Vince Vaughn Talks About "Wedding Crashers"

Vince Vaughn on "Wedding Crashers," the Script, and Embarrassing Scenes

Vince Vaughn in "Wedding Crashers". © New Line Cinema
Vince Vaughn and "Wedding Crashers:" John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) are a couple of life-long buddies who happen to love crashing weddings. Adhering to a strict set of wedding crasher rules, the two spend their weekends enjoying free food, free alcohol, and the attention of a bevy of lovely bridesmaids.

As the wedding season draws to a close, John and Jeremy worm their way into the social event of the season - the wedding of one of the daughters of the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

Everything goes according to plan until John falls hard for the beautiful bridesmaid, Claire (Rachel McAdams) - something that's definitely against the wedding crasher rules.

Vince Vaughn on His Character: “I kind of thought of always like the friend, the big lovable friend who kind of loves life. Like loves to eat, like a big kid. I just thought of myself as a big, innocent kid. I really do love weddings. Yes, I want to meet the girls and that’s exciting, but I want to go with my friend and I want to laugh and I want to go eat cake and I want to dance and I want to make the wedding fun. I want them to have a good time at the wedding. I’m not trying to ruin their wedding. I want the groom to have a good time. I like to commit in that moment like we’ve been friends forever and I’m happy for you. There’s something almost insane about it. Why does he love that feeling of creating that in his life?

But I think he’s so kind of innocent and happy, and even like how I deal with Owen [Wilson] when things go bad is like I’m mad, I want to go home, the sleepover’s over here. It’s very much like a big child and I think that they’re forgiven for some of their shortcomings because there is such an innocence and genuineness to them.

But when they’re forced to respond to some of their ill behavior, they do ultimately change and evolve. But yeah, it was more kind of that big, lovable friend and he’s just kind of like a big kid.”

Vince Vaughn’s Take on Weddings: “I do like weddings, even more so now because it’s all perspective, isn’t it? If you look at it from the good side of it, there’s something really fun, there is something optimistic - if only for that night. Even the most sarcastic people don’t really say, ‘This is never going to last.’ That night, there’s something kind of hopeful. So I like the optimism of a wedding. And the coming together of families and within one family, people who haven’t seen each other in a long time. It’s a celebration.”

Changes to the “Wedding Crashers” Script: “The writers wrote a great script and the concept was great, but me and Owen did customize a lot of the lines and do stuff. A lot of it we had done, or we would do prior to shooting. It wasn’t like we would make up the lines as we shot. We would sit and write, come up with stuff prior to shooting the scenes.”

On His Reaction to the Dinner Table Scene: “It’s one of those scenes that you don’t know. This could be really funny or this could be really not funny.

So you just have to go for it. There’s no half-assing it with a scene like that so you just have to really go for it. But you don’t know and when you’re doing something like that, you can’t look for set laughs, you can’t look to this. You would have to stay in the moment and as stupid as it sounds, just try to be as connected to that as you can. But you can’t have anything enter your mind except this is happening and then I’m in this moment.

David [Dobkin, director] did a great job of putting it together. So much of it is the editing. If it was edited differently, it could come off really poorly I’m sure.”

Does He Ever Get Embarrassed by Scenes?: “I think prior to doing them, you have self-consciousness and that’s kind of the work that you put into it. It’s like when you play a sport, which I was never very good at, but it’s an analogy anyway.

But if you play a sport and you don’t know your plays, you’re nervous. You don’t know where to go. You’re hesitant. You’re thinking, you’re in your head. But if you know what you’re supposed to do, you’re just reacting and muscle memory.

The same thing is true [with acting]. I’ve had a lot of scenes I’ve looked at on pages and go, ‘Jesus, what am I going to do here?’ But you just do so much preparation in your mind that when you get there, you’re not thinking of those things. You have to do enough work that you’re just reacting.”

PAGE 2: Vince Vaughn on Embarrassing Scenes and Pick Up Lines

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Speaking of Potentially Embarrassing Scenes…: What about the masturbation scene in “Psycho?” Vaughn responded, “That scene was really important to me. That was my idea and I always thought when people said, ‘Well, that doesn’t make any sense,’ I said, ‘Well, wait a minute…’ To me it made sense in that it’s usually the sex drive that happens that’s not controllable in that moment of those urges.

