After setting the screen alight in films like Kingsman and Legend, he had to change everything about his appearance to play Eddie: adopting an underbite and wearing glasses that were so thick that he had trouble walking around the film sets.

Taron Egerton was an unlikely choice to play Eddie

But he loved the challenge. "For an actor to have the chance to go and play something that's far away from yourself physically, and also in terms of personality, is so much fun," he says. "It's slightly terrifying that you won't live up to it, but it's just the most creatively satisfying challenge. Obviously, having researched Eddie and finding out what he looks like and what he was about, to step into his shoes was just wonderful."

To prepare for the role, he met the real Eddie Edwards, the iconic ski jumper who won the the world's affection by joyfully coming in dead last in his events at the 1988 Winter Olympics. Then after the film was finished, they watched the movie together. "He was thankfully a big fan of it and is very proud of it," Egerton says. "The journey that we're on with it is really fantastic. It's been wholly positive. I've enjoyed all of my projects so far, especially Kingsman, but this just felt so easy and enjoyable."

He gives credit for this to Eddie's strong personality. "The perception of Eddie was he was this happy-go-lucky, quite innocent guy who just wanted to have a go," Egerton says. "That is what he's like, but we took it to the extreme for the purposes of our movie. It's his complete mind-bending enthusiasm and passion for what he does. It's totally focused, blinkered, how are we going to do this? Nothing else even comes into the equation."

And Egerton is aware that, like Eddie, he has burst onto the global scene rather suddenly. "It's been a wonderful, straight-out-of-the-gate entry into the industry and the world of Hollywood," he laughs, considering the difference between the charming but hapless Eddie and the street-thug Eggsy who becomes a super-spy in Kingsman and will be back in next year's sequel. "[Kingsman director] Matthew Vaughn keeps telling me that there's more of Eddie in me than Eggsy, so I'm not quite sure how to take that!"

Watch the trailer for Eddie The Eagle: