Why he loves his mum and Reese Wither­spoon

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

this sup­posed to be a ro­mance? And I said ‘Yes’. But you know what? If re­belling against be­ing put in a box is a bad then I’m all for bad.”

There is kitsch method to the mad­ness. With a nod to the genre-bend­ing ac­tion come­dies of Hong Kong’s pre-mil­len­nial golden age, This Means War main­tains a cheeky se­ries of curve­balls. Wither­spoon, peren­nial on­screen good girl, gets to be naughty.

“That was a chal­lenge for Reese. I took her aside and said ‘Men re­spect you but they don’t covet you to the de­gree that I think that they could’.” And she said: ‘Just go for it’. I don’t think she’s been on screen in such an overtly sex­ual way be­fore. But I love my mom and I don’t have a misog­y­nis­tic bone in my body so she could trust me. We just gave the hair a lit­tle more vol­ume, put a lit­tle more make-up around the eyes and then we put her in her un­der­wear to make out with Chris Pine and Tom Hardy.”

Mr Hardy, as un­likely as it sounds, has found the one movie with a big­ger, gayer sub­text than Tinker, Tai­lor, Sol­dier, Spy.

“Yep,” nods MCG. “It’s a very, very ho­mo­erotic movie. It’s Top Gun’s shirt­less vol­ley­ball scene ho­mo­erotic. I’ve even got an al­ter­na­tive end­ing for the DVD where the lads end up in each other’s arms. Tom is very al­pha. And so is Chris.

“And Chris is so de­cid­edly Amer­i­can and early Tom Cruise. And Tom Hardy is de­cid­edly Bri­tish. And I’ve also al­ways liked pic­tures with that kind of al­pha thing be­tween male friends where they re­spect each other but couldn’t ever ac­qui­esce.”

Back in the States This Means War has turned heads as a star­ring ve­hi­cle for Chelsea Han­dler, the de­light­fully gut­ter­minded host of E! TV’S Chelsea Lately.

“Chelsea is out of her fuck­ing mind,” cries the di­rec­tor. “I’m glad to be the per­son that gets to in­tro­duce Chelsea to a wider, in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence with her line about not be­ing able to shit straight. She im­pro­vised that. The woman is won­der­ful and bril­liant and com­pletely out of her chicken.”

The in­dus­try hasn’t al­ways been kind to the for­mer wun­derkind. He’s one of many di­rec­tors who spent the early part of the cen­tury work­ing on Su­per­man to no avail. He lost out too on a re­make of 20,000 Leagues Un­der the Sea for Dis­ney.

That’s just show busi­ness, he shrugs: “It’s hard to get a movie made who­ever you are. You have to get the cast right. You have to get the bud­get right. Then ev­ery­thing falls into place but — whoops — there’s been a regime change at the stu­dio and they now want some­thing else en­tirely. I think it was Cop­pola that said ‘ev­ery time a movie gets made it’s a mir­a­cle’. And it is.” For the mo­ment he’s just happy that This Means War has al­lowed him to, well, be MCG.

“I’ve al­ways loved know­ing where I am with a di­rec­tor. I love be­ing able to sit down to a Woody Allen movie or a Tim Bur­ton movie know­ing that I’m in their hands and what to ex­pect. If there is such a thing as a MCG movie it’s large and loud and sur­real and Pollyan­nic and it’s kung fu pop. And I’ll take that. That’s where I want to be.”

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