Once the release happens and you’re no longer driven physically, that you’re peaceful as far as your drive is concerned, that’s when the guilt and the regret would come in.

How many times have you slept with someone or something and afterwards go, ‘God, I shouldn’t have been sleeping with that person,’ or whatever. So for me, that made perfect sense of once that release happened, he would then transform and the guilt and the regret would come on. It’s not as strong in my mind if it’s able to stop the urge. If the urge is stronger, it overcomes it and then that kicks in, to me always made more sense.”

Playing Big, Broad Moments Mixed with Dramatic Moments: “So much of it is tone, informing the audience that the movie can go either direction. In ‘Dodgeball’ it’s very different because in ‘Dodgeball,’ I’m kind of a lead that’s the sane man in the insane world. I’m more like Dorothy in that movie.

So I’m kind of reacting to everything. And in this movie, I’m more like the tin man because I’m more like I can be a little more crazy or a little more motivated because it’s not my burden to carry the movie in a way where you see the movie through my eyes.

My favorite kind of comedy was always like ‘The Bad News Bears’ or ‘48 Hours’ because comedy really comes out of awkwardness or pain, or things that are uncomfortable so it feels good to laugh.

My favorite thing in ‘Swingers’ is when Jon Favreau makes that phone call over and over because you know what it feels like. It’s painful, but it also makes you laugh. So I think even in a movie like this, it’s a fine line between tension and laughing at it or feeling kind of awkward.”

Will Vaughn Still Be a Party Animal Into His 60s and 70s?: “If there’s a God, let’s hope so. I don't know. What I liked about this, my favorite scene or one of my favorite scenes, is that scene at the Lincoln Memorial with the guys realizing we’re getting older. We’re not in our mid-20s, we’re in our mid-30s and it’s not really the same. So that was something for me, those kind of moments that then get real. I think something works in that, me and Owen are older and have played these personas younger, that it works in that moment. Our screen history helps us there.”

Vince Vaughn and Pick-Up Lines He’s Actually Used: “We were much geekier than that in that when I would go out with my friends and stuff, you’d kind of get bored sometimes so you’d say, ‘Well, let’s give each other lines that you have to say,’ like raise the degree of difficulty. You have to say these lines and you can’t back off of them. You can’t be like, ‘Oh, my friend made me say that line.’ You have to own it as if that’s who you are.

We’re talking, ‘Excuse me if I appear to be squinting but I was up really late last night painting miniature elves. I love being in this room.’ You’re just kind of like, ‘What?!’ Or, what are some other ones we would say? ‘You know, sometimes when I’m out in public and there’s a lot of people around, I get really nervous and tense, I just picture myself swimming with dolphins and I start to calm down and relax.’ Just really kind of odd things and you’d be surprised sometimes like, ‘What? What does that mean?’ and sometimes they’re like, ‘Totally.’”

A Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau True Pickup Story: “When I was younger, we would go out and sometimes, there’s a couple occasions me and Favreau would even full on play - we were more like comedy, you know, geeks, so we’d go out and play characters sometimes just to make ourselves laugh.

Here’s [a story] that was interesting. Me and Favreau went out one time. Me and Favreau never got girls together really. One time we both picked up girls together. Separately, we got girls but together it never really worked out for us. It was jokes, jokes, jokes. One time we played this thing and I was playing it like I was really sensitive and I want to be in relationship. He played it to the extreme that he doesn’t care about relationships. He’s a sex addict, he wants to have sex, he wants to have sex, he wants to have sex. We’d talk, I’d be like, ‘You’re such an animal. I can’t believe you would sleep with that girl.’ He’s like, ‘Well, what about you? All you want to do is hold her and comb her hair.’ ‘Because I respect her, because I respect her.’ And the girls were more drawn to his character. They liked that guy more. They liked the guy that was more kind of like just like whatever.”

PAGE 3: Vince Vaughn on R Rated Comedies and "The Break Up"

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Vince Vaughn on Starring in an ‘R’ Rated Comedy: “It’s good to be in one, man. I tell you, it’s like I grew up, I loved these rated R comedies like ‘Animal House’ and this stuff. So for me, if you’re going to do an adult-themed movie called ‘Wedding Crashers,’ well, what are you going to do? You gotta get into it and it’s fun to get into it.

