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Infinite Star Sophie Cookson Dishes On The Sci-Fi Thriller And The Kingsman Franchise - Exclusive Interview

"Kingsman" fans know Sophie Cookson as Roxy, and she's dipped her toes into action waters yet again with her new film "Infinite." Similar to "Kingsman: The Secret Service," her "Infinite" character Nora is up against a man who wants to destroy the world. But that's just another Tuesday for the main characters and their past lives.

That's right: Reincarnation is the name of the game in "Infinite." Nora and her partner in crime Evan (Mark Wahlberg) are part of a centuries-long feud with Bathurst (Chiwetel Ejiofor) — whose motivations for ending the world lie in the fact that he doesn't want to live in it anymore. However, being members of the select few humans who remember their past lives, they don't have a choice. The film is a significant deviation from previous Cookson projects like "Gypsy" and "The Huntsman: Winter's War," but the film's clever premise allows for endless possibilities in the future.

During an exclusive interview, Looper spoke to Sophie Cookson, who revealed what it was like working with the "Infinite" cast, how she prepared for her character, and teased some ad-libbed moments from filming. She also delved into her time on "Kingsman," the stunts involved, and working with Colin Firth and Chris Hemsworth.

Two sides of the same coin

Your "Infinite" character, Nora, has a really great back-and-forth dynamic with Mark Wahlberg's Evan. What was it like working with Mark, and did that spitfire chemistry click right away, or did it take some time to get into the rhythm?

No, we had a lot of fun from the word "go." I think the first scene we filmed together was after she crashes through the walls and in that insane car, just driving really, really fast together and having that really quick-fire banter. And no, he was really fun, and he's such a professional, and we were constantly talking about the script and working with director Antoine Fuqua. So it was a really fun relationship that they have and reflected offscreen, as well. So yeah, it was a good laugh.

That's great. I love that Dylan O'Brien and Mark play different eras of the same character in the same film. Do you know if they had any conversations or meetings to decide how their scenes and mannerisms would cohesively flow together, even though they're not actually in a scene at the same time?

Yeah, no. I was not privy to any of those conversations, if they did happen. But funny you should mention about Dylan because I was like, "God, there are so many other great people in this film that I really wish I'd met," to him. Dylan and I passed each other on the way to training once, and the same with Chiwetel Ejiofor. But yeah, it's a really cool cast.

The unpredictable Jason Mantzoukas

Yeah, it's a really great cast. Speaking of a great cast, Jason Mantzoukas has such a unique and entertaining presence in every role that he takes on. What was the atmosphere on set like during his scenes, and did anyone break or ad-lib anything?

There was a lot of ad-libbing, definitely when Jason was around. I mean, he's hilarious. Very hard to be serious when he's about, which was quite a welcome relief because there are very heavy moments in the film, particularly for Nora. But no, he really encouraged it, a good sense of fun. It was great.

Can you remember anything specific that might've been ad-libbed?

I can't remember particulars, but it was when he's just landed the helicopter, and he's running towards the house. Antoine and I were behind the monitor, just crying with laughter because he just ... And it was something like, I think he quoted "The Wizard of Oz" at one moment. I was like, "What's going on inside his head?" Incredible.

Doing the Thanos snap

Both "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "Infinite" have Avengers-like undertones. In "Infinite," Bathurst wants to destroy the entire world for his own ends, while in "Kingsman," Valentine has similar motives to Thanos with his attempts to quell the population, to quote, "Save it." What draws you to these storylines, and how did you feel about both of those progressions and their endings?

For me, I guess I'm always looking for a challenge. And it was that Nora is such a complicated three-dimensional real person, and I hope that people identify and relate to that. She is this woman that's trying to juggle all of these balls, and keep everything going against a lot of adversity, as well. And she's incredibly emotionally raw yet has to keep this steely, tough outer layer to protect herself. I think we can all relate to that. So I think it's all about interesting, complicated characters, and Nora is most definitely that. And I think for me, it's not so much about genre, but that emotional journey that those characters go on.

Definitely, and then, how did you feel about the progressions of each of those villains and their endings?

Well, I think it's very interesting with Nora and Bathurst because they seem poles apart, him being a nihilist and her being a believer, yet they're actually quite similar in moments. She even says herself, "I understand the nothingness he longs for." And I think that's also what makes a very interesting film, when there's, at first glance, you think they're so different, but human nature is complicated. And there's a strange Venn diagram almost that happens with those characters.

