DARK HORIZONS – So far, filmmaker Matthew Vaughn is essentially five for five when it comes to delivering movies of quality – “Layer Cake,” “Stardust,” “Kick-Ass” and “X-Men: First Class” have all been very strong but wide-appealing films and his new effort “Kingsman: The Secret Service” keeps that very high standard going.
Both homage to and pastiche of the spy movies of old, especially early James Bond, the film still manages to carve out its own distinct identity thanks to a wicked sense of humour, some stellar action set pieces, and a cast of British talent ranging from legendary thespians like Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Mark Strong to a group of formidably talented young newcomers.
Earlier this week I sat down and spoke with two of those newcomers, specifically the film’s leading man and woman Taron Egerton and Sophie Cookson. Fresh out of drama school with some stage and TV work under their belt, “Kingsman” is their first foray onto the big screen and this very professional and charming pair were happy to discuss their experience in the video.
CLEO – Fresh out of drama school, Sophie Cookson hit the jackpot landing the female lead in Matthew Vaughn’s latest blockbuster, Kingsman: The Secret Service. The 24-year-old stars alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson, as well as fellow newcomer, Taron Egerton. She spilt all about being the only girl on set, playing the super smart, sassy and beyond stylish, Roxy.
Congratulations on Kingsman. I’m not normally a spy movie person but I walked out and thought it was fantastic!
“Amazing, it’s really infectious isn’t it?”
Yes! What was it that attracted you to the film in the first place?
“Um, everything! [Laughs] I got an email asking me to put myself on tape and Matthew Vaughn [the director], who I love, was directing it, and Colin Firth was also attached. Immediately I thought, ‘Well that’s never going to happen’. But Roxy, my character, is like her own entity. She’s not a romantic lead and really stands her ground. So seeing someone that independent and strong, I thought I could really mould her into what I wanted.”
Were you star struck when you met Colin?
“I guess you freak out in your bedroom beforehand, like ‘Oh my God, oh my God, be calm, be cool!’ And then you’re like, ‘Hi Colin’ as he’s walking past. But you have to be, because at the end of the day they are just people wanting to make a good film. They were all wonderful and very generous people as well as actors so it was a pleasure being around them and they automatically put me at ease.”
You have some pretty amazing scenes like being stuck underwater. Did you do all the stunts?
“Apart from one stunt, we did everything. It was amazing to do the underwater stuff. We had some free water diving training taught by this champion who can hold his breath for something ridiculous like half an hour underwater. He was phenomenal. We were filming in December so you get totally drenched, reset, go out into the freezing cold, get changed, and go back in. Plus, we were shooting it for about three weeks and it was supposed to be four days but I think that’s slightly ambitious.”
You also have some fun scenes with little puppies! It’s like a dream come true!
“I still dream about my poodle, Max, and I’m not really a poodle girl either! He was the sweetest dog and he needed a home after, and I was so desperate but a poodle that big in a London flat just wouldn’t work.”
You’ve done TV in the past but this is your first film. Would you like to continue with film?
“I think anything where it’s descriptive and it’s about the people involved and the story telling, no matter what genre, be it radio, film, TV or theatre. It’s definitely opened my eyes up to what it means to make a good film.”
DOLLY – WE LOVE YOUR CHARACTER ROXY IN KINGSMAN. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT HER?
“She’s so strong and independent and keeps her femineity throughout it all. I find that it’s quite rare in films to find that. Often a woman will have to fit into a man’s world and often she does that by imitating them and their characteristics. But Roxy; she’s still a girl’s girl and proud of it!”
DO YOU SEE ANY COMMON TRAITS IN YOURSELF AND ROXY?
“She’s a lot of more slick than I am, I’m far clumsier. But determination, we’re both very determined, and if someone tells us we can’t do something, then we’re going to do it.”
WE’D LOVE TO GET TO KNOW YOU A LITTLE BIT BETTER SO, WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE MUSICIAN?
“I’ve just been listening to Vance Joy. I think I’m a bit later but I’ve had ‘Riptide’ on repeat.”
