I know what you’re all thinking: who in the name of all cinema is Taron Egerton? Well, brace yourselves, because you are about to get to know this young man whether you want to or not. Egerton has just beaten out a number of young actors for a part opposite Hugh Jackman in a true-to-life (but still unnamed) movie about ski-jumping.
The film has Egerton playing Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, who became an Olympic-quality ski-jumper back in the 1980s. After failing to qualify for the Olympics in 1984, British downhill skier Edwards moved to Lake Placid so that he could train for the 1988 Olympics. Short on money, Edwards was unable to pursue his dream of being a downhill skier. Instead, he switched to ski jumping, a category for which no other British athletes were vying. He gained a mentor in Chuck Berghorn, the character played by Hugh Jackman, who helped Edwards train for the 1988 Olympics.
While this has all the hallmarks of your typical underdog story, there’s an interesting little twist in the midst of it: Edwards made it to the Olympics, but he came in last place in both the 70m and 90m ski jumps. He continued to be hailed as a British hero though, no matter how poorly he did. Inspirational.
Egerton, by the by, will probably be a bit more of a household name when Kingsman: The Secret Service comes to theaters. He’s playing the lead in that one, a young tough turned into a gentleman spy by none other than Colin Firth. The film looks like a hefty nod to any number of classic British spy stories, from James Bond to The Ipcress File and The Avengers (that’s the 60s TV show, not the superheroes).
We will have a chance to see Taron Egerton do his thing when Kingsman: The Secret Service is released on February 12.