A married man is given a "hall pass" by his wife to have an affair. Or is it rope to hang himself? Owen Wilson talks about his new movie--a Farrelly brothers-directed comedy that is sure to raise some eyebrows.
Izumi Hasegawa: Do you think this is a chick flick?
Owen Wilson: We're making Mystic Pizza here. It beats the Traveling Sisterhood, Ya Ya...
IH: If you take away the H and P, it's "All Ass."
OW: Like if you played it backwards, there is that secret message. It's not been exposed and decoded.
IH: Do you have to explain to the audience what a hall pass or fake chow is?
OW: I think hall pass people know. Fake chow I hadn't heard before.
IH: Do you prefer movies with ensembles?
OW: It's not necessarily like a plan. I think that maybe from growing up with brothers and those kind of buddy comedies, I kind of relate to those--a lot of the humor in that. Maybe it's just what I've responded to.
IH: Was there anything you read in the script that worried you?
OW: I've known these guys for a little bit but obviously had never worked together, so I always felt comfortable--we were on the same wavelength, sense-of-humor-wise. So I didn't have that fear like, "Oh, these guys are going to be thinking something's funny that I don't think is funny." I didn't really have that fear that sometimes you have, like, "Geez, is this guy going to be on the same page...?" But then everybody has a different way of working. There were more wrap parties on this movie than normal movies.
IH: After becoming a father, did you have any moment where you realized you've grown up?
OW: I think definitely my character has that toward the end of the movie, where he's looking at the wedding picture and says to Richard Jenkins...realizes how special that was and what a good thing he has. Then Richard Jenkins remembers something else from the photo... But yeah, I guess that is a little bit of the arc of my character, that he realizes what he has.
IH: And yourself?
OW: I think so. This is my first child so that's a pretty amazing thing.
IH: When did you realize? When you saw your baby's face?
OW: I don't know that it... They're all beautiful moments, but I don't know that it made me think, "Oh, now everything is completely different."
IH: Besides Applebee's and Chili's, where would you recommend someone go on a hall pass?
OW: Olive Garden. Trader Joe's.
IH: What about to pick up dudes?
OW: Golf course.
IH: We always see you as a party animal, but in this movie, you're different. Did you enjoy it?
OW: I did. I think that one of the things they had in mind when they talked about me playing the character was having a real look for the guy. I remember my older brother, who's actually in the movie, coming to Atlanta where we filmed and just seeing me in my wardrobe and he went, "You look so bad." Just putting on the clothes made you feel like, "God, I've got no game." When you've got pleated jeans and orthopedic-type shoes, you don't feel very sexy.
IH: How much improvisation went into shooting?
OW: Everybody was really comfortable trying to come up with stuff, but it seemed like, when I read the script, I just thought it was really funny. It's nice when you're working on something that you don't feel like you're having to change and try to come up with something. This we always had a good base, and then from there you could kind of (improvise).
New Line Cinema's 'Hall Pass' is released on February 25, 2011.