The possible reincarnations of Infinite

It's great that the concept of "Infinite" allows the film to continue indefinitely, almost like "Doctor Who," because the main characters' storylines can continue in different bodies using different actors. Do you think there's room for a sequel, and what do you think that might look like?

Ooh. I think there definitely is room for a sequel. I don't quite know how you'd top the action sequences. I don't know. If it gets made, I want to watch it.

Would you be willing to appear in some capacity?

If they write to me, I will enthusiastically consider their proposal, yes.

Did you do any research on reincarnation to prepare for the role, or did you want to go in without any influence?

A little, I suppose. But for me, I mean, I was cast relatively late, and the physical challenges that were fast approaching took almost precedent. I was in the studio training all day, every day, for the weeks leading up to film. And then it was the physical training combined with just working out what is going on for her emotionally. And there were lots of other challenges, like the various languages that she speaks. So yeah, it was a combination of research and hardcore badass training.

Were you doing a lot of your own stunts?

I mean, we obviously have doubles for safety and to do the bits that are just insanely kind of patent "Matrix"-esque style fighting. But yeah, I was in there doing that.

And what are you most proud of accomplishing with the film?

Surviving it because it was so challenging. I mean, I've never done stunts like that before, and it was really, really difficult, and I learned that I could do a lot more than I imagined.

Hollywood icons

What was it like working with Colin Firth in "Kingsman"?

Colin is the loveliest man in the world. And yeah, I very much look forward to bumping into him in the future because he's so generous, so talented, and just creates a really nice calm atmosphere on set, which you need when there's so much panic going on.

You didn't have any scenes with Samuel L. Jackson, but did you get a chance to work with him at all behind the scenes or watch any of his scenes?

No, that's the problem with this filmmaking. You always get scheduled on different days, and Chiwetel and I would just pass each other in the corridor. But yeah, no, it is, it's a shame, but maybe one day. Sam and I spoke at Comic-Con, but that's not the same as getting to watch him do his magic.

What about Channing Tatum and Elton John in "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"?

Yeah. Again, that's really closed at premiers, I'm afraid — no juicy backstage stories.

The future of Roxy

Do you think there's room for Roxy to appear in any possible subsequent films? And do you know anything about the prequel movie that's set to release this year?

There is always room for Roxy to reappear. We did not see her die, so as far as I'm concerned, she's living and breathing somewhere. And yeah, no, I don't know too much about the new film, but it looks amazing. I'm very excited to see it.

What kind of work did you have to put into the stunts and action sequences for "Kingsman," and how much of that was doubles?

My "Kingsman" training kind of involved a forward roll and a slight jog on a treadmill, and that was kind of it. But all of the sections when she's in space, and flipping and spinning out, there was a lot of training for that in a device called the vomit. Was it called the ... Yeah, the vomit comet, where it just kind of spins you, and astronauts sometimes use it to train. So we spent weeks doing that, which was hell. But yeah, again, yeah, needed a stunt double for some of that.

The markswoman

"The Huntsman: Winter's War" also had an amazing cast. What was it like working on that set with Chris Hemsworth and the rest of the cast?

Yeah. I mean, so cool. Again, Chris Hemsworth is just such a nice guy. And yeah, we had a little scene that didn't make it into the film, but he's just a very warm, friendly guy, really great to be around. And days on set are long, so it's always good when you're working with nice people.

Do you have any fun stories from behind the scenes on that set?

To be honest, I mean, I was only on it a few weeks. It was more me being absolutely hopeless with a bow and arrow, I seem incredibly crippling and just the bow and arrow kind of just limping off to the side and being quite droopy, which isn't quite the cool killer instinct I was going for.

You're doing another movie with a bow and arrow, aren't you?

Oh, "Emperor," are you talking about?


Yeah. No, I actually shot that straight after the first "Kingsman" finished.

Oh, wow. A while ago, then.

Did that a long time ago, yeah. No, that was actually before "Huntsman," where my bow and arrow skills were slightly sharper then. That wasn't too bad.

Are there any franchises like Marvel or "Star Wars" that you'd like to delve into, and what kind of role would you want to play?

I never say "No" to anything. I think for me, I want to be constantly surprised by what I do next. So if those calls come my way, then I will take them.

"Infinite" is now streaming on Paramount+.