ANDERSON: My name is Anthony Anderson and I am here as Derek, an excommunicated CIA agent who has now been forced to do his duties abroad here in London. That's why I am here.
Q: Did you enjoy filming in London?
ANDERSON: This is my first time in Europe. I’ve been here a little more than two months now, and London has gotten better by the day, by the minute, by the second. London cuisine on the other hand…I’m sorry, London, but I'm going to speak the truth. I'm having a little problem with traditional English food, i.e., roasted bone marrow in parsley salad. I don't know who they got in the kitchen sucking the bone marrow out of the bone and putting it on the parsley salad – and they try to dress it up with balsamic vinegar! I don't know about that. And butter on sandwiches? I don't get that. I have asked for mayonnaise on sandwiches and they have accommodated me, but they leave the butter on. If I want a chicken sandwich, I want a chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo, not lettuce, tomato, mayo and butter. I don’t understand why people aren’t dropping dead from heart disease with all the butter. Pork pie sandwiches? What the hell is that? Just explain to me what a pork pie sandwich is. I really don't know. I don't question it, but I tell you this: I don't eat it.
Q: What is the world of Cody Banks like?
ANDERSON: The world Cody Banks lives in is a bit surreal. If you can imagine being a 17-year-old undercover CIA agent for the government who still maintains a normal life at home with a mother and father and little brother – that’s the world of Cody Banks. Imagine everybody going to grandmother’s house for summer break, but you're going to London to solve a crime with me. That’s his world, that’s the Cody Banks’ world – a bit dangerous, a bit fun, a bit exciting. You know if I was 17, I would like to live in that fantasy, just to taste it for a little bit. It seems interesting. And he always seems to get the girl. I don't. I'm an international movie star, and I never get the girl. [laughs]
Q: You have to pretend to be a chef in this film. What are your culinary skills?
ANDERSON: Well, I’m pretty nifty in the kitchen. My mother taught me how to cook, then I just sort of figured stuff out on my own by experimenting – that’s how you come up with some of the best stuff. I just have fun. I’ll give you one of my recipes: I have this wonderful stuffed chicken breast...
Q: Tell us more about your character in Agent Cody Banks 2.
ANDERSON: My character, Derek Bowman, is sort of an outcast from the CIA – condemned to the backwaters of London to pursue his career as a fake agent. I say fake because he really gets no real cases until now. Cody Banks comes to town and I become his handler/partner, and we team up to solve this big case against his ex-mentor. We have to capture him and foil his plan to take over the world.
Q: What’s fun about playing your character?
ANDERSON: The fun thing about playing Derek is that, since he is the black sheep of the CIA now, he really is his own boss. He’s not regulated to anything and he doesn’t have to answer to anyone. I just get to have fun and there are no limits to what Derek would or wouldn’t do because he abides by no laws. We get to have fun that way, which is evident by my choice of vehicle. I took a black London taxicab and I tricked it out. It’s all leather, Gucci interior, plasma screen televisions, and the best sound system in all of London. And I really have no crime to fight, so all I do is hang out.
Q: Do you have to plan very hard for a film like this?
ANDERSON: I really don’t work like that. Work really isn’t work, it’s just play for me. It’s just about going in there and having fun. This movie is a great set piece for an actor like me to just go in and completely have fun, to be a part of what’s going on and be a driving force in the film. I don’t know what I’m going to have to play with until the day we shoot it. That’s when the real magic is going to happen.
Q: What made you want to do this movie?
ANDERSON: What made it exciting is that it was going to be shot entirely on location in England. Very seldom do actors get to travel abroad to make films, so I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a sequel, it already has a built in audience, it’s a kid-friendly movie, it’s a family film, and I’m very conscious of some of the work I do sometimes with regards to my family. Can I bring my kids and sit and watch this? I’m able to do that with this film as well as a couple of other ones in the past. That’s what attracted me to it.
Q: How is it working with Frankie?
ANDERSON: Working with Frankie is fun. We have a lot of fun. That’s my buddy. Even though we’re supposed to be in the scene, we’re talking about everything but the scene. We’re talking about what we’re going to do when we get back to L.A., what we’re going to do later on tonight, then the director yells action and we’re right back in the moment. I mean, it’s just a lot of fun, and I think he’s immensely talented. I’m just happy to be a part of it with him.