A chilly reception
Local hero Vince Vaughn scores in The Wedding Crashers. You'd think that might warm a guy up a little bit.
A conversation with Vince Vaughn raises deep questions about the nature of happiness.
Only part of this philosophical dilemma is provoked by the actor, who stars in The Wedding Crashers, a raunchy comedy about guys who pick up women at weddings. The true inquiry begins with an e-mailed directive from the studio arranging a daylong package of interviews with Vaughn.
Vaughn's publicists warn that the actor will brook no questions about Jennifer Aniston, the costar of his next film, The Break Up. He will, however, address the general topic of shooting a film in Chicago, which is what he is doing this month. Creating "an awkward moment" or "upsetting" the actor is expressly forbidden. ("Thanks for understanding. He is coming back to his hometown so we want him to be as happy as possible.") While Vaughn gave no indication that he'd be easily rattled, he wasn't particularly delighted, either. Why? Only he knows.
Time Out Chicago: How has your mood been, returning to your hometown? Happy enough to be back?
Vince Vaughn: [Covering his mouth with his hand] I've been back, on and off, a couple of months now and it's been good.
TOC: I'm sorry, it's very difficult to hear you from over here. Could you not—
VV: [Removes his hand from his mouth] Sorry. Is that better?
TOC: Thank you. Before you were a film actor, you were a child actor. What was your first role?
VV: South Pacific. I was in a children's theater group when I was seven years old. I'd joined the cast late, so I didn't get to audition. I just got to be in the chorus, so I got to sing, you know, the sailor song ["There is Nothing Like a Dame"]. I didn't have a good voice, so I tried to Yul Brynner it. As I got older I developed an okay voice. In Annie, I was Daddy Warbucks when I was maybe ten, and the girl playing Annie was 12 and she was towering over me. It was so much fun.
TOC: Do you believe, as your Wedding Crasher character does, that weddings are like catnip to women?
VV: There's just something kind of optimistic for both sexes. People want to believe, if only for one night, maybe it is true love. There's romance and celebration and people you know. There's a safety there. And the food and the drink and the music. Why not?
TOC: Describe the best time you've ever had at a wedding.
VV: My older sister Valerie's. It was at my house in Los Angeles, just our families and her husband's family, and it was great. The worst time, I wouldn't want to say. That'd be embarrassing.
TOC: Awkward, even. Would it be safer to talk about bachelor parties?
VV: Oh, I've been to so many of those. You know it gets kind of tired, having guys hire strippers two weeks before they're getting married forever. It's not my thing at all. At bachelor parties, I always find myself hitting the blackjack tables and trying to win some money.
TOC: "Money"—Do you mind people quoting your lines from Swingers, Old School and Dodgeball back at you?
VV: Sure, they're funny lines. It happens all the time. Especially Swingers and Old School. It doesn't bother me.
TOC: How do you feel about being the subject of tabloid and paparazzi interest?
VV: How do I feel about that? It's not something I follow. I am not really disturbed by it. That's not really a concern of mine.
Vaughn's publicist:We're going to have to wrap it up now. One more question.
TOC: How has it been making a film on location in Chicago?
VV: I've been surprised how easy it's been, how well it's been going, even in some very public places with lots of people around. We've been doing scenes in the middle of the street, and nobody will honk their horns and ruin takes. They'll just wave, which is cool. One thing Chicago still has is great people. I am from the Midwest, and Chicago is one of the few places where you can ask for directions and people will actually tell you.
TOC: Can you actually make balloon animals, as you do in Wedding Crashers?
VV: No, I'm afraid not. That's a little out of my league. We had a magician on the set who did those.