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Wedding Crashers - Vince Vaughn interview



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. So how was the bed scene for you?
Vince Vaughn?
Yeah it was fine. You're just tied up and you've got nowhere to go. It was living the dream! No one told me I was going to be filming in heaven that day.

Q. Obviously, you seem to get a kick out of working with Owen....
Vince:
To me Owen Wilson is big dollar sign. You can talk about love all you want, but when I look at this guy all I see is a dollar sign. I said Owen, 'here's how it's going to work, amigo, I'm going to say something stupid, you're going to roll your eyes, step on your toe and the guy in the glasses is gonna yell 'cut'. I do not want to be late for the God damn Lakers game!

Q. Was there a great deal of ad-libbing going on?
Vince:
It seems that since time has passed it depends on who you ask. The fact of the matter is very simple, we actually went through and re-wrote a lot of our scenes. I re-wrote a lot of the scenes that were for me and Isla as well, like the whole imaginary friends and stuff like that was something I came up with. We sort of went through ahd changed the lines so when we actually performed it there wasn't as much improvising at the time but it was stuff that we came up with that we thought would serve the scene better.
Then from scene to scene we would change lines to keep it fresh, but most of the stuff we came up with prior to shooting.

Q. Isla's character is pretty scary for a man to face....
Vince:
Eye of the beholder, brother, eye of the beholder.

Q. Did you have any comparable first dates?
Vince:
Nothing comparable to that, no. But it was a lot of fun for me because Isla is very funny and also a good actress, so it was nice to go and do a good scene and then by default, given the characters, to be the sort of one that's reacting to stuff. It kind of gave the movie sort of a flow.
The movie is sort of an interesting animal in that it's a traditional buddy comedy between Owen and myself, but then he has a love story with Rachel and Isla and myself have one. So it's kind of fun that you have a bunch of different stories that are all kind of working in different ways. But I really enjoyed doing the scenes the way we did it because it did a good job of misleading you the way the relationship was going to go.

Owen: It was funny when I first read the script how much Isla's character seemed to change. That character became a lot more loveable from the first script that I read.
Vince: The first script it was sort of that Rachel and Bradley's character get married at the end and we're sort of an obstacle and that was it. Then I had the idea of saying 'well what happens if these two people ended up in a different circumstance and that becomes the plot twist'?
So I think it really made our relationship and Isla's character mean a lot more to the movie and it was a smarter way of handling the turn, as opposed to just having 'here's the crazy person with no sort of arc to it'.

Q. You seemed to relish the chance to dance in this? Any problems?
Vince:
I think it was Winston Churchill who said 'never trust a man who dances'. Was that him, or was that someone else? It always served me well whoever said it when I didn't want to dance. But I think it's fun to dance, I like that kind of dancing. I really like the kind of dancing that's kind of like friction and fantasy dancing, too, but I do like ballroom dancing.
We took classes for the movie and sort of what makes it look so effortless is the hard work we put into it prior to shooting [laughs].

Q. With Old School as well to your name, is there a musical in your future?
Vince:
Thank you for asking. There is a musical that me and Owen are working on right now. We play two rodeo clowns who leave the rodeo and become two life-guards at a park district pool outside of Chicago where we befriend a young Filipino boy who has an outer belly button and teach him what it's like to get along with the other kids that summer. It's called Mr Sunshine and Owen plays Mr Sunshine [much laughter].

Q. We keep hearing the term 'fratpack'. Is this a handy media term or do you tend to hang out a lot with people like Will Ferrell and Jack Black? Do you think you could be the 21st Century answer to the Rat Pack?
Owen:
I've seen that written in some places. I think the way it works is that when you're casting a movie usually you try to work with people that you believe in. There's sort of a couple of people who work together and there's been some overlap, but it's less sort of a sinister plan and more about wanting to bet on somebody that you believe can be funny. So I think that's the way it's sort of happened a lot.
Vince: I've always found it odd. I've never even done a scene with Jack Black. I think that if there's any kind of common denominator it's Ben Stiller who sort of hired people for different stuff and looked to do stuff with people. That was how people initially overlapped.
Even with Owen, this was the first chance we really had an opportunity to do stuff together. I did a non-speaking cameo in Zoolander and we were never on-screen together; then in Starsky we had a little bit to do...
Owen: Just a taste...
Vince: Just a pink spoon, not the whole Sundae.

Q. Presumably for all of you guys because of the chemistry of friends that exists off-screen, presumably if an offer came along for a cameo you'd be more likely to have a look at it?
Vince:
Yeah, I guess so. I obviously had done something for Will and then he returned the favour of this. I find him funny; I don't think that there's anyone more funny than Will is and I like Ben's stuff a lot. So yeah, definitely, I'm a fan of them but there's not a real consciousness of going 'ok, we're kind of a group of people that are planning on doing stuff togeher'.

Q. So no one gets upset if they're not included?
Vince:
I don't think so. I think people kind of prefer not being asked because a friend in need is a pest and so you'd rather not have to go and do a cameo.

Q. What can you tell us about the project you've got going with David O Russell which sounds like it's a bit more commercial than we're used to seeing from him?
Vince:
Yeah, David O Russell has a movie that's interesting, that's still being written. I've talked to him about it and it seems like an interesting idea but there's nothing set for sure in the screenplay.
I guess it's kind of more of a commercial project but it's still very sort of David O Russell. I don't think it's going to be something that's not with his signature on. I hope, obviously, that people see it and like it but I don't really know how commercial it will or will not be.

