Filmmaker Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) inadvertently found himself in the role of a cat wrangler on the set of his latest movie Argylle, due to the subpar performance of the original feline actor. Vaughn’s own cat, Chip, is the scene-stealing cat that’s been seen in the trailer and the film’s poster (below).
Speaking to Screen Rant, Vaughn disclosed, “Well, that wasn’t by design; that was due to having an acting cat that was terrible. One day of filming with this other cat, then I went home. I said to my daughter, ‘I’m borrowing Chip.’ And she’s like, ‘What for the day?’ And I was like, ‘No, three months minimum.’ And I did.”
Argylle finds Bryce Dallas Howard playing Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books—which center on secret agent named Argylle and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate— begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organisation, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past.
As Vaughn confessed, the logistics of managing a cat during the production process were not initially considered. “I had to drive to work with the cat in the car with me; the cat was in my trailer with me, the campus. And then the only person the cat wanted to be held by was me, and then thank go to Bryce; he liked Bryce.”
Despite his initial preference for dogs, Vaughn’s bond with Chip grew stronger over the course of filming. “Admittedly, pre-movie, I’m more of a dog person. I’ve got dogs, and I love my dogs, and the cats like the girls. Yeah, whatever. By the end of it, I fell in love with Chip. Yeah, crazy, huh? Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.”
Argylle will be in Australian cinemas on February 1st and U.S. cinemas on February 2nd.