Minutes ago I got a brief chance before running off to interview Alex Proyas (on Dark City directors cut and more) to sit down and briefly chat with super producer and director Matthew Vaughn at the 40th Sitges Film Festival. I count myself as a huge fan of Layercake and have near endlessly re watched the opening sequence (fake drug store, sweeping helicopter shot with the kick ass song blasting). It's such a perfectly realized set up and introduction into the world and characters the film is about to explore. So it was a huge honor to sit down and chat on his latest film Stardust, his upcoming film Thor and even on Jackie Brown of all things. His latest film Stardust is a highly charming adult kids movie (if that makes sense) that to me worked. I do wish Claire Danes had showed more passion in her performance. Perhaps I just don't get her at all. She seems too cold to me as if she has a jealous boyfriend who is standing offset. Everything else in the film rolled along. Though I did have to adjust my perception afterwards. Regardless of the very small gripe of Miss Danes I do think this film will go onto a great cult following. (Now onto the brief interview.)
BLAKE: Stardust features some amazing casting selections that really work out brilliantly. How do you constantly keep coming up with great against the grain casting choices?
MATTHEW VAUGHN: Do you know who I think I learned that from? The king of doing that – Tarantino! I remember what he did with John Travolta in Pulp Fiction and it was one of the most inspired things I’d ever seen. I was lucky enough to have read Pulp Fiction before it got made and boy was I looking forward to seeing it. I [then] heard he had cast Travolta and I thought, “Damn that’s pretty cool. I’m not sure its going to work but its cool.” That gave me the confidence and was a big lesson to me to hire good actors and give them a chance to shine and don’t just put them in their pigeonhole because that gets really boring! [Whether] its getting to see De Niro running around in a dress or play a straight hardcore gangster, its good and refreshing getting to see them play something different.
BLAKE: And De Niro in Jackie Brown.
MATTHEW VAUGHN: Yeah he’s great as the stoner in Jackie Brown.
BLAKE: … And incredibly funny. Tarantino’s acting direction to him was, “Just be like dirty laundry.”
MATTHEW VAUGHN: (Stops and thinks) Yeah he was! And you know I actually think Jackie Brown is one of the most underrated Tarantino movies. I loved it! Really loved it and think it’s the best soundtrack he’s ever done [for a movie].
BLAKE: What can we expect on the Stardust DVD release?
MATTHEW VAUGHN: I have no idea. [Hopefully it’s not] put in the bargain bin before it’s even released (typically a bare bones DVD dumped straight to video with no extra’s).
BLAKE: Any updates on Thor?
MATTHEW VAUGHN: Mark [Protosevich] and I sat down and worked on the script and handed it in. We are currently waiting to hear what Marvel says. So news at the moment sadly, I wish there was.
BLAKE: Harry (AICN) has said he wants you to cast Ernest Borgnine as Odin for it.
MATTHEW VAUGHN: It’s a great idea [if you think about him in Viking]. Viking is a great film. I think Ernest is probably slightly too old now for the role. But let me say it will [definitely] be an Ernest type. [And let me just say] it ain’t gonna be Kevin McKidd as Thor.
BLAKE: Will you have a Gladiator type theme with it?
MATTHEW VAUGHN: Sort of. [Mainly] it’s going to be a superhero film. It can’t be a Viking movie. It can’t be Gladiator. It can’t be Lord of the Rings. It’s got to be THOR – THE MIGHTY THOR! [At least] in my mind and I want THE MIGHTY THOR set in a gritty Viking world.