When making an action flick, there is always the chance of injury while on set – and Kick-Ass 2 was not without its share of stunts gone wrong and actor injuries:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: We were pretty much encouraged to do it all, ‘just get in there,’ ‘oh I don’t know,’ ‘no, no get in there.’
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: ‘…And if you feel like you might throw up we’ll use it.’
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: ‘Do it again!’ This is the great thing about playing these roles, there’s a bonus in it: we get to dress up as superheroes and do some amazing cool shit and I remember seeing Chloe do all of that in the first one, and me going, ‘aw man I wanna do that!’ and then for me and Chris they said, ‘Ok we’ll give you a fight scene, but you guys will slap each other.’
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: There’s this beautiful fight scene between Mother Russia and Hit-Girl and they’re so badass, then you cut to two seventeen-year-old boys wailing on each other.
Jeff Wadlow: But you guys were really going for it.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Well, there are a lot more fight sequences in this movie especially for my character. So I did a lot of fight training and a lot of MMA, boxing, jujitsu things like that. I’m telling you that gets you… properly into shape [laughter]. And then I’d go on the set and then Chloe would kick the shit outta me. So it didn’t really matter how ripped or how in shape you’d be, she would still throw me across the room.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: But yeah, we get to do some really good stuff here and you’re surrounded by an amazing stunt crew. Me and Chris would go at each other so much that they’d be like, ‘that punch needs to be a bit closer, a bit closer’ and then BOOM you punched me in the face.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: I felt terrible…
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Then I’d be like bleeding. Then I’d hit him; I mean I even got scars from the first one.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: I got a scar on the first one.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: I think that’s just cause we were so exhausted we’d end up hitting each other. I remember Tee had to do—
Chloe Grace Moretz: My stunt girl.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Chloe pretty much does absolute everything, only when it comes to Mother Russia, she kicks [Hit-Girl] half way across the room and she has to smash into something. Then they bring the stunt girl in, who when they did, she got cut.
Chloe Grace Moretz: She cracked her head open.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: They pulled her too hard and she hit the corner.
Chloe Grace Moretz: Well they used the hydraulics system where it wasn’t man-powered, it was hydraulics and it was too much and it pulled her an inch too far and she cracked her head on the bar.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Yeah she hit like the corner edge of a table.
Jeff Wadlow: Well we didn’t use too much hydraulics or cables. In the first film Hit-Girl and Big Daddy were very heightened and when they would fight they would have a heightened quality and had more of that Hong Kong vibe. When I started figuring out the movie with the stunt team, I said ‘this is about a superhero that’s spreading and real people fight, so the fighting should have a more grounded realistic vibe so when you see Aaron and Chris and other characters really going at it, it’s got a more reality-based fighting style,’ which means you had to have the actors in there more than they did in the first one.
Chloe Grace Moretz: Yea that was another thing, trying to find out how realistic can it be, Hit-Girl going head to head with Olga and how much could she fight back? How much could this little martial artist, crazy, wily little kid fight back realistically without just getting killed.
And obviously we fudged a lot of stuff, but at the end of the day you have to show the vulnerability, when she does get hit in the face when she does thrown into a glass table, you’re going, ‘This girl isn’t a superhero, she’s a 15-year-old kid!’ And that’s what I think is the coolest bit of vulnerability there.
As for the most bruise-inducing moments on the set?
Chloe Grace Moretz: The whole Mother Russia fight scene, that thing was crazy; but I think the fight scene I got most beat up on was that van. That van really, really beat me up.
Jeff Wadlow: Well you’re rolling around on an actual van – you’re on a green screen stage but it’s still real hunk of metal.
Chloe Grace Moretz: When I went home, cause of those hydraulics they had shaking the van and stuff, my whole entire ribcage was like purple and blue. I was just beat up cause they’re whipping me around and at one point they whipped too hard and I slid— I remember I slid like sideways – and I was shoved into it and I couldn’t breathe.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: I think Aaron pretty much covered mine. There was this one real big fight scene with him at the end and it was mainly just exhaustion. I was shooting a TV show in LA and I would fly back and forth from London to LA. I would literally land in London having jetlag and go straight to the set and work with Aaron.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Then he’d have to dodge punches.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: I’d have to dodge punches with fifty pounds of leather on my body. It was mainly just exhaustion and being tired. No battle wounds.
In the tradition of comic books, there is always the question of how a hero and/or villain would look on the other side of the law. The cast of Kick-Ass 2 had some tongue-and-cheek answers about how their respective characters would look “flipped” to other side of the moral divide:
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: Can I choose the damsel in distress? I’d love that. In the ’40s, in a dress? Tied to a railroad? Yea…so I can be like ‘Help me! Help me!”
Chloe Grace Moretz: I don’t know that’s a really hard question, I’d be a super villain? [turns to Jeff Wadlow] you’re the writer!
Jeff Wadlow: Yes but I have days and days to think about this stuff, I’m not supposed to improvise.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse: Would you be a villain Chloe?
Chloe Grace Moretz: Well you’re saying if all good guys are bad guys—that’d be kind of fun to be a bad guy…
Jeff Wadlow: Well we talked about Mother Russia for this dark twisted version of Hit-Girl. If Hit-Girl could grow up to be Mother Russia I think we would have gone a different way ultimately and wouldn’t have cast Olga, but there was sort of a moment where we were kind of talking about the Gina Carano’s of the world and could Mother Russia be the twisted dark version of the grown up Mindy Macready. If Mindy stayed on this dark path…
Chloe Grace Moretz: She could be really creepy.
Jeff Wadlow: We went a different way with Olga and I don’t think Dave could ever be a bad guy. Dave is too much of a good guy. He just wants to do the right thing – that’s why he has the batons opposed to the hand gun. At his core he’s just a good guy and sincerely wants to make the world a better place, not at all like Aaron. [Laughs] Just kidding: Aaron personifies Dave in many ways.