MOVIES

Argylle Director Matthew Vaughn Reveals Who Owns The Cat And Why It’s Important

When the professional cat hired for “Argylle” proved uncooperative, director Matthew Vaughn turned in desperation to his own home and his daughter’s cat, Chip, part of a litter that Vaughn’s wife (“Argylle” executive producer Claudia Vaughn) had brought home sometime earlier. The only question was, would Chip make unreasonable demands knowing that his owner’s dad was in a bind?

“The only demands were my daughter’s demands, which was candy,” laughs Vaughn. “And I’m a dog person with a capital D, right? So it was very strange. The cat is definitely my daughter’s cat and I was always like, ‘Hey Chip, how are you doing?’ That was enough for me. And then Chip and I bonded making this movie.”

Vaughn adds that while a CG cat was used in some instances — most notably in a scene where Aidan hurls him (safely, as it turns out) off a roof — Chip actually did a lot of his own work in the film. “I mean, look, I’m not allowed to throw cats off roofs,” concedes Vaughn. “I probably would if I could because it’s a cat, but I’d say 95% of the movie really is Chip.”

Ultimately, having Chip play Alfie was a successful gambit. “I think because he was the family cat, he was really relaxed, so I could put him here and he wouldn’t have the need just to run off or stare,” says Vaughn. “The problem about [using] animal trainers, you have the damn animal and it just looks at the bloody trainer. So the eyeline’s always wrong.” There was an additional bonus as well: “Bryce is brilliant with cats, so they bonded and I even gave Bryce a cat as a wrap present. Chip’s cousin now lives with Bryce.” 

“Argylle” is in theaters now.

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