Wilson's You, Me and Dupree

Owen Wilson's New Vehicle

“There's more to Wilson's Dupree than just being a slacker or his surface zaniness. He's completely unassuming, with a heart of gold and would never do anything to purposely disrupt this marriage. He comes out of a place of such innocence and is so good-natured that he's hard to not forgive. The way that Owen portrays him, Dupree possesses unintentional wisdom.”
Screenwriter Michael Le Sieur

In Owen Wilson's new comedy, he plays a lovable, well-meaning but arrested adolescent, who drives his best friends nuts by invading their house and interrupting their lives. Coming off of the biggest comic sensation of the past five years, “Wedding Crashers,” which grossed in the U.S. alone $209 million, Wilson now brings his latest character, a free-spirited bachelor and permanent houseguest, Randolph Dupree, straight to the front door of Molly Peterson (Kaye Hudson), the understanding yet put-upon schoolteacher bride of Dupree's oldest friend Carl (Mat Dillon).

Joining the trio of expert comedians is Michael Douglas, as Molly's dad and Carl's boss, the doting-yet-scheming real-estate tycoon Mr. Thompson, and Seth Green as Carl and Dupree's good buddy Neil.

In approaching his role, Wilson agreed with screenwriter Michael Le Sieur that one of the keys to the film's believability was ensuring that Dupree maintain a lack of guile, in spite of the havoc he creates for Carl and Molly.

Innocence and good-heartedness

For Wilson, the script represented the kind of comedy and quirky character to he could easily relate. “It was fun brainstorming on this script, says Wilson, who also serves as producer. “Both Mike and I found the same things funny, so there was a lot of laughing. He has such an amazing ear for dialogue that the process of creating new ideas and putting them into the mouths of these characters was uncannily natural.”

Wilson explains: “One of the clues to getting into Dupree's character is the way he relates to the neighborhood kids. When he moves into Carl and Molly's house, he makes friends with the kids more than any adults. He speaks their language, because he's such a kid himself. It wasn't such a stretch for me, because I share a little bit of that quality.

Working with two directors

Working with two directors, brother Anthony and Joe Russo (who previously made the low-key indie comedy “Welcome to Collingwood,”) would likely provide some challenges with actors used to working with only one. Wilson soon flet any concerns assuaged after stepping onto the set. “It's an interesting collaboration to work with these brothers,” he says, “almost a little like eavesdropping inside their heads. They're both very involved with every aspect of directing. Since they don't always agree, we get to hear their processa unique advantage, unavailable with one director.

I have never been privy to the inside of a director's mind while he's making decisions, but Anthony and Joe take us into that private domain while they talk it out between themselves. They have a familial rhythm that is natural and organic and works really well for the film.”

Shooting in Hawaii

“You, Me and Dupree” commenced principal photography October 7, 2005, on a sunny pineapple field in Kaawa, Hawaai, on the island of Oahu. The mood on the set was 'pure holiday,” due to the directors' decision to shoot Carl and Molly's wedding, reception, and honeymoon over the first ten days of filming.

One of the first scenes shot is best man Dupree's late arrival for the rehearsal. Rushing into the island in a small crop duster, because he first landed on the wrong island, Dupree arrives with a bang. Carl and one of his groomsmen, Neil (Seth Green) are impatiently waiting to meet him.

“Starting this movie in Hawaii got everyone off on the right foot,” notes Wilson. “We were able to bond outside of work in a great environment, and since we play a group of friends who have known each other for years, it set the mood for what followed on screen. It was a natural way to create continuity amongst everyone.”

Working with champion Lance Armstrong

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong makes a cameo appearance on the fishing boat of Mr. Thompson (Michael Douglas). Armstrong served not only in a cameo part, but he also became theme. A hero and inspiration to many, Armstrong, a natural icon, becomes the object of Dupree's obsession at achieving success through an unconventional route.

In Dupree's case, though he begins cycling to get into shape, his inspiration to greatness is taken to the nth degree, adding yet one more item to help raise Carl's ire. In the second half of the film, he starts to become motivated and look for a healer to motivate him.

On the day that Armstrong appeared at the San Pedro Harbor, the energy was palpable. When word spread that he had arrived, seasoned crewmembers stopped to stare. When he climbed on his bike in front of the blue screen to shoot a scene that would later translate into a surreal dream sequence, cast and crew alike gathered around like young kids to watch.

Wilson recalls: “I've never seen anyone generate that kind of excitement on a set. He has accomplished historic feats, and he was really good guy. There's no doubt that he could probably be a good actor if he wanted to.”

Owen Wilson's Career

The multi-talented Owen Wilson has made his mark on Hollywood as an actor, writer, and producer, reenergizing the comedy genre with some of his cohorts.

Last summer, Wilson starred in the smash-hit comedy “Wedding Crashers,” opposite Vince Vaughn. Prior to that, he appeared in Wes Anderson's “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” with Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett, and Jeff Goldblum.

In 2004, Wilson co-starred with Ben Stiller in the big-screen remake of the TV series “Starsky & Hutch,” directed by Todd Phillips.

Wilson's previous work with Wes Anderson includes work on Anderson's first film, “Bottle Rocket” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” which he co-wrote and starred in. He held a dual role as co-exec producer and co-writer of Anderson's second feature, “Rushmore.”

Additional screen acting credits include “I Spy,” “Behind Enemy Lines,” “Zoolander,” “Meet the Parents,” “Shanghai Noon” and its sequel “Shanghai Knights,” both with Jackie Chan, “Armageddon,” “The Minus Man,” and “The Cable Guy.”

Owen Wilson will appear this September in “The Wendell Baker Story,” co-directed by his brother Andrew and Luke.