In Delivery Man, based on the original screenplay Starbuck, David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) led a simple life as the delivery driver for his family’s meat company, until he finds out that he is the biological father of 533 children who are the result of some donations he made when he was younger. With his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) pregnant and 142 of his children suing to learn his identity, David’s life is about to change, in a very big way.
At a press conference for the film, co-stars Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt (who plays David’s best friend and a father of four rambunctious kids) and Cobie Smulders talked about which aspects of the story they could personally relate to, reflecting on their own families during shooting, and feeling an internal shift when they each became parents themselves. Pratt also talked about jumping right back into things at home, after returning from London where he was filming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and the type of roles he’s looking to do next, while Smulders talked about what it’s like to be shooting the final season of her TV series How I Met Your Mother and why she’s attracted to playing such strong women. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
VINCE VAUGHN: Yeah, I saw Starbuck. What was interesting to me was that the director, Ken Scott, wrote the movie and also directed it. He’s a very passionate director and storyteller, and I think he was passionate about that script and telling that story, and then he was very passionate about telling that story to this audience, here [in the States]. When I first heard about it, I wanted to know if it was a different director or just a concept that they were trying to roll off of because I would have been less interested. But in meeting Ken, and just seeing the place that he works from, I feel very grateful that I met a director like that, who is such a great storyteller. So, when you see the film, you really see a lot of Ken’s DNA in the movie. One of the things that I really love in the film is that nowadays, a lot of times, you’ll have something be just a comedy or just a drama or just sentimental, and this, under one umbrella, is really unpredictable. From one scene to the next, you don’t know if you’re going to laugh or be tense. It was a compliment to Ken, and that’s what I was most excited about being part of.
Is there anything in the movie that you can personally relate to?
COBIE SMULDERS: I was pregnant in this film, and I’ve been pregnant in my life, so that was a big one, going through that again. The fake belly was a lot easier to have. But, dealing with the similar emotions that come with that was a very relatable thing for me.
CHRIS PRATT: I really like my mom, in real life. This character has a difficult relationship with his mom, so that was something dissimilar. My mom is really cool. I’m also a new father. I don’t know what it’s like to have a whole troop of rug rats running around, but I know what it’s like to have one kid and miss a little sleep. I know what it’s like to be a dad.
VAUGHN: As an actor, the best thing you have is your imagination. You’re not going to have all the experiences, but you draw on the tings that you know. You definitely use the things that you’re familiar with to your advantage.
Vince, this movie shows your first reaction, when you find out that your girlfriend is pregnant. As a father yourself, what was your own reaction, when you find out that your wife was pregnant?
VAUGHN: I was thrilled. I got married a little later in life, so we were excited to try right away, and thankfully, my wife was able to get pregnant right away. Then, with the second one, we were trying on this movie, actually. So, there was a day, around Christmas, that my wife came to me with a Christmas ornament with a family on it, and there was an extra like person in a Santa hat. That’s how I found out, which was great. So, I was really excited, both times. I was thrilled to have impregnated my wife. It’s more about me being proud of the fact of my own ability. I was very happy.
PRATT: I’m from a good size family. I’m the youngest of three, and I’ve got a lot of close cousins. Family is something that’s always been very important to me. I don’t know what I would do, if it grew like that. We would probably just take them all in. No, my dad would probably just put them all to work.
SMULDERS: My parents divorced when I was young, but my father remarried. From my family, I have two sisters and a brother. Then, I have two step-sisters and two step-brothers. I have a bit of a Brady Bunch thing going on. It’s huge. It’s a pretty big family.
VAUGHN: I have two older sisters, and we’re all very close. If you can survive the trying to kill each other and come out the other side of that, as you get older, at least in our case, they’re probably my best friends now.
When you were making this movie, did it make you reflect on your own family, at all?
PRATT: My dad is a big man. As a kid, I remember always wondering why the hell he tied his robe above his belly when most people would tie it at their waistline. And I realized, after being big in this movie, and wearing a robe that was probably designed for Cobie, that’s just where the tie is. When you have a big belly, you have to tie it above there. I saw myself in my dressing room, wearing that robe with the tie tied where it falls naturally, on top of my belly, and I thought to myself, “Oh, my god, I just became my dad.”
