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Exclusive Interview: Owen Wilson and Isla Fisher

Interview with Owen Wilson and Isla Fisher
Appearing in the movie Wedding Crashers.

Shirts off, pants down, and some good old-fashioned unruly behaviour…

They were the top three demands on actor Owen Wilson’s command list for the no-holds-barred comedy hit Wedding Crashers.

Growing up in the 1980s with comedies that pushed the envelope and didn’t shy away from showing a bit of skin, Wilson said he yearned for a tad of T’n’A.

“[Just] like the films that I would’ve seen when I was a kid – Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, Animal House – and seems Hollywood just got away from that,” says the genial actor, sitting unperturbed in a Melbourne hotel room.

He continues, “Even Bad News Bears, the original, that would probably be rated “R” now, what with Walter Matthau driving around drunk and throwing beer cans at Tatum O’Neal.

“Because they [the studios] are all about making us much money as possible, and think they’ve got it down to a science, they eliminate those elements. It’s nice then that this one’s doing well.”

In one of the film’s more racy scenes, the conniving John (Wilson) is forced to feel up his love interest’s mother, played by screen veteran Jane Seymour.

Wilson says it was a nerve-wracking time, but he loved every minute of it. “We did do a lot of takes, because I wanted to make sure that we got that scene right,” he cheekily responds. “She thought after about ten takes we had it, but you know, we had to keep going. It was kind of nerve-wracking to do that scene – I mean; I had to cup her breasts, her bosoms. That takes some doing.”

Co-star Isla Fisher, seemingly still the Aussie girl who captured a million TV Week reader’s hearts with her role as Shannon on the soapie ‘Home and Away’ before jetting off to Tinseltown to try her luck, still can’t believe she’s in a big movie with the likes of Wilson and co-star Vince Vaughan.

“I just got lucky,” says Fisher, who now calls London home. “Every girl that went in before me was famous. I remember sitting in the [waiting] room and thinking I shouldn’t really bother because usually they just pick a name.

“I was with Shannon Elizabeth, that girl that won the Oscar for The Piano (Anna Paquin)…we were all in a row. You can hear other people going “I’ll find you” [one of the lines from the film] and all the lines. It was pretty full on. I’m lucky…particularly with people like Vince and Owen, who are huge – it’s very rare that they’d cast an unknown.”

Fisher, who had small roles in the international hits Scooby Doo and I Heart Huckabees prior to Wedding Crashers, did have to consider whether this role was the right one for her though – as famished as she was for a strong role.

“There are so many other factors involved,” says Fisher, intermittently glancing down at the gleaming engagement ring she wears on her finger – given to her by fiancée, comic Sasha Baron Cohen (a.k.a Ali G).

“I didn’t think ‘grab it now, before it goes away.'” By taking a flashy role in such a high-profile movie the attractive actress says it can only lead to bigger and better things.

The cast, not excluding Fisher, work well together on screen, but did Wilson ever think he and Vince Vaughn, who is quite a contrast, wouldn’t be a good match?

“We do have a different kind of energy. He’s from Chicago, I’m from Texas. I think [though] by working on the script with the director and the writers we found a lot of common ground. The nice thing about working with Vince is that he’d give me ideas, and I’d be very open to them, and I’d do the same – so it was a two-way street, you didn’t have to tiptoe around the person.”

Wilson didn’t care that Vaughn got to be a lot crazier than him in this movie either. “I was a bit self-conscious, having to be the more straight, romantic lead, but I still snuck a few things in, like when Vince and Isla’s characters are getting married.”

Like Fisher, Wilson’s success hasn’t gone to his head. Though he’s starred in such hits as Meet the Parents, Shanghai Noon and Zoolander, it’s the first film he ever did – the low-budget comedy Bottle Rocket – which remains his favourite film experience.

“That was the first film I worked on. It was good because we filmed it where I grew up, my brothers were in it, and Wes [Anderson] directed it. It also had sort-of a difficult path to the screen – it didn’t get into Sundance, somebody said it tested the worst out of any movie in history – so when it finally came out, and both critics and the people really liked it – Ben Stiller even wrote me a nice letter, which I still have, and told me liked it – it was gratifying.”

Wedding Crashers has been a raging success in the US, sitting contently at the top of the box office for three consecutive weeks in a row. Yet, Wilson says he hasn’t got the call to do a sequel yet.

“It’s doing well in America, I don’t know what they’re doing…I guess they always figure out some way to do a sequel,” he says.

Fisher adds, “They’d have to chuck us (the female characters, played by Fisher and Rachel McAdams) in the first act so they can crash again.”

Wilson’s not so sure. “With the way audiences responded to your characters, I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys chuck us,” and then the girls can play the film’s titular crashers.

Wedding Crashers opens in cinemas on the 11th of August.