MD = Michael Dequina; Q = Other press; VV = Vince Vaughn
Q: We have a message from Peter [Falk]. Peter says we should get rid of you fast.
VV: He's a smart, smart man.
Q: He says you've been taunting him.
VV: Everyone wants to treat him, you know what I mean, on a little [pedestal]. I gotta rough him up a little bit.
Q: Well, he is the king, you know.
VV: You kidding? Of course! I love him.
Q: That's so sweet.
VV: He touches my heart; I love him. I really do; I just love him.
[VV grabs copy of the soundtrack]
Q: That's a great soundtrack.
VV: I really like it. I think it's good for what it is. Itís so hard to make these soundtracks. Like the Swingers soundtrack, how do you put a Dean Martin song on with DJ Quik? How do you have George Jones and an Average White Band? But from our generation itís like you just listen to just about whatever you like; you donít really have a category, you know what I mean? That soundtrack was such a pain in the ass, and people said, "Blah blah blah" [gags] and this thing here too, at first they were like, ďWell, you know, I donít think that an eclectic soundtrack will sell. You should really pick one thing to go for, you know?Ē But we said, ďWeíve got to start with Dean Martin because itís supposed to be a mob movie and [to] set peopleís expectations and then go to [the] reality of sort of what it is. So itís gotta be hip hop there in New York City...Ē and all of that. We kind of make a soundtrack in the way of what we think makes sense for the backdrop and also kind of stuff that we like.
Q: Do you think that record producers and movie producers think that audiences are a lot stupider than they are? O Brother [Where Art Thou?] is a huge hit now; that's not exactly a soundtrack that you would think mainstream audiences would get into, and everybody seems to be into it.
VV: I donít really have a flag to wave for any type of filmmaking, but I think thereís good films, and thereís a lot of really bad small movies made, but you just donít see them because itís not really worth it to chase the money. So it's not just because you "do something." Sometimes people, what they want to talk about or think is important is really indulgent, and itís like you donít even give a shit about what theyíre thing is, you know what I mean? But yes, thereís a certain feel to sort of appeal to everybody, and I think you donít appeal to anybody. I think all I struggle to do, [and] I think Jon struggles to do with Swingers and with [Made], is just be really truthful and tell the story youíre telling. He didnít pick swing music because it was popular at the time. People were like, "Whoís Big Bad Voodoo Daddy?" and "No one gives a shit about swing music"; "Why donít you make it a rock or a grunge scene or a hip hop scene?" But it didnít really fit these characters; they're different than that. Or "No one's gonna understand an area code joke outside of L.A."--but that would be cool because... me, Iím from Illinois. Iíll roll with it; I can get it; whatever. Itís more interesting the more specific it is. But thereís just a need to try to appeal to such a wide base that really kind of, I think, cheats people out of kind of the fun of what it is to go [there]. And Fav was so smart; he put so many little clever things in, like with Swingers, with the references to other independent films, and the way these guys see themselves and how they actually are. And in this movie, Grandmaster Flash is really the guy spinning the record in the club. He doesnít have the long shot of it--itís just quick because it is what it is, and "DOUBLEDN11" on the license plate. Just these very specific [things]; heís very much a detail guy.
Q: I just read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius--Dave Eggers' book--and in it they talk about how people in Lake Forest, when they have nothing else to talk about, talk about your career. Do you know Dave Eggers?
VV: Slow town.
VV: Yeah, I just saw Dave Eggers, actually, two weekends ago. I went up and stayed with him for about three days. I love Dave; a lot of character. What heís been through and how heís handled it--you only know if youíre put in that position in your life. Heís just a hell of a guy. Whatís unfortunate mostly to me is hereís a guy who does his thing and deals with it his way, and this is his medium as to express and deal with stuff that comes in his life--writing--and sort of embrace people and say, "Interesting, interesting," and inevitably thereís gotta be a thing where people gotta say, "Well, this, this, this, this. I just think itís a shame." I think peopleís energy would be so much better served kinda doing their own thing versus feeling a need to comment on something that they donít even know.
