On February 9th, I had the privilege to sit down and interview [Kingsman: The Secret Service](movie:713143)director Matthew Vaughn.
We went back and forth about his films, superheroes, casting Kingsman, and what its like being a successful filmmaker and director. Here's the play by play of my questions and his answers.
I told Vaughn how much I liked the new movie "Kingsman" and how fun I thought it was to watch. Was it as fun to make as it is to watch?
Yeah, I mean, I get paid to make movies. Im the luckiest man. I get paid to do my hobby. You hear about a lot of filmmakers and actors who say "Ughh making a movie". You're making a movie! What is wrong with you! Enjoy it! You know how lucky you are? We had the time of our life making it!
Did you hit any snags at any point in making Kingsman?
No, because Im a producer turned director I really learned to prep the film properly. If the fans and the people watching the movie don't like it, it's for one reason and one reason only, and that's the man sitting here right in front of you.
Tell me a little about Mark Hamill's involvement. In the comic Mark Hamill is in it as himself, but in the film Mark plays a character named Professor James Arnold.
Well there's a rule about filmmaking that's about suspending disbelief. This whole movie is a balancing act. If you have a movie with real celebrities playing themselves and also have other real celebrities playing characters, it gets a bit weird. Samuel L Jackson is in Star Wars, and so is Mark Hamill. So in this reality is there no such thing as Samuel Jackson?
Almost like watching the Walking Dead and them never saying the word "Zombie?" Its a foreign concept to that universe.
Yep, exactly. You've got to keep it grounded in its own reality.
Do you ever get a "God complex?" Like, you're creating entire universes and realities separate from our own.
Yeah, well, maybe I do. I don't know. My job is to think of every single thing. You basically become a bit of a megalomaniac and control freak. So if that's a God complex, then bring it on. You've got to really hone each scene to feel real.
Is there any franchise you're a big fan of? Spiderman? Marvel? Terminator?
I mean I love all of them. I love Spiderman, I love Iron man. I'm looking forward to all of what's coming out. I'll be buying a ticket when you go to buy your ticket. Avengers 2, I cannot wait!
Do you have any films coming up? Do you know what you're doing next?
I haven't a clue. Nothing right now. Vacation!
You're working on the new [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667) right?
Yes I'm producing the new Fantastic Four, and I'll actually see the first cut of the film in a weeks time.
CALL ME IN A WEEK!
(We both laughed a bit)
Yeah they're working very hard on it. I'm also producing a movie called "Eddie The Eagle" which we start in 4 weeks starring Taron (Kingsman) and 'Wolverine' Hugh Jackman. That's a pretty funky, fun film as well. I'll be pretty busy for the next 12 months as a producer, but as a director, my dance card is wide open.
Anything you want to make into a film?
Nothing! Im a blank piece of paper right now.
Waiting for the right idea?
Something happens and them I'm off, (*snaps finger*) but it hasn't happened yet.
About the church scene in Kingsman, how long did it take to shoot?
I think about 8 days? When you make a movie, time works differently. When you finish a film, you feel like you've aged 10 years, but also you know it only took a week. Its the weirdest thing.
Its hardest I think to get the music right, and the casting, and making all the actors fit together. Making the fighting match the acting match the plot. Filmmaking is a big chain, and its cliche but you're only as strong as your weakest link. There are a hell of a lot of links, and if you don't get them all right, you're in trouble.
Who was the person who said they wanted Samuel L Jackson to be that villain "link?"
I did. When we cast Colin, we felt we needed someone more his age. Its a bit cliche thinking that all tech geniuses and billionaires are young. If Steve Jobs were still alive he'd be the richest and most powerful. So I talked to Sam and, basically said "You're Steve Jobs gone crazy".
And how did Samuel L Jackson respond when you said that?
Well...Sam is Sam. He's cool as a cucumber.
I'm sure he turns down a lot of roles? Ive never seen him in a film and been disappointed in his casting.
I've seen him in an interview where he said he turns down about 20 serious roles per month. He's amazing.
How did you go about finding Taron and Sophie? They're so fresh to the acting world, Taron especially.
Taron's never done a film, never been on a film set.
I heard he auditioned in your house or something?
No he didn't audition in my house. He did an audition and blew me away. I was like F***, can I really cast someone who's never been on a movie set? So I said, come to my house, and we just workshopped it. I mean, we did every scene. The more I tried to trip him up, the better he got. By the end of the day I was like this is ridiculous!
Was Sophie the same way?
Her role is smaller, but she came in and did a great reading. That was it. Great read.
Altogether meeting with Matthew Vaughn again was amazing! Moviepilot has been really generous and awesome with sending me out to all the Kingsman related events in and around New York City! I loved meeting Vaughn and getting a more lengthy chat with him this time because he basically has the career of my dreams! If I can make films as good as he does, I'd be happy!
We also both attended the Kingsman premiere that night and hung out on the red carpet for a bit! That video is coming soon. Stay tuned for more Kingsman related greatness!