VAUGHN: As an actor, some of your own experiences can make things easier. You build off of it. But your imagination is always the best thing you have, as far as creating things specifically for what that character is going through. You’re definitely drawing on things that you can connect to, and then you mold the change that’s right for the character. What I love about the film is that a lot of it is about learning to accept who you are. You have the pressure to be a bunch of different things, and we don’t all have the skills. You have to be okay with yourself, forgive yourself and love yourself, and bring that to the table for relationships, whether it’s with someone that you’re in love with, or a family, parents or kids. There’s a lot of that in the movie. What’s great about the film is that, as a parent, it does deal with your biggest fears or hopes for kids. As you get older, hopefully you get a little better at getting past the moments that aren’t your best or your favorite, and you try to increase the things that you enjoy.
Vince, for so much of your career, you have been known as the fast-talking guy that gets away with things, and you start that way in this movie, but you also take on family responsibilities. What’s it been like to make that transition? Do you think that you will do more wild and crazy movies again, or is that in your past now?
VAUGHN: No, I’ll definitely do something more crazy again. I think part of it is your age, and then different roles present themselves to you. It changes what you play at 23 and what you play at 43. For me, it’s more about tone. I started off doing more dramatic and character stuff, and had a lot of fun. Then, we did those old school movies, which was great. Now, for me, this movie has been really great because it’s more dramatic, but it’s also very funny and has a lot of different things. So, I like that, in this movie, you have all of those different things. But, I would definitely do another more outlaw comedy again, depending on what that story was.
Do you feel like your own arc of maturity has paralleled the characters that you have played?
VAUGHN: I don’t know. I guess that different things come to you and, at different times in your life, you’re drawn to different types of material. For myself, I feel like this material came at me, at a time when I was really wanting to do something different, and return to stuff that I had done when I was younger. I would say that I was grateful for the opportunity, where this movie was concerned, and to get a chance to work with this cast. It was really fun. I think we came to work, every day, really believing in the material, which was great. I’ve never been one to plan stuff to a fault, but you just have to see what comes your way and what you’re interested in, at that time.
The very thought of being a parent changes you on the inside. Since you guys are parents, did you feel that internal shift?
SMULDERS: Yeah. You become responsible for a human being. A lot of people talk about it by saying, “I’ve never felt love like this before.” You hear all of these things, before you have a child, and they’re all true. I think that just dealing with the overwhelming responsibility of being the protector of this child is what affected me the most.
PRATT: Yeah, you can’t help but change when you have a kid. For me, I didn’t feel like anything was missing in my life, and it wasn’t. It all came at just the right time. Now, if I’m absent from my son, I do feel like something is missing. But before that, I was very fulfilled and I was having a lot of fun. I was sowing wild oats, and doing the kind of things that you should do when you don’t have kids. Now, I’m just doing less of that, but I earned it. I feel like just spending quiet evenings with my wife and son, and sitting in bed in the morning, watching him marvel over the curtains opening, all feels really good. And so, I’ve changed because I’m impressed. What’s funny is that the way I’ve changed is that I’ve got a whole new window through which to see the world, and everything is exciting for me again. Things that I took for granted are exciting again. The way something feels or smells or tastes, or how drawers open is exciting. I’m like, “Look at that, kid! That is actually really cool! It’s just a wall with a knob, and then you pull it and there’s a bunch of shit in there. What is that about?!” Before my son, I wouldn’t have taken a minute to appreciate a drawer.
VAUGHN: I think that’s true. You definitely get a whole world opened up to yourself, with kids. As a parent, you try to enjoy them, and be happy and have fun. And you also try to figure out the best way to be a parent to them, and set them up to be happy in life. A lot of it, for me, goes to my relationship. I’m very fortunate with my wife. When kids are young, you realize how much the relationship can suffer, and it’s important to make sure that you are able to spend some time with each other. As a father, the best thing you can do for the kid is to love the mom. As a parent, I believe that loving the mother is the most important thing. And it’s even important for parents who maybe aren’t together to respect each other and be kind to each other, because I think it does so much for who they would pick to be around, or how they feel about themselves.