Q: With this movie, did you have to approach your character a lot differently than the Swingers character?
VV: Yeah. You know, Swingers was a different responsibility in that [in] Swingers, I had to make you believe that the girls would respond to me. So I had to be--although what I was saying was outrageous, I had to be kind of charming and [have] a fun energy with it. So whatever I said didnít really matter; it was more like "What a great time to be around." But [I] ultimately [had to] be pathetic, be someone who is misfocused, gets smoked in the end with the baby, and realizes that what his commitment is to is absolutely frickin' ridiculous and [that] heís kind of a geek. You know, I always thought that Trent was funny but never really cool. I never thought anyone was cool, that was "really cool" in that way, you know what I mean? I always thought, "Whatever." You want to think that Trentís right, but ultimately Trentís wrong. In this one here, Rickyís ultimately kind of right about some things. "Max does sleep with all of his girls. Why are you trusting him?" They do need a gun. "This place isnít safe. Everythingís not all right for us here." But you canít believe anything Ricky says.
Q: Because heís the most annoying character in the face of the film.
VV: Sure. But in a way to me thatís comedy--thatís the sick of the comedy that I love in that the obvious comedy is Trent; is [Clay Pigeons'] Lester Long. I want a guy thatís aggressive and thinks heís an operator thatís not an operator. Iíve been an operator thatís a successful operator. I want a guy that thinks heís a successful operator but has no skills and no game whatsoever and is desperate and hungry and needs things and needs to be understood. I think the movie is more comparable to Midnight Cowboy. Midnight Cowboyís a great film, I donít compare it in ways of that--[but it is comparable] in its themes of what itís discussing ultimately--a love story between two men, all those issues--more so than it is comparable to Swingers. Youíve got two guys that are physically fighting. Thereís a child thatís not theirs. Thereís an evolvement past swearing, looking for an identity: Iím a boxer; Iím a criminal; masculine. Ultimately they go to Chuck E. Cheese, and Rickyís home with the baby and wants to be understood. Heís not gonna yell and fight anymore, but heís finally passionate and cares about something. Itís a very female energy, and I think the movieís way more about that than it is about the mob. Along the way, some people might interpret it as somebody caught up celebrating their unevolvement or comments that they make, but thatís really just there to show a place of evolvement for what the real value and ultimate point of the movie is. Joe Buck in [Midnight Cowboy] is like, "Iím not a fag; thatís fuckin' fag stuff. Girls like me; theyíve always liked me. They like the way I fuck." Right? Here, "This is a fuckin' fag joint. Get the fuck out of my room." Whatís really going on, you know? Again, I think how itís looked at is always interesting to me in the same way Swingers is, for what the themes really are that are being discussed--at least for my point of view, what I always thought that we were saying.
Q: Was this character more fun?
VV: This character was so much fun because I didnít have to worry about trying to be light. I got to play him in a real truthful way and also track him in a way that I thought made sense for the movie, which is that you canít really think heís competent because ultimately he turns out to be right--although wrong--about certain things, and thereís an evolvement. I just love it. I got to work 15 minutes, you know? [speaks quickly] "I gotta take a break; I wonít be good to anybody. I need to get out of here. Is this complimentary or are you trying to fool me? Everyoneís fooling me; everyoneís fooling me; everyoneís fooling me; you know what I mean? And Iím saying 'Red Dragon' because Iím looking for a friend. I donít know you. Youíll probably just beat me down like a pimp. I donít trust him. Iím going to get over on him and get the Red Dragon on my team. Now you need me, donít you?" [laughs] But I donít know what Iím doing; Iím spinning out of control, but in a way Iím kind of right. Iím a problem in his life, but really isnít Bobby a huge problem in Rickyís life? The guyís living with a girl thatís dishonest, thatís a stripper. The element that sheís around is the guy thatís totally not up front, Peter Falk; and [Bobby's] taking me on a crime thing where he wants to do everything that they say, but we donít know what their intentions are? But Iím sticking by him, going through all this stuff with him when I know itís not right, and I donít have the necessary tools to handle it correctly. But in a way itís a mirror; people would never be in each otherís lives if they didnít mirror or represent or give something--or feel that they did--to the other person. In the same way that Rickyís a problem for Bobby--itís a guilt that really one person [is] playing out each side for themselves--Bobbyís an absolute problem for Ricky to have in his life as well.
