Seeing Antonio Banderas as Never Before: A Conversation with Filmmaker Simon West for the release of GUN SHY | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Seeing Antonio Banderas as Never Before: A Conversation with Filmmaker Simon West for the release of GUN SHY

15 January 2018

See Antonio Banderas as you've never seen him before. A glam rock star complete with wig, strutting his stuff and punching out rock tracks as this unlikely action hero sets out on a quest to rescue his super model wife Sheila, played by Olga Kurylenko. While on holiday in chile, his wife is mysteriously abducted by a group of renegade, ship-less pirates. With little assistance from local authorities Turk is forced to embark on a mission to rescue his wife using life skills better suited to playing bass, playing the field, and partying. He is forced to navigate through deadly jungles and take on ruthless bandits in this truly hilarious, action-packed romp. From director Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2), writer Toby Davies (That Mitchell and Webb Look, Murder in Successville) and starring Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion, Seven Psychopaths), Ben Cura (Marcella), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Antonio Banderas (Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Expendables 3) and David Mitchell (That Mitchell & Webb Look, Peep Show, Upstart Crow).

In our interview, Simon West tells The Fan Carpet’s Marc Jason Ali how he got started, what made Antonio and Olga perfect for Gun Shy and who aspires him...


If we go back to the beginning was there a defining moment for you to get into the film industry?

I don’t know it was so long ago, I suppose I wanted to since I was about 12 years old so I think it was seeing films on TV and at the cinema, you know, things like Bond films which where the only really sort of spectacular and certainly the only British films of the time and so it was just sitting in cinemas watching lots of films and on TV even more films and I then just tried as hard as I could any which way to get in and I actually ended up going through the BBC film training programme and that’s how I did it.


Obviously you’re known for a many number of great films from Con Air to The Expendables 2, well the last time I saw you was at the Stratton premiere. What can you tell us about Gun Shy and what enticed you to get involved?

Gun Shy is a little different, more comedic although I think there was certainly a lot of comedy in Con Air and The Expendables 2, it’s more of a balls out comedy really. It’s about a burnt our rock star who goes on holiday with his supermodel wife and she gets kidnapped by inept pirates and has to work out how to rescue her even though he’s never tied his own shoe lace.

So he’s a mixture of sort of Ozzy Osbourne and Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler all mixed into one sort of trying to be a bit of a hero, a bit of sort of action hero but failing miserably but having a good time on the way. And I read the book literally about nine years ago now and I called the author up and I said….I knew it was going to be a kind of quirky story so it wouldn’t be a studio funded film, so I said “would you give me the rights to the book bearing in mind I’m going to do it very small budget as a sort of passion project” and eventually he agreed to give me the rights for….and he said “well why don’t you get me a really good bottle of tequila and you can have the rights to the film” and he also threw in the first draft of the screenplay because he was also a screenplay writer, so I think he thought I’d probably get around to making it in six months or a year so that bottle of tequila wouldn’t be such a bad deal, but it, of course, ended up taking me nine years before I finally got round to shooting it.


You’ve assembled a brilliant cast for Gun Shy with Antonio Banderas and Olga Kurylenko, what was it about that made them the perfect fit for the roles?

Well I’ve known Antonio for quite a while and I know he’s played all sorts of roles, he's a bit of a chameleon, but he really is quite a good musician and we where chatting and where chatting about another project and I brought up Gun Shy and he’s all “that sounds great I love the idea of that because I’ve known a lot of rockstars living in LA so I just know exactly how those guys are and how to play it” so I said “great”, so I adapted the script to be more about someone like Antonio which has this sort of Hispanic/Latino background to make it fit his persona.

And really we’ve been looking around for his ex-supermodel wife, you know I wanted someone who wasn’t just necessarily taking a risk on a model or a supermodel or someone like that but someone whose actually done some great acting work but has also crossed over a bit into the modelling world and Olga has that and she’s sort of exotic, she’s Russian but grew up half her life in France and she’s modelled but she’s also been in some very dramatic films and done some great roles, she’s not afraid to look ugly, she’s not afraid to go for it emotionally and she seemed to fit it perfectly it’s that combination of kind of, you know, stunningly beautiful but also willing to do the comedy, so they seemed like the perfect match to me.


Wonderful, yeah she’s brilliant and so is he even in voice work like with Puss in Boots he’s brilliant. Obviously you’ve done a lot of action films, do you have a preferred genre and do you have any favourite films?

Well funnily enough my favourite genre is science fiction, sci-fi, which is strange because I’ve never actually made one yet, but I’m sort of in the process of developing a couple of sci-fi ideas. But that funnily enough that’s sort of the film I sit down and watch or a really good drama, I don’t tend to watch action films because I’ve made a few and it’s sort of like going to work watching them, so I try to watch films that have nothing to do with the type of films that I make, I watch a lot of romantic comedies, sci-fi, things like that just to sort of get away from the action genre.






Gun Shy Film Page

Gun Shy is available in the UK across all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon, BT, Google Play, Microsoft Store, Sky Store, Sony PlayStation Store, Virgin Movies

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