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Mathew Horne and Theo Stevenson talk father and son

Horrid Henry: The Movie
29 July 2011

As Horrid Henry: The Movie prepares for its big release, the Fan Carpet were fortunate enough to speak to two of the films leading stars. Mathew Horne, star of Gavin and Stacey and Lesbian Vampire Killers, who plays Henry’s father in the film, headed a host of successful and well-respected actors and comedians who also appear in the highly anticipated kid’s film, including stars such as Anjelica Huston and Richard E. Grant.

Alongside Horne, we spoke to the star of the show Theo Stevenson, who plays the part of Henry. They discussed both their own futures in film as well as where they believe Horrid Henry will go from here.


So, were you both fans of Horrid Henry before shooting the film?

Mathew Horne: I didn’t know about Horrid Henry really. I don’t have many friends with children but when I did start talking about it to people, I became aware of how popular it was, and it was even more exciting to be involved with something so well loved.

Theo Stevenson: Yeah I was a massive fan of the books, but I wasn’t such a massive fan of the TV show. As for the books I think I read nearly every one.


When you were reading the books did you ever imagine you would be playing Henry?

Theo Stevenson: Nope. I did think, and probably said a few times, that they should make a movie but I never thought that it would happen.

Mathew Horne: You’re living the dream.


You’re friends must be really jealous…

Theo Stevenson: I don’t know if that’s what they want to do though, I think they’re more interested and are happy for me. They all came to the premier yesterday and enjoyed it.
Mathew Horne: They’ll turn.


Do you think that due to being such a great fan of the series as a kid, it helped your understanding of the role and the film?

Theo Stevenson: Yeah I felt like I knew Henry as a best mate, I felt like I knew all about him. In the first week I was a bit nervous, but once I’d started playing the role I just got into it, and it wasn’t me, but it was easy enough, it was close enough to me.


Are you similar to Henry at all then?

Theo Stevenson: Yeah quite similar, some good days, some bad days. I strike a balance – some days I’m more like Perfect Peter.


What was it like starring alongside so many high-profile actors, such as Matt and Angelica Huston for example?

Theo Stevenson: It was really good. Every day it would be someone new on set because it’s such a big cast, but I was a bit star struck for a few of the people but I tried to stay professional.



Who were you star struck by?

Theo Stevenson: Mathew Horne, Dick and Dom and Kimberly Walsh. Dick and Dom I’ve been watching forever so I felt like I knew them and I thought that they’d know me back when I first met them because I’ve been watching them for so long.


As for you Matt, what was it like playing a Dad?

Mathew Horne: It was depressing. No it was good, it was really fun actually. It was not something I’d done before and it was quite nice to exercise my paternal instincts.


In this film, as the dad, you’re always demanding homework of Henry and in some ways your almost one of the films antagonists. Was it the first time you weren’t playing the good guy?

Mathew Horne: I think your crow barring that a little bit. I wasn’t exactly an antagonist in the film – I think the mum is perhaps a little bit more on his back. The dad is a bit more of a nice guy.


As the film is from Henry’s perspective, most of the adults, teachers or parents, are effectively the bad guys.

Mathew Horne: But not really his dad.

Theo Stevenson: You can just feel from Horrid Henry’s point of view that everything he see’s is in his perspective and he thinks that everyone is picking on him.

Mathew Horne: But he doesn’t get any goo on him or water or anything like that, you know. Leave the Dad alone guys.

Theo Stevenson: There is one scene where the dad is getting a bit irate with Horrid Henry, but he is the nicer parent.

Mathew Horne: Ok, fine.


Matt, due to playing a father in the film, did you take any tips from James Cordon, who has recently become a dad?

Mathew Horne: Nope – he’s doing a play at the moment. Anyway, he just leaves Max in the car so I’m not too sure I should take tips from him.


You’re still relatively new to cinema, in terms of the amount of films you’ve done, is this an area you would like to explore further?

Mathew Horne: I’m not particularly interested in the medium per se, but more the actual project, and… (Theo giggles) Can you be quiet? I’m trying to talk about my career… Because that’s one way to end yours.

Theo Stevenson: I know how important this is for you

Mathew Horne: Incredibly, it’s about the script and the part. I’m not so fussed about what it is.


What was it about the Horrid Henry script which drew you in?

Mathew Horne: Playing a father, doing something in 3D, the cast that was involved, the number of days I was required for and all those things. I thought it was a very neat script considering it had so much behind it, in terms of people’s knowledge of it and I thought it was really unique.


If Horrid Henry was to push on and become a film franchise, is it something you would both be interested in doing again?

Mathew Horne: I think so. Although I’m disposable.

Theo Stevenson: I’m not sure if it would go on forever, a couple of movies, that’s cool, but there are other things I can do, want to do and have a passion for.


So is this the career you want to go into then, acting?

Theo Stevenson: Yeah maybe, it depends. I’m just thinking about what’s going on now and how the first film goes down.


What sort of roles would you like to pursue in the future?

Theo Stevenson: Something different from Horrid Henry – there’s more inside me because in this film I felt like I was just being myself really, but I want to do something which shows off my acting skills.


Like what?

Theo Stevenson: Just some kind of action movie, something with guns.

Mathew Horne: That’s going to be tough to pass; a 13 year old with guns…

Theo Stevenson: Maybe I could write it.


Is there anyone you would most like to work with in the future?

Theo Stevenson: I would like to work with Matt again, definitely. I have my favourite actors and then people I would like to work with, which are quite different.

Mathew Horne: But you get that role into one with me right?

Theo Stevenson: Yeah, with Matt it’s just everything. My favourite actors are Simon Pegg, Will Smith, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn.



Back to the film – just how important do you think the visual aspects are?

Theo Stevenson: Yeah it is really important because you want everyone to see what its like through Henry’s eyes, lots of bright colours and of course, everything around him is in 3D.

Mathew Horne: I think the style of the film compliments the film itself because of the audience we are reaching for it seems sort of right for it to be in 3D, especially considering the sort of things Henry gets up to.


How far do you both see the potential in the Horrid Henry franchise in British cinema?

Theo Stevenson: I see it going really far. It’s got big potential, but he never grows up, he always stays the same age which I think is a good thing because it means lots of different generations can enjoy Horrid Henry, or maybe a film in a few years time when we’re all grown up.

Mathew Horne: It could have Will Smith and Vince Vaughn in it!

Mathew Horne Photos | Horrid Henry: the Movie Film Page