Wedding Crashers interview, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Andrew Panay

The Wedding Crashers: A comedy classic in the making

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ALSO: Click here to read our review of the film and to learn which former Featured Models appeared in the movie as bridesmaids.

Wedding CrashersProducer Andrew Panay (“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder”) had the idea for his new movie, “Wedding Crashers,” when he received an invitation for one of his friend’s weddings a few years ago. “I began thinking back to my college days when I crashed a couple of weddings with a buddy of mine because it was an easy way to meet girls,” says Panay. “I thought it could be a great backdrop for a film — two guys who crash weddings to meet girls until one of them breaks all the rules and falls for one of the bridesmaids, but has lied about who he is for an entire evening.” To pen the screenplay, Panay hired writers Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, whose script “We’re The Millers” Panay loved. Working directly with the movie’s stars, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, Faber and Fisher added several layers to the original idea and their first draft was well received. About eighty percent of what was in the first draft you see up on screen,” said Faber. “The other twenty percent was a combination of improvisation and writing based on (Wilson’s and Vaughn’s) riffs.” The two stars bounced ideas off each other during shooting, which resulted in some funny improvisation. “Vince and I both really have a similar sense of humor,” said Wilson, “so we were both open to hearing ideas from each other.” Vaughn added, “I was always a fan (of Wilson) and I thought all of his comedy came from a very real place, so I was excited about working with him.”

Wedding CrashersDirector David Dobkin worked with Wilson on “Shanghai Knights” and with Vaughn on “Clay Pigeons,” and the chemistry of the trio comes across on the screen. “Having worked with both Owen and Vince separately, I was excited by what the creative potential would be with the three of us together,” says Dobkin. “I am a strong believer in maximizing a film’s potential through script development. With Owen you get the added heavy artillery of ideas one can expect from an Oscar nominated screenwriter. And Vince is without a doubt as sharp and inventive as anyone when it comes to working on a script.” Vaughn added, “The three of us really all got along and went the same direction to make the same movie. We weren’t working against each other.” Wilson continued the love-fest, stating, “I liked the way (Dobkin) made everything feel creatively on set. I worked with Vince on ‘Starsky and Hutch’ but we didn’t have many scenes together, so it was a really enticing prospect to do a buddy comedy with him.”

Vaughn was quite complimentary of Isla Fisher, who played his romantic interest in the film. “She’s funny as hell in the movie. You don’t get a chance a lot of times in these comedies, a lot of times girls get the short end of the stick, they just sit there and laugh at what the guy is saying,” said Vaughn. “This movie is kind of an oddity in that it’s kind of a buddy movie, but it’s also two romantic comedies as well.” Writer Steve Faber added, “Strong female characters are important to us. So many female characters, especially in mainstream comedies, are objectified props.”

Wedding CrashersGetting living legend Christopher Walken for a supporting role in the film might have been the biggest surprise of the casting process, for the filmmakers as well as the actor. “I was really surprised when I got the call to see if I was interested in the film,” admits Walken. “When you combine my own personality and background with the kinds of parts I’ve played in the past, it doesn’t lead me to believe that I would be cast as a political figurehead who’s entrusted to control and keep up with the country’s money. I have always played characters a little bit on the outside, so it’s a nice change of pace to play a family man with three daughters.” Walken continued, “There are lots of good things about the movie — wonderful cast and the director is terrific. It was a very good, funny script.” Producer Peter Abrams, who worked with Panay on “Van Wilder,” loves the film’s title. “You always hope that you find a title as good as ‘Wedding Crashers’ because it says it all,” explains Abrams. “I believe this film will attract a diverse audience because women will see Owen and Vince in tuxedos and pick up on the word ‘wedding’ and men will see Owen and Vince and pick up on the word ‘crashers.’” With a great title, cast and director in place, the movie turned out just as the writers envisioned it. “A lot of things have to go right for a movie to come out like you want it,” added Bob Fisher, “and this movie is as good as we wanted, and maybe even better."

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