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Matthew Vaughn shares a bevy of details on Julianne Moore's Kingsman villain

07.13.2017

Samuel L. Jackson gave us one of his more eccentric – and undeniably awesome – performances in KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE as the villain, Richmond Valentine. Julianne Moore will be filling his shoes in the sequel, THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, and though she’s no Sam Jackson director Matthew Vaughn recently opened up about how much of what made Jackson’s villain so great also applies to Moore’s.

The director spoke with EW about Moore’s villain – who goes by the name Poppy – and how he needed someone who could mesh ridiculousness with realism in the way Jackson did with his baddie, but at the same time not seem like a carbon copy:

For this film, I needed a performer who could fill the shoes of Sam Jackson without any sense of intimidation. And someone who could make this character pretty insane but at the same time real. And though Kingsman is hopefully a big popcorn film, I love to put fantastic, brilliant, Oscar-winning talent like Julianne Moore into crazy environments. That’s when we get magic happening.

The evil plot of the first film involved Valentine wanting to use his brand of SIM cards to force people into a murderous rage so that humanity would essentially wipe itself out, therefore solving our over-population problem and leaving a select few to rebuild the human race. Vaughn believes villains ahould have motivations that seem fairly reasonable, but have solutions are undoubtedly insane:

The best villains have plotlines which would actually seem like half-decent ideas, if they weren’t so crazy. They have a plan to completely f— up the world but their motives are not totally ridiculous.

Vaughn describes Poppy as “Martha Stewart on crack,” and she operates out of a makeshift village created to look like a 50s-style Main Street that we would see in something like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, or some other classic television show. Her diabolical plan involves making all drugs legal, and the movie's subtitle is a reference to the Asian drug ring – The Golden Triangle – a fact that was lost on test audiences.

She’s taken over the global drug business and wants to be on the Forbes list. When we tested the movie with an audience, everybody was like, "What’s the Golden Triangle?" I was like, "For fuck’s sake." No one had heard of it in three test screenings.

The director would go on to say that the character even has a speech where she states that sugar is more addictive and deadly than cocaine, and yet it is legal and drugs are not. This is where her reasonable thoughts and ideas come into play, but Vaughn assured us her solution to the problem is certifiably insane.

Jackson’s performance in KINGSMAN was inspired lunacy, and I know several people who walked away thinking his views on the planet’s over-population and pollution were pretty agreeable. Vaughn has hit the nail on the head in saying that the best villains may not have crazy ideas, but rather crazy solutions. It helps create a more engaging relationship between the audience and the antagonist when viewers find themselves listening to and understanding their motivations. As long as Moore brings that “Stewart on crack” angle to full fruition I’d say we’ll have another badass villain in store for us.

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE with Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum and Moore arrives September 22.

Source: EW

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