Director Guy Ritchie seems comfortable in his own skin as he sits in a pricey hotel suite in Beverly Hills, full of boyish enthusiasm about his latest film Revolver, which hit US cities on Friday.
He has been married to Madonna, one of the world's leading pop singers and trendsetters, for over two decades, but Ritchie, wearing a dondescript blue shirt and dark pants, seems unimpressed by designer labels.
In an accent that still sounds more working-class London than elite private school he talked about life at home with an icon and Revolver, an existential gangster tale starring Jason Statham and Ray Liotta:
So, how's married life these days?
I enjoy it enormously. Wish I'd done it sooner.
Many people said it would never last, so what's the secret to a happy showbiz marriage?
Pretty much ignore all the stuff they say and write about you."
But Madonna just signed this huge deal reportedly worth $120 million over 10 years with concert company Live Nation. Do you ever feel your career gets overshadowed by hers?
Don't know what you mean! She's got her career and I've got mine. What can you do? She's Madonna.
The critics were pretty unkind when you remade Swept Away with her.
Were they? I thought our remake was fine It's a funny thing, as once we made the movie, I went, 'Oh yeah, that's the movie we wanted to make.' It wasn't supposed to be a big deal. It was just supposed to be a pleasant remake. And she was good in it. That's what I couldn't understand, because she was conspicuously good in it. But what can you do?"
So would you work with Madonna again?
I don't know. We don't want to stick our chins out again.
Then, who's in charge at home?
I've got to tell you, we're just like any other married couple.
So she's in charge?
Any plans to adopt more kids?
Listen, you've got to speak to the boss about that.
Your new movie, Revolver, came out two years ago in Britain, but it's just now being released in the United States. Is it true you had to re-cut it radically?
No, not radically. I took 10 minutes out, one story that simply illustrated what had happened previously, and it seemed to confuse people.
How would you describe Revolver?
Don't go and see it unless you're interested in head-tricky stuff. I wanted to take what is essentially an introspective movie and put it in a world that was not introspective -- in an underworld, in the world of cons and con (artist) tricks. The premise was that the aspects of your mind that get conned are also the aspects that will deny truth ... If you go in thinking you're getting another Snatch or something light and funny, you're going to trip up.
This is your third film with Jason Statham. Why do you like working with him so much? (The other two being Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)
I just love Jason and he got the concept, which is not an easy one to get your noggin around.
Ray Liotta does several unflattering scenes either totally nude or in nothing but his underpants or Speedos. Did you have to twist his arm to do it?
He didn't realize he'd be spending so much time like that, and you watch him slowly shed about 20 pounds of lard during the film. We did re-shoots of him in the bed, and you if watch carefully you can see him go from being marginally overweight to being incredibly trim within a few scenes. That's Ray realizing that he'd better buff up. You see the chubbier Ray change into the very svelte Ray.