It’s always chaotic when an actor storms off a film set, and Director Matthew Vaughn ran into this problem during the filming of Argylle, an upcoming spy comedy from Apple TV+. Many directors have faced erratic star behavior like this, but for Vaughn, this particular disappearing act hit close to home. In this case, Vaughn had a close relationship with the cast member. In fact, they were living together.
This is probably a good time to tell you that the disappearing actor was Chip, the director’s family cat. That’s right, Matthew Vaughn cast his own pet for the Apple+ movie, and once on set, he was beginning to see just how difficult it was.
During a press session at New York Comic Con, Vaughn explained how Chip got involved in the production. “I cast him because I fired the first cat. That was an acting cat that behaved badly. It was fucking expensive and useless. I'm not mad about cats, to be clear. I'm a dog person. But my girls have cats.” Vaughn explained.
Before casting Chip in the film, Vaughn had to clear things with his daughter. Luckily, she was amenable. “I said to my daughter, 'Can I borrow the cat?' And she went, 'No problem, how long?' I said three months. I didn't think it through that I became the cat-handler. I literally had to drive to work with the cat. I had the cat in my trailer, and on the set. But to his credit, he behaved like a dog. I don't know what happened, and I fell in love with the cat. He was a great cat. I was intrigued by it. I watched my daughter and she treats him like a dog. She roughs it up, throws things, and they play.”
However, cats are unpredictable, just like Hollywood actors. “He ran off once from the set. Everyone was freaking the fuck out because we were in the middle of a soundstage in the middle of nowhere. There was panic. I was going to have to go home and say I lost the cat. He's quite a unique looking cat, and we're like, what do we do now? Luckily, he ran off and went back to the trailer. We were very relieved. So that's why we put a tracker on him,” Vaughn recalled.
I asked Vaughn if his daughter would be open to lending the cat out for future productions, and he had an amusing answer. “I think next time she'll need to charge me. When I told her how much the other cat-handler was being paid, she was like, ‘Fuck, I would have come.’ She’s wised up to that.”
Look for Chip as Alfie the Cat in Argylle, premiering February 2, 2024 on Apple+.