Comic superstar Owen Wilson plays a horndog whose wife loosens up his leash a little in the riotous new Farrelly Bros flick, “Hall Pass”. As opposed to his previous films, the Southern charmer isn’t play second fiddle to anyone but his own ripper blend of comedy.
Owen, you usually don’t do movies where you’re the only main character. You usually have a co-lead actor or you’re part of an ensemble. Do you look for scripts like that?
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.
Overheard you saying you think this is a chick flick?
Yeah, you would often say that to me that we’re making “Mystic Pizza” here. It beats the “Traveling Sisterhood” and “Ya-Ya.”
So moving on then…can you talk about having to explain to the audience what a hall pass or fake chow is in order to understand much of the humor in “Hall Pass”?
I think “hall pass” people know. “Fake chow,” I hadn’t heard before.
When you do a Farrelly Brothers movie, there will be scenes that might be offensive or compromising. Was there anything you read in the “Hall Pass” script that worried you?
I’ve kind of known you guys for a little bit, but obviously had never worked together, so it more kind of I always felt comfortable that we were kind of 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.”
So I didn’t really have that kind of fear that sometimes you have, like, “Jeez, is this guy going to be on the same page with you?” But then it always is kind of everybody has a different way of working. You’re kind of particular the way you direct. That was very specific with the way you kind of hear things. And I like that. it was good.
After becoming a father, did you have any moment where you realized you’ve grown up?
I think so. When you have your first child, that’s a pretty amazing thing. There were beautiful moments but I don’t know. There were all kinds of beautiful moments, but I don’t know if it made me think, “OK, now everything is completely different.” I don’t know if I had that.
Yeah, I think that definitely my character kind of has that, when toward the end of the movie where he’s looking at the wedding picture and … realizes how special that was and what a good thing he has … But, yeah, I guess that is kind of a little bit of the arc of my character, that he realizes what he has.
in real life, you have a reputation for being a party animal but in “Hall Pass,” you’re different — nerdier and more straight-laced. Did you enjoy playing someone who is so different?
I did. I think that one of the things that you guys had in mind when you 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 just went, “You look so bad.” Just putting on the clothes just made you feel like, “God, I’ve got no game.” When you’ve got pleated jeans and these kind of orthopedic-type shoes, you don’t feel very sexy.
How did you get to improvise?
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. We always had a good base and then from there you could kind of [improvise].
“Hall Pass” starts Thursday