“A little furniture shop near where I live, I love antique furniture.”
FAVOURITE ICE-CREAM FLAVOUR?
“Coffee. I remember having it as a kid in Spain, and I hadn’t even tasted proper coffee, so my first memory of coffee was ice-cream!”
FAVOURITE TYPE OF CHOCOLATE?
“I’m not really a massive chocolate person, I’m going to go really simple, and go Bounty. And you’re getting one of your five a day!”
“Winnie the Pooh. As an adult, if you go back and read it now, it’s got some wise words.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANYONE FOLLOW YOU BACK ON INSTAGRAM, WHO WOULD IT BE?
“I don’t use Instagram! But maybe Ellen DeGeneres. Someone that will spice it up a bit!”
Sophie attended a special VIP screening of ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ with co-star Taron Egerton on January 28, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.
Public Appearances > 2015 > ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ VIP Sydney Screening
THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD – While there’s nothing wrong with being a Bond girl, Sophie Cookson was thrilled to be in a spy movie in which she wasn’t just “the girlfriend”.
In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Cookson plays one of the youngsters vying for a role in a mysterious agency, whose veteran, martial-arts fighting spies include the likes of Colin Firth.
To land the spot, she and the others, including Taron Egerton’s Eggsy, are put through a number of dangerous tasks.
“I mean, there is nothing wrong with being a Bond girl, but at the same time, you read so many scripts where the girl automatically falls in love with the guy, or you’re waiting the whole story for them to kiss and I have to say I was reading and waiting for (it) to happen,” Cookson tells AAP in Sydney.
The 24-year-old was over the moon when she realised that wasn’t what her character was about.
“It was a huge relief, actually, to know that there was a script out there that did that,” she says.
But the movie isn’t your typical spy flick, either.Read More
MARIE CLAIRE – Sophie Cookson is the next big thing. We don’t throw that term around lightly in the marie claire office so it must be true. Plucked from obscurity fresh out of drama school by filmmaker Matthew Vaughn (the man who made Kick Ass’ Chloe Grace Moretz a star), Cookson is the 24-year old star of this month’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, alongside a pitch perfect Colin Firth. Yes, it’s an action film, and yes, it’s based on a comic book, but Vaughn’s tongue-in-cheek treatment (Firth’s dashing secret agent carries an electrocuting signet ring and a shotgun-slash-umbrella, for example) turns what could have been a run-of-the-mill spy film into a rollicking adventure worth its weight in popcorn.
Cookson – as the smart, stylish and supremely sassy Roxy – is the female lead, holding her own in a boys club of suited secret agents that includes Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Jack Davenport and newcomer Taron Egerton. Did she love being the only girl on set? “Totally,” Cookson grins. “It was incredibly empowering.”
MC: Your first film – and it was a big budget Matthew Vaughn extravaganza! How did that feel?
SC: Incredibly overwhelming… Never in a million years [had I] dreamt that I would do anything like this. When I first auditioned I got an email saying: here’s the script, Colin Firth is attached, and I didn’t take it seriously at all. I don’t put the two together, like myself and Colin Firth, it was so strange. I spent most of the job thinking I would probably be fired or something. [Laughs]
MC: Taron Egerton, who plays main character Eggsy, was also new to film. Were you guys close on set?
SC: One of our first rehearsals, all of the recruits were sat around a table and Matthew [Vaughn, director] got us to put our hand up if we had done a film before. And no-one put their hand up. And Matthew was like ‘Christ what am I doing?’ We were all in it together.
MC: We love your character Roxy and the fact she’s the only girl amongst all these men. Was it a real girl power moment for you?
SC: Totally. Even from reading the script I loved the fact that [Roxy] is not the male accessory, she’s not romantically linked to anyone, she’s just there because she deserves to be. It was incredibly empowering to play. [Kingsman] is quite a misogynistic secret service organisation. They’ve never had a female [agent]. So automatically the odds are against [Roxy].Read More