After such smash, bromance hits like Swingers, Old School and Wedding Crashers, it's safe to say that Vince Vaughn is part of the comedy group known as Bro Pack. Like their classier, older counterparts, the Bro Pack focuses on male bonding, man caves, and slapstick, physical comedy. Reuniting with Dodgeball costar Ben Stiller, Vaughn stars this summer in The Watch, a sci-fi alien comedy about bros and aliens. While promoting the film, Vaughn sat down with Buzzine's Emmanuel Itier to share where his inspiration comes from.
Emmanuel Itier: First off, would you want to be in your own neighborhood watch?
Vince Vaughn: I haven’t been, but with this group of guys I definitely would. I think that’s what’s fun with the movie is that all the guys are all kind of likable and maybe they are guys you wouldn’t normally meet, but I think through the course of the film there’s a real friendship that’s earned, that’s kind of nice that people all kind of want.
EI: Are you afraid of an alien invasion after shooting a movie like this?
VV: Jonah was actually abducted as a child by aliens.
EI: Your character in the film is an incredibly strict dad. Your daughter is still a toddler, but do yourself being that kind of father?
VV: I don’t know, I think you try and just stay in the moment and try and enjoy what’s going on now. I love my little girl, she’s great and my wife is fantastic, so I try not to worry about things in life. You try to have fun and enjoy your moments and be encouraging with that. Always in life, if you worry about stuff, you can kind of create that. I just try to be present, cause it all goes so quickly. Not just having a baby, life. You just wake up and go, God, I can’t believe it’s ten years later.
EI: What was it like working with such a fantastic team of comedians? You all have very different comedic styles.
VV: I was always excited to work with Jonah. I remember when Superbad came out; it’s one of my favorites of all time. I think it’s such a great movie. He’s so funny in it and it was always so funny, and still I was excited to go back and work with him. Richard was a pleasant surprise to me, these guys all knew Richard but I was sort of new to him. I just thought it was such a great rhythm and dynamic to the group that was great. So honestly, it was the most fun I think I had, or at least even laughing on the set, and just had a good time.
EI: You’re also working with a group, yourself included, known for their improv skills. How much did you get to include in The Watch?
VV: This guy was a real stickler for the script. Jonah is so funny, I was saying before that he’s so f***ing funny. He normally sometimes throws things at people that people would think is a little weird, a little out there, and he will come back times ten. He will take whatever you threw out and put something even crazier, so it was fun for me to see what he was going to come up with everyday and what Ben was going to do and Richard was awesome. We shot and had a good script, and we shot what was in the script, but sometimes they just put the camera up and we would try and make each other laugh, which is always fun.
EI: Seth Rogen co-wrote this movie. Was there any thought that he would be one of the group?
VV: I don’t know. I know he was always busy doing stuff, but him and Evan write a lot of stuff together for themselves and other people. It’s really their draft that I think that excited me. That and Akiva jumping on too. I really like Akiva’s stuff, the digital stuff he did, I thought was all funny, so I was excited that he was doing it.
EI: You’ve worked with Ben so many times. Do you have any favorite movie moments together? How has that comedy relationship changed over the years?
VV: Well the thing is, he’s just really generous. I know he liked Owen in Bottle Rocket and so he started doing stuff with Owen and then myself with Swingers and I know he put Owen and Jack Black in a TV pilot years and years ago. Now Richard is a guy that really likes, and then he presents him very strongly in the submarine. He presented a submarine movie here. So I think Stiller has always been a guy that watches a lot and gives opportunities to people.
EI: Is there a specific difference in approach when you are doing a comedy vs. a drama?
VV: Yes and no. It depends, but I think you always want to try and be grounded, unless the tone causes it not to be. I think really, even with comedy, you do a lot of preparation prior to getting there thinking about stuff. So when you improvise, it’s coming from a place of preparation and character. We are not just saying stuff out of nowhere, so even something that Jonah would do in the movie would be something sort of grounded in what was the childhood for this guy to feel this particular way. You get a glimpse at seeing the mom and what the childhood was and a lot of the stuff he had was based on sort of a back story for the characters. Save for my character, the enthusiasm and the excitement about being out with some friends and having that stuff becomes more of a heightened reality for that character. That’s what he’s craving because the man cave for him is almost like the Field of Dreams. Like you build it and now they have to come over at the house. I think the same is true even with dramatic stuff, not improvising, it’s all about the preparation. It’s never about the lines as much as understanding what’s the conflict of the scene.
EI: We’ve heard from some other actors that they used comedy as a way to protect themselves or fit in more. Was that ever an issue for you growing up?
VV: I don’t know if I analyze it that much but I always had a sense of humor about myself, and could laugh about the situations, both good and bad. I think being able to laugh about stuff always makes like a little easier and more fun. I was always attracted to people that could make me laugh or could have a funny perspective on a situation. I always enjoyed that if someone had that, so sure. I think everybody you have things, growing up in life you are always going to have adversity and I think having a sense of humor about yourself and about those things about a healthy way of dealing with that stuff.
EI: I think Jack Benny said “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” I think it’s a very hard job to make people laugh. Can you comment on that?
VV: I think the difference is, in a drama, if you are being truthful at it, that’s good, you’ve won. In a comedy, you have to do that, but make people laugh on top of it. So I think that comedy can be more difficult because although you can have dramatic scenes that can call for very extreme emotions. Then you have to get to that place and be believable, but they are just different muscles and different perspectives in the way of doing it. But I would say in life, everyone, even at this table, you have a lot of different sides to yourself. But in life, you kind of get comfortable presenting one. That’s where you feel safest, where people take you the best way, and the fun thing about acting is you are forced to bring different sides to yourself and kind of get comfortable with all these kinds of different sides to yourself.
EI: What was it like for you to make a, you’ve never made a science-fiction film before and it’s very gory.
VV: I don’t know, I think it’s always fun. What I liked with the movie was that we treated the aliens kind of real. So we were seeing how Akiva kind of put together the movie, and I think there’s a fun element to the aliens. It’s a hard thing to thread tonally with this movie when you are doing comedy, and you are also having some real stakes with the aliens, and so that part of it was fun. It was fun to go and see the stuff that they were going to do, and especially more stuff afterwards cause sometimes you don’t know what it’s going to look like until afterwards. I thought Akiva did a really good job of putting together some real looking aliens.
'The Watch' is currently playing in theaters nationwide.