Chris, you’ve just returned from filming Guardians of the Galaxy in London. Did you just jump right back into things?
PRATT: The transition back has been really nice. Like Vince was saying about making sure that you spend enough time nurturing your relationship, I spent three days in New York with my wife, just the two of us, which was really, really great. We just had an amazing time, and made up for lost time. I wouldn’t be surprised, if nine months from now, Jack has a brother or sister. No. We had a good time, which was great. It’s really important to nurture that, and that really helped with the transition. Coming back from London to L.A. is a lot easier than going from L.A. to London, in terms of the time change. You just need a few extra mornings to sleep in, and then you’re back on time. One thing that I find really difficult about the transition is that not only do you have to learn how to transition to living on your own again, but there’s a transition that happens in learning how to live with somebody again. I’ll be home and be on my computer, and I’ll think, “Oh, should I be in the other room where she is because that’s what’s supposed to happen when you live together? Is it okay for me to be here, checking my email in this room?” You just don’t know. So, there is a little bit of a transition period that happens, going away from your loved ones, and then coming back. But, this transition period has been great. I went back to work on Parks and Rec, which is an awesome family that I really love to work.
Are there any roles that you’re just chomping at the bit to take on?
PRATT: Yeah, all of them. I just want juicy ones that all taste good, and I’ll chomp away. I want to do roles that are good roles, and I want to work with great filmmakers and great actors. I’ve learned a lot from working with Vince on this movie. A friend of mine once told me that it’s really important to always pick somebody just to watch because you’re going to learn something, and I learned so much from watching Vince, not only just in terms of acting and being professional and being sharp on set, but also how to treat your fans when they approach you. Anywhere that Vince goes, he gets recognized, which is something that I don’t necessarily have. I’ll get recognized, from time to time, but Vince can’t go anywhere without being confronted by people who just really love him. That sounds like it would be really great, but after awhile, that can be overwhelming, and I never once saw him treat somebody poorly. He treated his people really well. We were in Madison Square Garden, with thousands of people, and they all knew who he was. He gave every single one of those people a little moment. I think that’s something I’d aspire to do. I just want to work with people who are going to keep teaching me.
Cobie, this is the last season for How I Met Your Mother. What’s it like on the set, knowing that it’s coming to an end?
SMULDERS: It’s very emotional. Everyone is soaking it in. I’m really grateful to have been employed for the last nine years, and they’re very accommodating. They allowed me to go and shoot this movie on a hiatus week. I think I missed a few days of production to fly to New York. So, they have been just amazing.
Do you know what you’re going to do next? Are you going to focus on film, or are you interested in doing another series?
SMULDERS: As an actor, you’re open to new experiences, and I’d just like to try new projects. In terms of film or TV, it’s hard to say. I think it just depends on the project.
Cobie and Chris, you’ve actually done a lot of similar projects, both being on hit comedies right now and both being part of the Marvel Universe. Did you guys bond over that or share any fun stories?
PRATT: It’s funny. It is true. I feel like we’re seeing a lot of each other.
SMULDERS: The Lego Movie is coming out, and Chris is in it and he’s so funny and amazing. I just saw the new trailer, which looks so funny. I have a few words in it, and he was in the room. We just keep seeing each other at fun things.
PRATT: Yeah, it’s crazy! It is strange. We’ve been intersecting a lot, but I think that happens. It’s really weird, but this is all a bit of a circus, isn’t it? All of a sudden, you show up on a set and you’re all in town together, and then you depart and you might never see each other again.
Cobie, what draws you to playing strong, bad-ass, funny women?
SMULDERS: Because they’re the most fun to play. Emma is a very conflicted character because she’s in love with this man, but she just wishes that it wasn’t so challenging, at times. When you’re single and you’re in a relationship with each other, it’s one thing. But then, if you bring a kid into the mix, it brings up a whole other list of responsibilities. And so, it’s fun playing against that. I don’t know why I get cast as those women a lot, but I do, and they’re the most fun to play. It’s nice to portray strong women in media, and have young girls grow up watching them.
Delivery Man opens in theaters on November 22nd.