin’s magnetism, as well as his infamy.
Commenting on his character, Ifans said about the religious charlatan who got very close to the family of the last Tsar, Nicholas II: “He is such a mysterious, powerful figure, well-referenced in history, but so much of his life is a mystery. Consequently, people have made many wild assumptions about Rasputin, and he ended up being assassinated.”
Rasputin had claimed to be able to cure the Tsar’s only son, Alexei, who was born with haemophilia. He was assassinated on December 30, 1916, by a group of conservative courtiers who resented his closeness to the Tsar and the Tsarina Alexandra.
Ifans added: “[Rasputin] has that place not just in Russian culture, but in world culture. In some ways he was the first kind of renegade rock star. There’s also something of the Charlie Manson in him as well — the mystic charlatan who hypnotised and seduced a generation.”
Delving deeper into Rasputin’s character, Ifans said: “Rasputin was obviously entrenched in the Tsar and Tsarina’s court. He was a mystic and a priest, but the real Rasputin wasn’t officially ordained by the Orthodox Church. So he brings with him, I think, Christianity or the church as a kind of disguise, as really at heart he’s a pagan.”
Karl Gajdusek, who helped Director Matthew Vaughn sketch the screenplay, fleshed out the real Rasputin: “Whenever he would walk into a room, you couldn’t keep your eyes off him. Even though he was this sort of smelly, crazy monk, you were drawn to him. Rhys has a similar energy. The two together are just merged into one character. It’s kind of amazing.”
Written, directed and produced by Vaughn, ‘The King’s Man’ stars Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.