WATCH: 'Johnny English' actor, director on the new sequel

October 29, 2018 - 5:49 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Johnny English is back.

The bumbling Brit secret agent, played by Rowan Atkinson, returns in the franchise’s third installment, “Johnny English Strikes Again.”

Newcomers to the franchise include director David Kerr and actor Jake Lacy, who plays the film’s villain, American tech titan Jason Volta.

“As far as coming into something somewhat established, it’s really all new for me,” Lacy tells 1010 WINS’ Kyle McMorrow. “I was certainly aware of Rowan’s work and certainly aware of Johnny English as a character in a franchise, but it’s an entirely new story for me and I don’t have any of that joy or pressure associated with it, other than telling this individual story.”

Kerr said of joining the franchise, “In some ways it’s fantastic because people know what the architecture of the world is. He’s a spy and he’s an idiot, so you don’t need to establish that! You got that.”

Kerr continued, “Chances are people are coming back because they liked what they saw the first time and second time. So it’s wonderful to bring something new to people who already have an affiliation with it.”

Of working with Atkinson, Kerr said, “I grew up a huge fan of Rowan’s work … I think what you discover about Rowan is he’s a very serious guy and he’s really serious about comedy. He’s very thoughtful. He’s an intellectual. He’s meticulous. He’s a perfectionist … There isn’t anyone I know who can move the muscles in his face quite the way he can. He’s a full body actor.”

Lacy said his character is very relatable, given current events.

“As far as being an American tech villain … it applies to today, like what’s up Facebook? What are you doing? Not so much that they are villainous, but there’s a huge responsibility that comes with that much data knowledge and if you choose to use it in the wrong way, you then you wind up with Jason Volta. If you chose to use it in another way, hopefully, you avoid that crisis.”

Kerr said he believes the over-reaching nature of tech giants like Facebook is a concern.

“I think it’s a very real concern,” he said. “I also think we also got a generation of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who really don’t understand how those big tech companies work. You only have to look at the likes of a Mark Zuckerberg being questioned by people in the Senate or in the House of Commons in the U.K. These guys do not know of what they speak.”