Matthew Vaughn has helmed his fair share of iconic action sequences, from the strobe light scene in Kick-Ass to the exploding fireworks heads in Kingsman: The Secret Service. His latest film Argylle is no different, featuring some show-stopping action sequences that use – somewhat unusually – a whole lot of dancing.
Speaking to the Inside Total Film podcast and GamesRadar+, Vaughn explains that his leading man Sam Rockwell was the secret weapon behind creating these. Oscar-winner Rockwell has put on his dancing shoes in a fair few roles so far, including everything from Charlie’s Angels to Moon.
"I think most actors like to ad lib, he likes to ad-dance," Vaughn laughs. "I mean, it's unbelievable. If in doubt, he dances and he's very, very good at it. I just watched him, I went downstairs, I was so tired and somebody said, 'Try exercising to wake up.' Okay, I'm not a gym guy. And I went down and I sort of got on the treadmill, and I was loathing every second of it and I looked over my shoulder and there was Mr. Rockwell doing the most aggressive workout I'd ever seen. If anybody trains like an action star every day of his life, it's Sam Rockwell."
Rockwell plays Aidan in the new movie, a secret agent brought in to help reclusive writer Elly Conway when her spy novels turn out to be a bit too close to the truth. Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, and Henry Cavill all also star in the spy caper and while we won’t get into details, there are some impressive dance-inspired numbers in the new flick.
Vaughn goes on to explain that he believes there’s a very close connection between action scenes and dancing. "I actually realized this when we did Kick-Ass and Aaron Taylor-Johnson had a four-week window to learn the fight choreography," he recalls. "So he arrived with the stunt guys. About six hours later, he'd learned four weeks of all the action, and my stunt guys said to him – and remember, he wasn't a star back then – they said, 'Listen, if you don't make it as an actor, you're becoming one of our stunt team.' I was like, 'How come you knew how to do this?' and he says, 'I'm a dancer.'"
For our full chat with Vaughn, listen to the Inside Total Film podcast, out now. We also speak about the film’s PG-13 rating, an update on the Kick-Ass reboot, and why Cavill makes the perfect James Bond, and his plans for a Henry Cavill-led Argylle sequel.
Argylle is out in UK cinemas now, and in US theaters from February 2. Read our breakdown of the Argylle post-credits scene before looking at our list of the best action movies of all time to add to your watchlist.