How was it working with Jim Carrey? And what are your feelings on his comments distancing himself from the movie?
Working with Jim was incredible. You work with people who are talented and experienced like that, and you gain from that by just being around it. It helps you think about how you take your next role and character, and how to push the boundaries. They challenge everything all the time, and are always thinking of ideas and how to improvise.
Carrey was amazing - really funny, really interesting, super passionate. He wanted to look like the character from the comic books so much that he actually paid for all his prosthetics himself! It all comes from a place of passion and creativity.
[Re: his comments] Well, he's entitled to his opinion. I respect that he was open about his opinion, but like I just said…. working on it, with him…. he was just so passionate - and the reason he came on was because he loved what we did with the first one. So we felt really honoured.
The thing is, it's Kick-Ass and it's an R-Rated movie. Like the first, there is a lot of violence in it, and people are expecting to see it be shocking and pushing the boundaries. The bar was pretty high with the first one and the second one needs to meet those expectations.
Is there a part of you that wanted to be Red Mist? Villains have more fun...
I don't know if anyone knows this, but there was an open audition in London putting a bunch of people on tape for Red Mist for this film no-one had heard of called Kick-Ass . I remember putting something on tape, for Red Mist, and it must've just been utter shit *laughs* because I never got a callback or any feedback.
But then, I was out in LA, doing some castings here and there. I had an audition in LA for the character of Kick-Ass , met the director, did the whole scene, and he asked where I was from. When I said I was from London, he was surprised - he obviously didn't see of my original tapes, or didn't get sent my audition.
[Re: Red Mist/The Motherf*cker], I remember reading the second screenplay and thinking I would love to take that role. Chris had this whole other challenge to deal with in this movie which was wicked - I'd love to do that, for sure. I was excited to see Chris do that - I don't think he's ever been challenged like that in his career. Not because I don't think he can do it, but because they'll think of someone else to use. In Kick-Ass 2, Chris brought his game.
What are you favourite moments from Kick-Ass & Kick-Ass 2?
There were loads of moments I loved in the sequel that I'm not even in - there's this great scene with the Toxic Megac*nts, where they go to hunt down Night Bitch at her house. That whole sequence of finding her, breaking into her house, and Mother Russia taking down all the cops - it's genius.
Scenes that I personally loved doing? We introduced a load of new superheroes, and the one I really loved playing alongside, and who I'd love to see again was Dr. Gravity, played by Donald Faison. I loved him in Scrubs, and he's such a wicked, solid guy. We had so much fun.
Our fight scene together also mirrored the 'DIp and Sip' fight in the first one, which is my favourite moment from the first movie - when Kick-Ass becomes Kick-Ass after being caught on video. The way we filmed it was so raw and improvised on the spot - and I get to do all my own stunts and fight sequences, so that was really great.
What was your workout routine like? You look really jacked in this movie.
I didn't put on any weight as such. It was more about getting lean. It was just lots of fight training - MMA, jujutsu, and boxing, which is great because it takes so much discipline and control and it's really interesting to come out with another skill.
It was pretty intense. I had to keep the weight down in a way because it's only really at the end of the movie that it's revealed [how fit he is] - so throughout the movie it's still got to feel like that ordinary weedy kid.
I trained for about two hours a day for about six days a week - but it was tough!
What was it like working with Nicolas Cage? Did you pick up any tips?
I don't need to ask him for tips, but I definitely observe him and take on his process, and I admire him and I'm inspired by him. It's genius what he did - he transformed that character way off the page.
Acting's about taking risks and being bold about your decisions and choices - people like him and JIm Carrey - they're masters at it. They make characters. It's about going those extra few steps. It transforms something.
By doing that performance, Nic added an extra element to what Kick-Ass is. The thing about Nic Cage and Big Daddy is that he was insane - he taught his daughter how to assassinate villains and gangsters by manipulating her through the world of comics - that's f*cking insanity. That's what Kick-Ass is - it's a heightened reality of people working in fantasy.
What appeals about playing Quicksilver in Avengers 2?
Well we're still in talks so it's not like it's official yet, but… it's about the character for me, it has to be.
There's years of backstory on him all there to use, and I like doing that. Him and his sister have been abandoned by their parents and their father, and they grew up in Eastern Europe defending and looking out for themselves and each other.
His sister really is his guidance - emotionally she's the one who looks after him, and vice versa. He's very over-protective physically - he doesn't want anyone touching her.
I take the personality into consideration more than just the fact that he runs really fast.
I may not even look right with white hair, and the accent may be wrong. Unless you're a Jim Carrey or Nic Cage and walk in saying 'this is the character', people don't immediately get it.
When people haven't been shown your range like that, then they're a bit more skeptical - they may not want you to push the boundaries in that way. But that's what I'm interested in as an actor.
He has real anger frustration, and I like that. I always thought it'd be quite funny if you saw him eating loads and people asked him why and he'd explain it's because he's burning so much energy all the time. Or you'd see him zip back into a scene, because he's already nipped out and got his lunch somewhere else.
It's just that he gets so bored - his attention span is so f*cking quick. But those are the things, as I said… you play with the real character, but then you play with the fact his powers can be explored in every dimension - his attention, his frustration.