Q: So how do you and Jon mirror each other?
VV: Me and Jon are very different people, so we bring different perspectives on stuff, but we have very similar tastes. Weíre close in age. We both had training with Doug Close at the Improv Olympic, and so we have a similar place of working from and view of acting and storytelling--we have similar, subtle tastes in [storytelling]. "Let the girl call, I love you, hang up, whatever, go out"--you know what I mean, not a big thing? "Very simple with the kid, go to the place"--you know what I mean? "Donít do the cocaine scene like theyíre naked fucking in bed and it's great." Just [a] real, kind of simple, truthful, "how it really goes down from what we know" kind of taste. Just be very simple and truthful, tell your story simply--I think that weíre similar in that regard. Who does Trent really sleep with? Heís a ladykiller but he goes back with a cocktail waitress in a trailer park for five minutes, you know? That to me seemed much more real than if it became really about him scoring and having all these sexual adventures. It was really more for Trent about a perception of how he looked like he could operate the ladies--but heís probably not all that effective, really.
Q: Has Jon changed since he got married? Now do you see yourself doing the baby thing and all that?
VV: I think his focus, his priorities have changed in the right way for where heís at. I think itís a maturity level. Heís having a kid--that really matters to him; he loves his wife very much--great girl--and I think thatís really his focus right now, even more so. It's funny; with this movie coming out, I think thatís where his headís at--itís nice to see that. As for me, Iíd love to have kids someday, but I think you really gotta be in love with someone. Iíd like to just be with one person and be in love with them, but you canít really create that kind of thing. Thatís something that you canít be looking for, all that kind of stuff. So Iím definitely open to it, but right now Iím not in a place for that at all.
Q: On that, I find it interesting, for instance, that Nicolas Cage is now dating Lisa Marie Presley. It's clearly easy to date somebody who you know has no agenda. Lisa Marie Presley doesn't have an agenda to get Nicolas Cage's money, to get Nicolas Cage's fame. Do you see my point? Are you finding the same sort of thing--that you don't know when you meet girls out in the world whether they want you, or...
VV: Well, I thought I had a spring in my step. [laughs]
Q: It's got to have changed, the way you meet women. It used to be that you had a spring in your step, and you're a tall, good-looking guy. Now, is it something different?
VV: What do you mean?
VV: I know what you're saying, yeah. You date people that you work with. They do what you do; thereís an understanding there, and there is that kind of thing, but whatever. For me itís whoever I like. If I like someone, I donít know; if theyíre using me, theyíre using me. If I feel something for someone, Iím more than willing to learn my lessons and make my mistakes. I never would run away from something Iím feeling to protect myself because I feel like you hurt yourself a lot more that way. Iíve been fortunate that I donít know that Iíve ever gone through that experience, but probably I have, I guess, and not realized it. But I don't know, you know? It is something--you know, where you go out to meet someone too? Itís hard.
Q: Your world has changed.
VV: Itís definitely hard, but then you know youíre never really going to meet someone in a bar, whoever the hell you are. It always comes in a way that you donít expect, wherever it is, and thatís just sort of how it goes.
Q: Were you ever approached for Jurassic Park III?
VV: No. I think the only one that they brought back was Sam Neill, who was in the first one.
Q: Right. I was just wondering if it was even mentioned.
VV: No. I kind of disappeared in [The Lost World:] Jurassic Park II, and I wasnít even eaten.
VV: I think I was forgotten about before they even thought of Jurassic III.
Q: Going along with what you were saying, that you're trying to live this normal life as a celebrity--how has things changed for you because people do react to you differently now.
VV: Iíve always been really lucky for the most part; people have always been very nice to me for the most part. I never had assistants really, or security or anything. I like going out. I really like staying in touch with people and doing that. I really hate to be removed in my house; I just couldnít live that way. So itís a price as being a celebrity that sometimes people come up when you want to be alone with your friends and that kind of thing, or talk to you when you want to be left alone--but you understand. Sometimes you can get people that are fuckin' weird; someone will come up to you and itís more about them in a way, like, "Hey man, I like your movies, and Iím going to work with you one day. My name's Tom..."
VV: I'm like, "Whoa." I don't understand why you gotta say that. I think the whole focus on this stuff has gone crazy. There's so many shows on fame--not on acting, not on music, but on fame. "Hey, isnít it cool to get things?"--itís just crazy. I started acting when I was seven, acted all the way through--at 18 moved out to L.A; did improv and Shakespeare and stuff in Chicago--not because I thought Iíd get on a sitcom; it was because it was what there was to do. I came out here, and if I would've ended up in a sitcom, I would've been happy--I just wanted to do acting parts; I loved it. It wasnít like [acting was] the easiest avenue for me to understand to get a table [at a restaurant] or to be famous. But thereís such a focus on that now. A lot of the kids you see moving out now to be actors could all kick your ass. Theyíve all got cars, and itís unclear what they do--but theyíre out at clubs every night; theyíve got some movie deal going; they know so-and-so; and they wanna set me up with free shoes. I donít know what the fuck theyíre saying to me.
VV: The focus is just crazy; it really is, like all these shows, "Hey, where so-and-so loves to eat, and weíll be right back"--when people give a shit. Itís like the fame, the fact that youíre recognizable is almost whatís looked at way more so than the work thatís being done. I donít know why; I really donít know why. I donít know what the fuck the fascination is. I donít know why the fascination isnít with the performances or the storytelling or the music or that kind of thing. Isnít that more interesting than if someone was on Quaeludes or not during when they made a record? I donít really give a shit. I really donít understand. I just donít. And also I think itís when I first came out, which wasnít that long ago, 13 years ago, all the kids I knew that were actors were really kind of vulnerable, very honest. It wasnít like, "Hey, letís go to the gym and pump up some iron, and then weíll go rock some ass tonight"--you know what I mean? It was just a different thing, and it seems now that the focus is more on people who kind of want to get famous. They want to be famous more so than theyíre like, "Letís go to class; I wanna work" and "This is cool; I love that movie." You know what I mean--it just seems like the focus is different over the last seven, eight years than it was before."
Q: There's also this aspect, with stalkers and all this stuff, you can't really tell if the people's intentions are good when they approach you anymore. How do you know? You've had problems recently.
VV: You never know in life with anybody. You just live and learn and have experiences, right? Some things are not explainable. Youíre not in control of someone elseís actions or what theyíre gonna do. Some people can go to a place thatís just extreme, and youíre not responsible. But that could happen to anybody. Anybody--car accidents, this--good people, too, having things happen to them, and that stuff is just inevitable. And I think it [comes] along with the fame and focus on it, and the money and the travel and that stuff being so cool to everybody. Also, with the violence thatís going on everywhere--I think itís insane. I just think itís insane that itís not like more of a shock to us all that some kid goes to school and shoots it up, and thereís not more done. I guess you do like a stoppage of everything, just a real "What are we doing here?" where that stuff is concerned. I donít know. Maybe Iím getting older because I know people when I was younger said stuff, and I said, "Well, fuck them." [laughs] So maybe itís that, but it just seems to me a bit misdirected, a lot of it.
Q: And as they take you away--a little bit off-the-wall. I write for a magazine that wants to know what are your five top stock picks.
VV: Do they want to know what not to invest in?
Vince Vaughn photos
Junket Transcripts & Interviews
The DVD Review
Thanks to Fred Topel for help with the transcription
Made: Vince Vaughn/© Michael Dequina