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Old School - Luke Wilson Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Clearly, the message in Old School, is that men never grow up, that we are boys forever?
A:
Well, we kind of pride ourselves on the fact that this isn't a message movie. Obviously, it's a broad comedy, but, I guess, it's one of those ideas, that men don't want to grow up, or that they are forced to grow up by society, to kind of start making a living.
So I guess that's the basic premise of the movie, is that you have these guys going for one last gasp before they have to throw in the towel and live an adult life.

Q. Do you long for the kind of freedom for fraternity days? Or were you a wild bunch yourselves?
A:
For me, it's like, I've never really had to make that decision, where it's kind of like I've had to buckle down and live an adult life. When you're an actor, a part of it is that you have to be open to the idea that you're going to be, for lack of a better word, pretending a lot, so I never really had to choose a path of going to do something that I didn't really want to do, or say to myself, 'ok, it's time to grow up'.

Q. And, Will, I suppose coming from Saturday Night Live (SNL), after seven years, that was kind of a frat-house in itself?
Will Ferrell:
Yeah, that was definitely a fun, sometimes wild, experience. I've had a lot of opportunities to continue my sustained adolescence, and that will continue tonight at The Sun party.

Q. You were a track star when you were young, so was there any chance that you could have got involved in some of the physical stuff at the end of the movie? In fact, from what I read about you, there are a number of records that you hold?
A:
[Laughs] In High School, I ran track and played football and, yeah, I still hold a few track running records. But no, I didn't do the athletic challenge at the end of the movie; Will and Vince had that handled, although I wish I could have had something I'd done.

Q. What are the best and worst parties you've ever been to?
A:
I don't know. I have friends who ask, you know, 'how are the parties in Los Angeles, they must be crazy'? But they're really not, they can be kind of boring for the most part.
I suppose, maybe, Hugh Hefner will have a party occasionally, at the Playboy Mansion, which seem like they are out of the Seventies or something, with guys like James Caan walking around, and a grotto, and shag carpet, and Playmates (not forgetting them). But I wouldn't describe that as the best party, but maybe more wild.

Q. We all admire the intensity and commitment you brought to the choreographed scene. Are you a natural dancer, as well as a good athlete?
A:
It's one of those things where it's much more fun when you read it in the script, as opposed to finishing a day of work and they say, 'ok, now guys, we have a two-hour dance class after work'. So that wasn't so fun, and I was terrible at it. The guys that played the pledges are in their early 20s and are much more hip-hop orientated than I was, so I was having trouble with it. Vince Vaughn was good, though.

Q. Is that why they stuck you at the back?
A:
Yeah. I mean, the choreographer was like, maybe you should change places. But I knew what she was doing and actually kind of appreciated it, in a way. But it was a demotion.

Q. There's a running gag in the movie about unwanted presents. So I was just wondering what the worst present and the best present you've ever given or received is?
A:
Worst present? I had a Christmas as a kid where I got four pairs of pyjamas and ended that Christmas in tears. And then there was a time where I had a girlfriend, when I was growing up, who told me that if I ever got her a CD again as a gift, she was going to murder me. And Best of... you know, the best of the Eagles, or The Rolling Stones.

Q. Which do you find more satisfying, writing or directing?
A.
Well, I'm not a writer, like the brother [laughs]. No, I'm kidding, that's a line from True West.
Owen's really the published writer but I have just finished a script that I'm going to work on, called The End of the Summer, but writing is obviously much more tough, because you have to make the time, sit down and do it.
For me, it's just one of those things where you can make the mistake of saying, 'I don't feel inspired' or have any ideas, so if I sit down I'm not going to do anything, when usually I find that when I sit down I get at least a little work done.
I have a lot of fun acting too, and something like Old School is much more fun work than maybe like a more serious role, which is more satisfying too.

Q. Old School was a big hit in the States, and with sequels to both Charlie's Angels and Legally Blonde coming out this year, do films like that give you the sort of profile to be able to take on projects you might not otherwise be able to get made?
A
: Yeah, definitely. That's how I think about it. I have fun on those movies, too, and I like getting to work with Reece, she's real smart, and the same with Cameron. I mean, it's interesting for me to work with someone like her, she's a real bona fide movie star, so I feel that I kind of have to focus in a different sort of way. And to work on a huge budget movie, with a crew of hundreds, like Charlie's Angels, is cool for me, and I learn something on every movie that I do.
But, yeah, if you do more commercial stuff like that, it can help you get something maybe that's not as mainstream made. But I would never do something just for the money, because that's no fun.

Q. Does your success and Owen's success serve as an inspiration to each other, and are you going to do Around the World in 80 Days?
A:
Thank you, for wording the question like that. Honestly, I get asked so much whether there is a competition between me and Owen. But yeah, for me, it's a tough business, not unlike others, but I wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for Owen and I've always looked up to him as a writer.
I think he's a different guy onscreen and offscreen, so I really admire him and look up to him, and we're real supportive of each other. And it's great to be able to work with family and friends, and people you're close to in Los Angeles.
As for the Around the World in 80 Days thing, that's one of those things, I think, where Owen kind of told me I was doing it. Someone mentioned to me, 'remember, you have the Wright Brothers thing to do in that movie in June'.

Q. What actually makes you who laugh and who were your comic influences when growing up?
A:
For me, it was always like, my Dad was a pretty funny guy, so whatever appealed to him. He was a huge Saturday Night Live fan and he really loved people like Bill Murray and John Belushi, and it was through him that I learned about people like Mel Brooks, and that kind of thing.
I always loved Richard Pryor; good stand-up, to me, is unbelievable and seems really tough to do...
Will Ferrell: I pretty much share a lot of the same influences. I, too, thought Luke's dad was really funny... In addition to the names he mentioned, I was also a big viewer of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, and before cable, I remember always being really excited when there was a comedian going to be a guest that night.
I can remember early Jerry Seinfeld, and Garry Shandling, and Steve Martin, he was a big influence. Today, David Letterman.


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