Wednesday morning on a very cold November day in New York City, Twentieth Century Fox invited me, along with a few of my Moviepilot colleagues, including the wonderful and delightful Rose Moore, to a special breakfast with director Matthew Vaughn. What's the occasion, you ask? The movie studio hosted a special early screening of Kingsman: The Secret Service and they invited a few movie bloggers to experience the film and spend sometime with the director.
Fox told us to meet at Big Daddy's Restaurant in Gramercy for the casual breakfast. I thought it was a very appropriate meeting place considering it was only two blocks away from the movie theater where the screening was from the night before and it was called Big Daddy's (you know, one of the characters in Kick-Ass, played by Nicolas Cage. Get it?). The event took place on the upper level of the diner and was only open to about 20 people, so let me tell you that we had a good time hanging out with Matthew Vaughn. While the director, literally, made the rounds from table to table, I took the opportunity to get to know my tablemates and colleagues while we were all eating a very big breakfast.
Now I'm not used to eating a big breakfast so early in the morning, so just let me say that this was a treat. I usually spend my mornings drinking coffee and eating a bagel with a smear of cream cheese. Big Daddy's served us scrambled eggs, bacon (which I didn't eat because I'm a vegetarian), French fries, toast, three types of pancakes (chocolate chip, blueberry, and buttermilk), and all sorts of fruits such as pineapple, grapes, kiwi, oranges, and strawberries, along with coffee (which I drank two jittery cups of), tea, milk, orange juice, and hot chocolate (yes! hot chocolate). Since I'm not usually eating so hardy in the morning, I didn't partake in the festivities, as much as I should've. But once Matthew Vaughn got to our table, I'm glad I didn't eat my weight in pancakes or eggs. I would've needed a nap!
He's a very nice and open man, albeit, he was understandably groggy from the night before. Fox just flew him into New York City for this event and he was whisked back as soon as it was over. There were four other people at the table with me, two others from Moviepilot and a contest winner from Forbidden Planet, a comic book shop in New York, also an actor from the gangster film Revenge of the Green Dragons. So let me say, it was an eccentric group to say the least. He spent 15 to 20 minutes with each table and he was very open about Kingsman: The Secret Service, his other films, and his life. While I'm not going to go in-depth with the movie itself, I can easily say that everyone at my table was very positive on the new movie.
We started to talk about the crazy whirlwind from the night before to this morning's breakfast. We launched into a discussion of the technology in the movie. After the emergence of the iPhone and the iPad, technology in spy movies have become less impressive. So his approach to writing Kingsman with his writing partner Jane Goldman was to go retro with all of the film's gadgets and tech. By going "old school" it gave the film a sense of style, almost as if it were aping gentleman spy movies from the 60s and 70s. There's even a line in the movie from Samuel L. Jackson's character Valentine about the beauty of a pen and paper, as opposed to an iPad. "You can't hack into a sheet of paper," he said, which wonderfully sums up Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman's approach to technology.
In fact, I asked him about his movie influences when he was making the film and a smile crept across my face when he said The Spy Who Loved Me, which is the best James Bond film during Roger Moore's stint as the British superspy. He called Kingsman: The Secret Service a "love letter to the spy stuff," which is clear and can be felt through the whole film. He also told Colin Firth to not channel Roger Moore while acting as the character Harry Hart, but rather David Niven. Vaughn didn't want Firth to play a winky spy like Roger Moore, but instead he wanted the character to be the quintessential gentleman spy like a David Niven, who Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond) originally wanted in the role instead of Sean Connery.
Overall, the experience was enjoyable and eye-opening to Matthew Vaughn and his movies. The breakfast itself was hearty and delicious, while spending some time with the director was a pleasurable experience and really deepened my appreciation for the new movie. While the movie doesn't open in theaters for another four months, I can say that Kingsman: The Secret Service is easily worth watching on February 13, 2015, especially if you love the spy or comic book movie genres. Stay tuned, more to come...