Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell Talk About "Old School"
by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel
In DreamWorks Pictures' "Old School," Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell star as 30-somethings who come up with an outlandish scheme to recapture some of their lost youth.
After a particularly bad breakup, Mitch (Luke Wilson) needs a new place to live and rents a choice house right next to a college campus. The idea of returning to their younger, wild and crazy days sparks a bizarre plan to turn Mitch's new residence into an off-campus fraternity house (even though none of the three is actually still in college).
Here's what the stars of the film had to say about working with one another, what it takes to go naked on film, and why "Old School" stands apart from other broad comedies:
Luke, what did you like about your character?
Will, what is your craziest USC campus memory?
Was there a lot of improv going on during filming?
LUKE WILSON: You get a good script and then when you get somebody like Todd [Phillips] who wrote it, and that helps, and that he's directing it. Then, of course, Will and Vince would come up with really good ideas so it's fun to be able to show up on the set. It's like you're blocking out a scene or trying to figure out how you're going to do it physically and where everybody is going to stand. Then, you start getting ideas. Not all the time, but a lot of times you get an idea of something to add. Especially with a comedy, you've got the clear cut goal of trying to make a scene funny. It's not like drama where you're trying to achieve some kind of emotion or trying to further the story along. You're trying to figure out what's the funniest way to do something. So then, yeah, you do end up trying to improvise.
How did you feel about the dramatic moments in the film?
LUKE WILSON: Whatever kind of movie it is, you're going to be more into it when you care more about the drama, or you'll have a better laugh if you feel like you know the people better. It is a broad comedy but we did want each character to be different and to have good backstories that could give whosever watching it a reason to be interested in them.
What would it take for each of you to streak in real life?
VINCE VAUGHN: There's not enough booze in this hotel. I think it's good with Will, too, because what I like about it is it serves the story. I like it because it's funny but it also serves the story. It's not just a shot of him being naked for the sake of being naked.
What kind of research did you do for your role?
LUKE WILSON: Honestly speaking, for me personally this isn't the kind of movie that there was much research to do. It's a comedy, I knew the guys I would be working with, the script seemed pretty clear, and it's just a case of how do we try and make it better, how do I make sure all our stories work well together.
VINCE VAUGHN: I like to do research no matter what it is you're doing because I think you bring that to the screen. I called Will and talked about how we were friends and how we knew each other. It's not necessarily anything you see in the movie, but I think the more specific you are it just affects your performance. It's not as if you're reading books necessarily but it's using your imagination. Why did my guy get involved in speakers and start his store? How did he meet his wife? Those kinds of things, for me, are always helpful. Then when improvisation happens... The ear muff scene where he swears in front of the kids, and then I tell the kid to ear muff, that all is off the cuff. But that stuff is a lot easier to do when you know who you are and your circumstances, and who your characters are.
Vince, this is a different role for you. What made you decide to do a broad comedy?
When I met Todd and saw the script I thought what was cool was that in all relationships between [the] guys and girls, the things that are discussed were universal. "Am I ready to be married? Am I not? Someone cheated on me. I'm married but am I missing out on having fun?" You take those circumstances that are universal and you make them extreme. You walk in and maybe catch your girlfriend cheating on you, but do you catch two naked people jumping out of the closet? To me, I responded to the fact that it was based in reality. I think what separates this movie, in my opinion, from a lot of big comedies that have scenes that may be effective, is you can follow and see what's at stake for the characters. That's why this particular script, and the fact that these guys are involved, made me interested in doing it.
What Makes Them Laugh, Working With Jon Favreau and Other Upcoming Projects - >Page 2