The Pool’s Helen O’Hara met producer Jane Goldman to discuss creating a feminine villain, being a female screenwriter, and the controversial scenes in the Kingsman films.
Screenwriter, author, and producer Jane Goldman has had an impressive career. She’s written nine books, has been presenting and producing TV shows since 1988, and most recently she’s been writing screenplays for films such as Stardust, Kick-Ass, The Woman In Black and X-Men – films that, to be blunt, you might traditionally expect to be written by men.
Her latest film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, came out this week. In our interview with her, we spoke about the women in this film, namely Poppy – played by Julianne Moore – and how Goldman was keen to create a female villain who was utterly terrifying while still retaining her femininity.
We also talked about how she and director Matthew Vaughn made Kingsman a spy film she’d actually be interested in watching and how they rallied against the trope of “disposable women” in spy films by making lead character Eggsy’s love interest in the first film his long-term girlfriend in this one. She also defended the controversial anal sex reference at end of the first Kingsman film, which many fans and reviewers felt was a jarring and misogynist break in tone but which Goldman felt, in her own words, “utterly comfortable with from a feminist perspective”.
It’s interesting, therefore, considering this controversy and Goldman’s desire to do away with disposable women, that this film ties itself in knots in order to feature a scene where Eggsy has to finger the skimpily-dressed girlfriend of a bad guy at Glastonbury in order to insert a tracker inside her. This scene, which features a close-up shot of the tracker going up inside the woman’s genitalia, made Taron Egerton so uncomfortable that he refused to film it, and is causing even more controversy than the one from the previous film.
However, if you’re a fan of Goldman’s work, there’s plenty more to look forward to. As well as the potential of a third Kingsman film, Goldman has written an adaptation of Rebecca, is working on a project with Disney, and is doing something top-secret in the Game of Thrones universe.