In the new Farrelly Brothers comedy Hall Pass, actor Owen Wilson plays a suburban dad named Rick, who is happily married, with a wife and kids that he loves. But, like a lot of men, he can’t help but notice other women, which greatly irritates his wife, Maggie (Jenna Fischer). Rick’s best friend Fred (Jason Sudeikis) attempts to hide his own gawking from his wife, Grace (Christina Applegate), but she is definitely not fooled by his stealthier behavior. After talking it over, both women decide to try to revive their marriages by offering their husbands a hall pass, which allows them one week off from marriage to explore the single life with no questions asked. When the two men quickly realize they don’t have the game they thought they would, they start to realize the importance of what they already have.
At a press conference held during the film’s press day, co-stars Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis talked about the appeal of Hall Pass to both men and women, who they would use a hall pass on in real life, and realizing the good things you already have. Jason also gave an update about his role in the upcoming feature Horrible Bosses and why he got involved with that film. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Question: Jason, when you read this script, were you surprised that this film ends up being very pro-relationship and pro-monogamy?
JASON SUDEIKIS: I was not necessarily surprised. I was hoping that was the lesson that would potentially be learned because I do believe in the idea of love, marriage and monogamy. But, I was happy that that happened. I like that the question will probably be bandied about. Just the commercial alone probably causes some sofa discussion or pillow talk between couples. They’ll be like, “Would you do that? Would you ever? What would you do, if I gave you that?” And, I think it can go either way, with guys or gals. I like that it poses that question ‘cause I think marriage is in an interesting place with the high divorce rate and people talking about the sanctity of gay marriage and all this rampant cheating going on, with Tiger Woods and the Internet and Chris Lee. It doesn’t necessarily answer the question. It only answers it for the characters involved.
Do you think this film will appeal to women, too?
OWEN WILSON: It is a chick flick. Bobby and Peter [Farrelly] would often say to me that we were making Mystic Pizza here. That beats the Traveling Sisterhood.
Owen, you seem to do really well with these ensemble films. Do you look for scripts like that, or does that just happen?
WILSON: It’s not necessarily a plan. From growing up with brothers and watching those buddy comedies, I relate to a lot of the humor in that. It’s just what I’ve responded to.
Doing a Farrelly brothers movie, were you ever worried about what they might try to make you do?
WILSON: I’ve known them for a little bit, but we’d never worked together. I always felt comfortable that we were on the same wavelength, sense of humor wise. I didn’t have that fear of, “These guys are going to be thinking something’s funny that I don’t think is funny.” Everybody has a different way of working, and they’re particular in the way they direct. They’re very specific with the way that they hear things, and I like that.
SUDEIKIS: I only heard, a couple days before we shot, about the scene in the bathroom with the gal with the stomach trouble. It was just passing gas, and then they did a polish on it and turned it into shit spraying on the wall. That was a surprise to me. I don’t think it was done for my benefit, but it was a shock. It wasn’t there when I initially read the script.
Owen, since you recently had a child of your own, have you had any moments, like your character in the film, where you’ve realized that you’re more mature now?
WILSON: Yeah. Definitely, my character has that, towards the end of the movie, when he’s looking at the wedding picture and realizes how special that moment was and what a good thing he has. That is a little bit of the arc of my character. He realizes what he has. For myself, this is my first child, so that’s a pretty amazing thing. There are all kinds of beautiful moments, but I don’t know if it made me think that everything was completely different now. I don’t know if I’ve had that.
Owen, you’re playing a very different type of character in this film. Did you enjoy it?
WILSON: I did. One of the things that Bobby and Peter had in mind, when they talked about me playing the character, was having a real look for the guy. I remember my older brother, Andrew, who’s actually in the movie, came to Atlanta where we filmed and saw me in my wardrobe and was like, “You look so bad.” Just putting on the clothes made me feel like, “God, I’ve got no game.” When you’ve got pleated jeans and these orthopedic type shoes, you don’t feel very sexy.
How much improvisation did you do?
WILSON: Everybody was really comfortable, trying to come up with stuff. When I read the script, I just thought it was really funny. It’s nice when you’re working on something you don’t feel like you have to change and come up with something. We had a good base, and then from there, you could play.
Who would you use your hall pass on, if you had one in real life?
SUDEIKIS: I’d use it on 1967 Raquel Welch. Who am I kidding? I’d take 1997 Raquel Welch. Who am I kidding? I’d take 2007 Raquel Welch. Not today, though. Not now. I’d take Helen Mirren now.
WILSON: I’d think more of where you’d want to go.
SUDEIKIS: On her body?
Jason, was there a certain point, in doing SNL, that you decided you wanted to start trying to do movies?
SUDEIKIS: The decision came once people asked if I wanted to be in them, truth be told. And then, the decision usually comes from being really fortunate to work with a lot of great people at SNL and continuing that streak of luck. Hopefully, I’ll work with more fun people.
What was the appeal of Horrible Bosses?
SUDEIKIS: Horrible Bosses had a lot of awesome, fun people that I knew before working with them, so working with them just became that much easier.
Who do you play in the film?
SUDEIKIS: I play a wonderful employee of one of the horrible bosses. I’m one of the murderous employees. Specifically, his name is Kurt. I’m an employee of Colin Farrell, and I want to kill him.