Producer Matthew Vaughn was working with Taron on Kingsman: The Secret Service when he decided he wanted to make a movie about Eddie's ill-fated appearance at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.

Matthew wanted the young actor for the role, but the film's director Dexter Fletcher believed that the Welsh star was too good-looking to play the bespectacled Olympian.

However Taron let slip to U.K. chat show host Jonathan Ross he was being considered to play Eddie, and Jonathan made him put on the ski-jumper's famously thick glasses, convincing Dexter the 26-year-old was perfect for the part.

"My immediate reaction was that he was too good-looking," the actor turned director tells Britain's Event magazine. "Rossy, sending it all up in his way gave him a pair of comedy bottle-top specs to put on. They magnified his eyes. The transformation was immediate and extremely convincing.

"They put up a picture of the real Eddie and Taron put the glasses on, did a squint, jutted his jaw out and there was a similarity. I thought, 'This might work'."

The actor's transformation into Eddie also had the effect of leaving his co-star, Hugh Jackman in unstoppable fits of laughter.

"There's something about my Eddie the Eagle face that makes Hugh Jackman laugh more than anyone else on the planet," Taron tells the publication. "All I have to do is effect an underbite and he's gone."

Despite the fact that the real Eddie was the first ever person to compete for Britain in the ski-jump at the Olympics, his last-place finish made him a figure of fun and prompted a rule change to keep similarly struggling competitors out of future events.

However Hugh, who plays the athlete's coach in the new movie, thinks he deserves a huge amount of respect, saying,"Eddie was a legend who embodied the spirit of having a go and he had a go at the most crazy, most suicidal event in sport."

The film, which is already on general release in the U.S., hits U.K. cinemas on 28 March (16).