There’s a lot of pressure not to make rated R movies and if you do make rated R movies, there’s a pressure to be shocking just for shock’s sake.

And we don’t want to do that either. I don’t want to try to out gross everybody. That’s not my style. I don’t want to go and just be shocking to see if I get a response. If it makes sense within the course of the film, then it’s great. So this movie wants to be R for language and also for like the dinner table scene, and the tying up scene and that kind of stuff. I think you’d just have a glass of milk if you didn’t have that stuff in the movie.”

Vince Vaughn on His Return to Comedy: “I’ve never planned stuff. Even when I broke from ‘Swingers,’ I was offered mainly comedies but I just didn’t like any of them. None of them made me laugh. It just wasn’t my taste, so I liked ‘Return to Paradise’ and I liked those movies and I wanted to do those movies. And then ‘Old School’ came along and I thought it was funny. And then I realized from the studios that they didn’t think I was good at comedy.

They didn’t remember that I did comedy. There was a hard time for me to get a chance to do comedy. And now it’s like I’m getting offered a lot of comedies, but it was never kind of a planned thing.

[Next up] is a romantic comedy for me, so I like to change it up and do different stuff to stay motivated and to grow and to keep working.”

On His Upcoming Romantic Comedy: “It’s a comedy called ‘The Break Up.’ All the romantic comedy scripts that you get always have a really dumb concept for some reason. It’s like if you marry her, you get a million dollars. Or hey, I know, I’ll do a report in my magazine on the dating habits of New Yorkers. Or something insane. There’s always a concept.

I kind of like the movie ‘The Odd Couple’ so I thought why not do a movie called ‘The Break Up’ where it’s kind of a buddy film. But this is more of a traditional romantic comedy where you have a couple that bought a condo together, they split the mortgage, it takes both of their jobs to pay for it, they’re not married and they break up and they’re kind of stuck in this place together, both wanting to get out but what happens? Not boy meets girl or whatever. I want to come out like around Valentine’s Day because I always hate Valentine’s Day. Any guy hates Valentine’s Day. Even if you’re in love, you can’t win on Valentine’s Day. If you’re married, you can’t win on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is like the thing you want to avoid at all costs. If you’ve been dating for two months, what do you get him? Do you get him something? What does that mean?

So I want to come out like, ‘This Valentine’s Day, The Break Up.’”

Vince Vaughn on His “The Break Up” Co-Star, Jennifer Aniston: “She’s great. She’s funny.

One of the things, too, I liked in this movie was a lot of times in these comedies, girls are stuck laughing at what the guy says, whether the guy’s funny or not. But Isla [Fisher’s] funny as hell in this movie and my character’s like the crazy, zany character, but by default I become the straight man when I’m in scenes with her. And she kind of becomes the comic relief and I’m the guy kind of going, ‘This guy’s normal, she’s off the hook.’ And I kind of liked that she got to be really comedic and driving and be really funny with it.

Same in ‘The Break Up.’ Jennifer gets to be really funny. She is really funny and she’s also a good actor.

Favreau’s going to be in the movie playing my best friend. Vincent D’Onofrio plays my older brother. Cole Hauser plays my younger brother. John Michael Higgins - very good actors in the movie - plays her brother, Jennifer’s brother. Justin Long from ‘Dodgeball’ is in the movie. Jason Bateman is in the movie.”

Vince Vaughn on Working on “Mr and Mrs Smith” for Director Doug Liman: “Doug did ‘Swingers’ and he called me and asked me. He kind of wrote me in. He said, ‘Will you do a cameo in this movie?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ And then he said, ‘Well, will you do a couple more days?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ Next thing I know, I’m in the trailer for the thing. I don’t even take billing on the movie because I kind of wanted to be a fun surprise for everyone.

But I really like Doug. I respect Doug as a filmmaker. Doug has a way of making a movie work. He’s not someone who’s always understood in his journey by people, but he’s four for four in my opinion. He does have an intelligence there that is not conveyable in a traditional way but [he’s] effective. I felt very confident that the movie would be worthwhile. And I like Brad [Pitt] and I like Angelina [Jolie’s] work and for me it was fun to go and get to play around. I got to write a lot of the scenes I did in that movie.”