Thursday, April 07, 2011

My Owen Wilson interview...

Wilson: Being 1st-time dad life-changing
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated April 04, 2011 12:00 AM 

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Owen Wilson with Hall Pass leading lady Jenna Fischer
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. — “It’s such a beautiful day,” Owen Wilson said in a sunny voice as he adjusted the blinds inside our Four Seasons hotel suite on a Sunday last Valentine’s Day two months ago before he took his designated seat in the roundtable next to his co-star, talented comedian Jason Sudeikis, during the junket for the new raunchy Warner Bros. comedy Hall Pass.

Owen had extra reasons to be happy about. He had three movies (How Do You Know, Little Fockers and Hall Pass) come out in quick succession this winter and just a few weeks before our interview, he welcomed the birth of his first son, whom he named Robert Ford Wilson.

“I am only 30 days into it, you know, so far, so good,” he responded when asked to describe how he was handling the role of a first-time dad. “It’s life-changing.”

It was quite refreshing to see Owen do press junkets again. He may only give one or two lines of answers to every question we asked him yet every journalist in the room welcomed the opportunity to finally have him in another roundtable. He publicly admitted in late 2007 that he was being treated for depression and he limited his publicity appearances until late last year.

It helped that his latest movie is a comedy from the directors of such box-office hits as There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Me, Myself & Irene,and we had a lot of funny materials to talk about.

In the movie, Owen portrays Rick, a suburban husband who is constantly caught by his wife checking out every woman that crosses his path. One day, his wife, fed up, grants him a reprieve: He gets a week of freedom to do whatever he wants, no questions asked. In short, he gets to be single again for a week, hence the title, Hall Pass.

One would think that Owen, who has never been married, would be the best resource to every married guy having this fantasy but he offered a different take on his character’s motivation. “I guess, every relationship takes work and, in a marriage, I think, guys have this idea that if they weren’t married they’d be like just crushing it out there, you know, getting all these girls and that’s not necessarily the case,” he said. “My parents have been married for a long time, I think 40 or 45 years, and I wonder if people are not getting married as much anymore,” he wondered.

But is he pro-hall pass?

“I am pro-the movie,” he jokingly replied. “America is maybe a little bit more conservative. Italy and France may have more permissive attitude towards those kinds of concepts but I don’t know.”

He is currently in a committed relationship with the mother of his son. And he added that when he was still single, he seldom used any standard pick-up line when it came to meeting women.

With co-star Jason Sudeikis: ‘My parents have been married for 45 years. People aren’t getting married as much anymore.’
Hall Pass is from the creative geniuses of the Farrelly brothers. The sibling directors are famous for their comedies that tend to be outrageous, crass and vulgar with a little bit of sweetness added to the mix. In the new comedy, audiences will not be disappointed and will most likely have their biggest laughs all year.

There’s a particular scene in the movie that Owen found the most difficult to make. The scene involves the actor and two other extras showing both their potency and shortcoming at the same time. I wish I had a better word to describe the scene without spoiling it for everyone.

The Danish journalist described it as “the big elephant in the room” when he was setting up his question. Everyone in the room was held in suspense, quietly anticipating the question until the journalist finally revealed what he wanted to know. And Owen was in stitches after. “I thought, ‘Where’s the elephant in the room?’” he said while laughing very hard.

He eventually composed himself and revealed that it was Peter Farrelly’s idea. “I don’t know how they cast that!” he exclaimed, adding while cautioning us, “I don’t know if we should give too much away. It was, kind of, a funny scene. Both of the guys were actually very nice — I don’t know if they have done quite a lot of acting but they were nervous.”

The Farrelly brothers maintained that they didn’t use any special make-up or prosthetics for that particular scene although Owen’s leading lady, Jenna Fischer of TV’s The Office, said they did.

The actress, who offered another description of the scene as two actors with “one who is more significant than the other,” told us that she finds nothing wrong with the scene. “They were prosthetics and the ladies had them in the hair and make-up trailer,” she revealed.

There are other scenes funnier than the scene being carefully described above. There’s a scene involving a not so pretty sneeze that everyone should watch for.

But for Owen, his scenes with the baby proved to be a learning experience for him. The movie was shot nearly a year before the birth of his son and he has now realized that there’s a big difference between a real-life baby and a movie baby. “Babies don’t have very well-developed neck muscles when they are born,” he said tenderly.

And since Owen is unmarried, he left it to his newlywed co-star, Jenna, who thinks that hall passes in a marriage “is a horrible idea,” to give the pre-emptive movie caveat: “I think any encouragement of infidelity in a marriage is a bad idea — but for a movie, it’s a great idea.”

Hall Pass opens nationwide on Wednesday, April 6.

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