Q. Did he write it for you?
Vince:
It was an idea that he had prior to me and then I think he sort of personalised it as I talked to him about what I wanted to do. So it's becoming more specific. I play a 1960s gym teacher and I work with a bunch of schoolgirls who are tired of laughing at what the boys say and want to make some jokes of their own. [Laughs]

Q. The lines that you use to girls are pretty outlandish...
Vince:
You've heard worse and do not lie to me!

Q. Have you ever used such stories to encourage girls?
Owen:
Not so much lying the way our characters do.
Vince: Someone's stolen the stars and put them all in your eyes! Your legs must be exhausted... from running through my dreams all night!
Owen: We had a lot to draw on.

Q. We've established that the term 'fratpack' is a bit gramatically unstable but in so far as there are a bunch of you who twist in and out of each other's movies, have we established which one of these dollar signs is the alpha male?
Vince:
Not really, no. I think everyone is the alpha male in their own mind, their own universe.
For me, I sort of started with Favreau with Swingers and Made, which were more character-driven movies.
Owen did a lot of stuff with Wes. So I was always excited to work with Owen. Not only did I think he was funny but I also thought he was a very good actor. And when you talk about all of the improv and other stuff, really it's a tribute to David Dobkin - a lot of the movies that you see don't have the freshness or feeling of spontaneity that it's unfolding before your eyes. It's really a compliment to David's security to make it collaborative and to encourage that type of collaboration between all the actors involved.
I think that's what separates Crashers from a lot of these other movies. I don't think Wedding Crashers is comparable to even other studio films that I have been in. Wedding Crashers, to me, is the most like the Wes movies or the Favreau films, where it's very character-driven and the characters go on a journey. Your're rooting for the characters. You're emotionally involved with them. The jokes play funny because you kind of feel awkward in the circumstances that they do.
A lot of the other comedies you're looking at are more sketch-driven comedies where each scene tries to bigger or crazier than the next scene. This movie takes flawed characters and moves them by the end of the movie just a little bit.
What I like is that your true protagonist, which is Owen's character, you don't define his life forever by saying it's happily ever after, or it's this or that, which a lot of these other comedies do, it just says don't marry him and let's see what happens. It's more just the potential. It's much more of a 60s or 70s minimalist character film that carries the comedy.
So this is incomparable to Anchorman, which I was happy to be in and had fun doing, this is much more the attitude of take it seriously the relationship with Rachel and Owen. You invest in it in a real way. So they're all so different from each other, it's really hard to compare them except that there have been times where we've crossed over and done stuff.

Q. You're all very talented at comedy, how do you know when you're creating a line that you're getting it right?
Vince:
Like 'you're so money baby?' or 'earmuffs'?

Q. Do you test in front of the mirror?
Owen:
Well what worked on this movie is that maybe you'd come up with something, you're talking about improvising stuff, so you'd run it by David and see if you could get him to laugh, or go over to Vince's trailer and see what he thought of it. Sometimes you'd just try to spring it and either the crew would be into it.
But that's like the best feeling as an actor that I could hope for is that you kind of feel that it's loose enough that you can try stuff. I've been lucky that people are usually pretty open to trying things.

Q. Has dating been a nightmare since your initial success in the movie business?
Vince:
I find dating girls is easier once you've opened a movie. It helps picking up women if you've been on the cover of some magazines and been in some movies that have been seen by people. Girls seem to be kind of charmed by it.
Owen: I guess some days I like to kid myself that gosh I guess girls are able to see what a nice guy I am. They were never able to see what a nice guy I am when I was 23. Then I got this cynical guy going 'don't kid yourself, Owen, you're not any better looking than you were at 23'.
Vince: So let's put on some sweat pants and let's go down to the stripclub!

Q. Do you have favourites of the characters you play in different movies?
Vince:
Owen, can we see him, does Hutch want to come out right now?
Owen: I'm a little shy. The little Filipino boy in Mr Sunshine.
Vince: Is Hutch there, does he want to come out and talk to everyone?
Owen: Hutch is very shy right now. Probably my favourite movie would be the first movie I worked on because that was the one that was the hardest to get made and it test screened worse than any movie in Sony's history and stuff. So that was the most important one to.

Q. Have you ever been standing there and been lost for an answer?
Vince: Plenty of times, sure. But then you just sort of, like a doll who you pull the string on, you have four or five things that you say, like helping the Filipino kid...
There's lots of times, especially when you do stuff like this. You're just so tired sometimes. I quite enjoy doing a press conference like this. I think there's a better energy in the room and your answering questions.
When you're doing a series of interviews that are one after the other and each outlet wants to have their own person on camera with you, but the questions are exactly the same, as you get to number 25 or 30, you feel like you're giving a bad performance or something. It's the exact same answer but you've said it 20 times, so you try to make out like it's the first time you've said it, or you're trying to think of something new to say and you really just kind of fry out and really don't have any kind of perspective. I mean you just get exhausted.

Wedding Crashers review

The fratpack analysed - special feature

Owen Wilson interview

Isla Fisher/David Dobkin interview

 

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