I want viewers of Men in Black: International to be entertained – it’s such an iconic franchise. The first three movies took you into this fantasy world of aliens, but at the same time had a lot of humour. We obviously wanted to do our own thing, but we hope that this movie retains the humour of the originals.
I can’t really say much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but we got the chance to film in some cities that the franchise hasn’t filmed in before and visited some new places. That was great.
Both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones got the balance totally right [with their respective Men in Black characters]. You have to have an air of mystery around you, because the agency is secretive, but at the same time allow the audience to buy into the heart of the character. You have to understand what the agents give up in order to be part of the agency.
It’s always great working with Tessa Thompson [on Men in Black: International and on the Marvel movies we’ve done together in the past]. With this, it was just a bit strange to be filming in suits for a change and not capes! When I think about the Thor and Avengers movies – and we have been doing them for what feels like so long now – the cast and crew feel like a little family.
[When it comes to selecting projects I take on], it really is all about if the story interests me or not. It might sound overly simple, but if the story doesn’t interest me, it’s probably not going to go anywhere. I like making movies people enjoy, and I like good stories. If I keep getting that then I will keep wanting more.
I try not to think so much about what is ahead. I learned that a few years ago. In this business you really just have to let it go and see what happens.
[In terms of grappling with fame], I am very lucky in the sense that I have managed to forge very close relationships. My family and close friends will tell me how it is – they are totally honest with me. That really helps when you feel like things can be a little crazy.
The most rewarding aspect of parenthood is just being present and seeing these little people grow up. I hope one day, when my kids are grown up and are talking about me as a father, they will say he was present, he listened, he paid attention.
I grew up around buffaloes and crocodiles, not phones and video games. Growing up in the Australian outback, I had adventures and spent most of my time outside – it shaped me and I am very proud of that.
Living in Byron Bay [south of Brisbane] was totally the right choice for our family. The residents treat us just like locals. I am fortunate that I get to film in some great locations, but I am always ready to come home.
Melbourne is one of my favourite cities, of course, as well as Rome and New York.
I always carry coconut oil [in my carry-on to survive long-haul flights]. I love to surf, spend time on the beach and hike, so my skin can take a bit of a beating. I use this stuff on my skin, my beard, my hair – I won’t travel without it.
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This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine