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Bluntly Speaking | Vince 'Mansteak' Vaughn
el Hombre Talentoso Hermoso

an emily blunt interview



Bluntly speaking? Those who read Blunt regularly, know Vince Vaughn is one of those mantorts that sits atop the coveted Emily Blunt 'Smitten With' List. That's because Vincent Vaughn is's a rare kind of Joe. A one in a trillion type; tall, handsome, beautiful smile with gorgeous brown eyes that would melt half the Arctic should he glance its way. Evil sexy.

M'hum, Vince brings out that shallow desperately hidden unlady like side in all of us man-lovin' breeds and gives you the urge to forget all your years of etiquette schooling and debutante training and leap on him like a rabid Rhesus monkey and mock breed pretending we're there to save the race.

But here's the real attractive thing about this 'man' (and I use that term in its literal encyclopedia version of the definition), not only is he packaged like a fresh loaf of pumpernickel rye straight from the oven and ready to be spread with full fat butter and slowly devoured…he's quite articulate, intelligent, charming, witty and he's also a talented actor! Plus, the man is actually as sweet as maple syrup tapped at first thaw.

Vince has avoided getting type cast (okay - almost in Domestic Disturbance - forgive) and always seems to be playing it from the heart. I am enjoying his emmerging as a kind of the Christopher Walken of our generation; Vinnie's banter lights up - and magnetically steals - every scene he's in (Be Cool, Mrs. and Mrs. Smith). With his new Wedding Crashers hittin ' theaters I dusted off this blunt chat with the lad.


EMILY: Thanks for chatting Vince.

VINCE: Not at all! I enjoy the blunt reviews!

EMILY: Well you should! [laughter] It's basically the how great is Vince Vaughn site. You know you're a favorite actor....
VINCE: [laughter and giggles]

EMILY: How did you get started in acting?

VINCE: Well, when I was younger I did plays. Both my parents worked so I sort of…. in the summer, one of the activities I would do was go do local community theater. It was sort of all children productions under thirteen doing musicals. That sort of thing. I really enjoyed it. I did some plays and stuff in junior high school and hosted a MTV show. Then in high school I stopped doing plays and played sports and that sort of thing.

Then my junior year I went out for a musical chorus line and I got one of the leads in it. I just sort of stayed with it from there. One of my close friends was going down to the city of Chicago, he had an audition for something. I wanted to tag along to see what it was about. My parents were always insistent that I not to go do anything professional till I turned 18. None from my family were entertainers or actors any thing of the such. I went down and the casting director asked me to read for the role.

I ended up getting the part. It was for an industrial film. From that I got an agent and started going out for local things in Chicago and got a national Chevy commercial and Indiana farm insurance commercial…

Really the greatest thing about Chicago is that there's not a large market there…it's not as if like you're going to do training or plays and be picked up to be in a sitcom or a film. I really took advantage of the training there.

I trained with Del Close who started Second City but now was doing a different type of herald called the Improv Olympic.

And I studied with a guy named David Darlow who was a Shakespeare acting coach. I got the whole summer workshop thing with him where we studied everything from Shakespeare to Suzuki type of walk and breath, dance, voice and just really an extensive great class.

When high school ended I moved out shortly after to Los Angeles were I was lucky and got an agent right away. Just sort of off of being naïve and having a SAG card and having a national Chevy commercial was kind of a big deal in a smaller market. I spent a lot of years missing more than hitting. Doing after school specials or guest starring on '21 Jump Street' doing small things here and there.

Then I got a small role in a film called 'Rudy'…most of it got out. That's when I befriended Jon Favreau. He moved from Chicago to LA to pursue acting. We started up a fast friendship and eventually he wrote a screenplay called 'Swingers.' At which point Favreau really insisted on having the people he wrote it for play the part. And we made the movie for nothing sort of "off the radar" which allowed us to be true to the story we were telling. Doug Liman, who directed the movie, had the money to make it and that was sort of Favreau agreement with him. We were very fortunate that the movie was well received and Miramax picked it up. It became sort of a cult hit. From there on out I had a much greater opportunity of doing films and picking roles.

EMILY: You mentioned being in musicals…do you sing? [visions of V.V. in his Calvin Klein boxers with a ukulele serenading me whilst I soak in a bubble bath popped instantly and vividly into my mind…focus….focus]?

VINCE: I was awful [laughter] I was a Yule Brenner of the childhood actors…I would sort of talk my way through the roles.

EMILY: Where did you grow up?

VINCE: I grew up in Lake Forest Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago [no wonder he's so nice they breed 'em good up there.]

EMILY: What's been your most trying or difficult role to date?

VINCE: I think they all have been in some ways. Probably the oddest was remaking 'Psycho.' Norman Bates. This sounds a bit, this is probably a poor reference, but it's so a bit like Vietnam; I wasn't really sure of what my agenda was. I didn't know why I was there. We were half way doing a shot by shot remake…some of the other characters had modernized interpretations. You know Viggo [Mortensen] was a kind of a cowboy, Julianne Moore was girl all dressed in all black. I was kind of was half confused.

We would watch scenes and say 'okay well he did this and this so lets do this.' But I sort of had my own interpretation of it and there was no real clear agenda. And from how I normally approach a role. Build your imagination based strictly on your life experiences and have a short hand with the director and sort of let things fly. It was probably though one of my most rewarding most enlightening experiences.

I learned a lot from it. I'm thankful for going through the experience. Gus [Van Zant] is a highly intelligent guy and the actors I worked with were extremely talented. But again that was probably the strangest. I wouldn't say daunting or intimidating I would just say my process was the most confused during that film.

EMILY: How do you usually prepare for a role?

VINCE: I usually read it aloud alot. Draw on things that I've actually seen; how things sort of go down or happen. Base it…I sort of come up with the psychology or mind set for the person. I don't think I'm much different from a lot of actors. And then try to build your circumstances so when you're thrown into a particular scene or an environment you sort of know what's at stake for yourself; what you want to gain and what your comfortable leaving. I think one of the biggest things that a lot of actors, some actors, not necessarily a lot of actors do do is you always try to think of where you are prior to that scene. Where your character was right be fore that scene began, where your character's headed to when that scene over. There's somewhere your suppose to be afterwards…there' some where your heading. So you try to make as life like as possible.

EMILY: You ever take any of these roles home? [Thought not spoken: or the say a cowboy hat????]

VINCE: I think it affects you to a large degree. I'm a guy who sort of states and says you sort of do your work and that's it. I like to kid around and be myself outside. I'm not in character 24 hours! I find for me it's the same with writing. If I sit at something and try and solve the puzzle for too long I can end up very disappointed. I find when I kind of go away or play a video game, sit outside and read a book or go down and get something to eat that's when ideas will come to me. I'm similar on the set. I prepare that night, or prepare that day in my trailer then I sort of try and forget it and not make it my focus so I'm not over burnt out on it and when I approach the scene I have done my homework and done my research I am able to jump into it real quick.

EMILY: You want to get into this whole super hero thing going on right now? Play a comic book villain or good guy? [Thought not spoken: of course one with tight tights and a costume that shows protruding biceps was the fantasy here…]

VINCE: I was never an exceptional super hero fan like most kids were. I mean I did enjoy it to some degree as a child. I think I enjoyed the Marvel comics more so only because they were more human and fallible. It interesting I ran into Tobey Maguire out at a place last night who I think is a really nice kid and who I also think is a kid who's been a talented actor for a long time. I thought that not only was his movie a big successful movie but I think he did a nice job in the movie. I know Favreau's doing 'Daredevil' right now. With Sam [Raimi} and I think its cool.

I think it's really no different than the fashion industry…a trend will become popular…. people sort of capitalizing. But once again I think its relying on the individual piece. Is the piece affective? Is the story affective? You know 'Unforgiven's' a great western and that movie was followed by a slew of poor westerns. There's defiantly a graph you can look at where this is concerned. For me it would be a case-by-case basis. If something came around that really struck me. But that would definitely NOT be in one of me top genres as far as something I want to investigate.

EMILY: You have any other nickname besides Blunt Review's coveted studmuffin, mansteak or even a big edible man kebab sandwich of yum?

VINCE: [laughter - similar to Lester Long's leaks out] Well growing up my dad was really called V. So people called me 'V' or 'Double V' a lot.

EMILY: Or Woo if you will

VINCE: [laughter] Yeah, Woo. People call me….some friends called me 'Showtime. That's really it.

EMILY: Any of the roles so far close to the real Vince?

VINCE: I think there's a side of me in all of them. That's the great thing about acting. You bring these different sides of yourself out depending on the character. I think we all sort of find a particular way of acting in real life that we feel most comfortable or suited in. I think you can even find it in yourself that in different groups or dynamics you'll sort of carry yourself or act differently, where you feel safest or most in control. But there's usually one predominant way that you sort of interact that feels most comfortable to yourself. So I think all of them have sides, certainly, strands of sides of myself.

EMILY: The rumor mill spit out a yarn about a SWINGERS 2…is it true?

VINCE: (audio) There was a script of 'Swingers 2' that was written prior to 'Swingers' being shot…but I just don't think it'll ever be shot. Which is really a shame because it really quite a terrific script in itself. I think people would enjoy it quite a bit! But I think that 'Swingers' was sort of lightening in a bottle. Something that was so simple and such a simple true story that really tried so hard to be anything accept an over commitment to the absurd. Which it was. Something we could all relate to; getting past one relationship and feeling vulnerable and how to enter a new one…so that being said I think you'll probably never see a 'Swingers 2'….but you never can say never. Jon and I have other projects that we're fascinated by and again it's like every time. 'Swingers' was very hard to get made because there was no true story to it. 'Made' was very difficult to get made.

This last script that he's written, which was actually greenlit when 'Swingers' done by Miramax but me and Jon decided to take a break from each other at that time, I think might be his best of all of them.

We always have constant other ideas going around. But they're just more difficult movies to find financing for or to do well. Surprisingly, I guess. Because really 'Made' and 'Swingers' both did greater than their box-office cost…there's such demand for them in video and dvd and stuff.

And actually on 'Made', we own quite a percentage, although we haven't seen any money and we did it virtually for free, it becomes sort of Hollywood accounting. Where their loans are so great it jives in a way that a film still hasn't made money. 'Swingers', supposedly, hasn't made money. So those movies are done really just from a childlike place of stories that we really love and we want to be a part of.

EMILY: Any other gigs with Favreau coming up?

VINCE: (audio) Well, me and Favreau have a western we've pretty well talked about that we've been trying to get made for a time that I think is quite interesting, but we're having a hard time as always trying to get that set up. You know westerns are an odd animal to begin with and when your lead character is a Hassidic Jew who's a gunfighter, which is what Favreau plays and my character's a hustler and not a gunfighter. It's just so non traditional, it becomes a very difficult thing as they run numbers and forward numbers; you know what's a safe bet or what's not a safe bet. And me and Jon have always had a very even open head about that. We've never been very angry or disappointed at the "powers that be" in fact we feel very flattered and fortunate that to get a chance to make a living doing something that we love…but it does become a bit daunting as you get excited and there's something that you want to dive into and it's unable to get bridged at this point.

EMILY: Can we, and by we I mean me, look forward to any more boudoir scenes like the ones between you and Georgina Cates in 'Clay Pigeons' or with Julia Ormand in 'Prime Gig'? [said as I drifted into a happy place in my memory....]

VINCE: Yeah, definitely! You know I like that kind of thing, especially when there's real chemistry and especially when there's something else going' on that within the scene. You know with Georgina and the 'Clay Pigeons' scene that was really quite interesting because I found it to be so sensual and some sort of a peacefulness and a connection…but there was such a horrible secret, you know obviously, something going on. With Les it was going on.

I'd love to do a romantic comedy and connect in the way that I know. Which is more with sense of humor and the connection that comes out of that way. But, I tell you, and I'm not just crying—'oh these horrible things'— but these romantic comedies and these love stories…I think a lot of them are people who haven't been in love or really understand love. It's either so torturous and indulgently tragic and 'boy no one else has experienced anything as painful as this!' When in fact that we all have …I think. And maybe not specifically or its sort of also so kind of economic and these people are all so great they have no choice but to fall together. I would like to see something more in the way that 'Swingers' was. You know kind of a more human story. A kind of fallible— bumbling— in spite-of-yourself you were able to be see and be seen somebody story. [ wrap 'im up I'll take 'im]

EMILY: You seem to volley between big studio flicks - like JURASSIC PARK or PSYCHO or THE CELL and smaller quirky films like PRIME GIG or CLAY PIGEONS or SOUTH OF HEAVEN WEST OF HELL is that a career 'exercise" choice?

VINCE: I have no game plan. It goes case by case. 'Lost World' was sort of a thing for me where Steven Spielberg was a guy from a very child like place as a kid seeing 'ET' and these movies that he did…even Jaws…It was a chance to work with him in a format that I think he's best at. Which was the 'lost worlds' you know? I thought it would be kind of like a kid to do that. 'The Cell' was really because of the director, Tar Singh. I couldn't believe they were allowing him to visually tell the story the way he was. Visually I thought it was quite entertaining. I thought the movie even works better as sort of a picture book than it does as a linear logical story. That is what was interesting.

It's really a case by case thing. You just have to find something going into that you're going to learn from or be excited by or be a part of that's just always been my approach for better or worse. I've always heard "sayers" or my own representation even has always been frustrated with me that I don't go after movies that have higher built in concepts or big leads in…

I don't really have any reluctancy with doing that as far as being nervous of having a career that way…it's just I don't know how good I'd be at it because I'm not interested in. And as you know, or anyone knows, if you're going to take on a job or do something you really have to have an interest in it because without that it's really going to be hard to do your best work or to hold your concentration in it.

EMILY: Yeah, and it would be obvious.

VINCE: I agree with you.

EMILY: Who's an acting influence for you?

VINCE: (audio) Acting influences…. I think I am in popular company. Meaning nothing all that strange or different. Really, the first thing I ever saw was westerns. I think 'Shane' might have been a first film…'One Eyed Jack' the first film Brando directed….'The Wild Bunch'. Those were really my introduction to movies because my dad loved them so much. I really love Gene Wilder…He's great to watch he's one of my favorites and I like Marlon Brando of course and Spencer Tracy of course. And I love Meryl Streep. Watching Gilda Radner just breaks my heart. And I love Tatum O'Neal, especially in her younger roles…'Paper Moon' or 'Bad News Bears' even that movie she did 'Little Darlings' with Kristy McNichol. I love actresses quite a bit. Because I find there's such an inner monologue such a beauty to them and a vulnerability to them and such contradictions of strength and frailty.

EMILY: Do you have a favorite film you could watch over and over?

VINCE: I have so many films that I watch over and over! Lately I've been watching and I'm really not a foreign film guy, I've been watching 'El Apartment'…'The Apartment.' Have you seen it?

EMILY: No, I haven't.

VINCE: It's just great! Boy it takes such twists and turns…. you think it's going to be about cheating, then you think its about espionage, then you think it's a love story, then it's a missing person movie! I love it when they throw it out of right field. Time and time again and you just don't know where it's going…and the plots really relying on the next course of action making sense but being something that you entirely don't expect. You can watch it a whole bunch of times and just go back and go 'wow' and catch something else. I've just really been enjoying watching that film lately.

Also the movie 'Two-Lane Blacktop.' I've been watching lately. Monte Hellman? It's a great movie. Its got an interesting cast in it. It's a real minimalist movie and it's its interesting to watch. An interesting way of story telling I think. [<-There you go folks! The first eva V.V. review ….of course he's welcome to grab them at Blockbuster and come over for a double feature while I whip up movie snacks in my little French maid outfit purchased for just such an occasion…meow]

EMILY: Well, thanks Vince it's been a pleasure.

VINCE: That's sweet! Thank you too. I'm glad you're out there!


Lust aside, Vince is an underrated talent who always delivers in whatever he's mixed into and he just gets better and better with each manly helping. I adore this guy on many levels. Go see Wedding Crashers - it's with director David "Clay Pigeons" Dobkins again - and it is friggin' hilarious - pee-the-pants funny folks.


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