Owen Wilson Shows His Funny Bone in ”Drillbit Taylor”

Owen WilsonWilson makes his comeback shot after apparent suicide attempt in August
By Robin Rowe for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 3/21/08 – In the comedy ”Drillbit Taylor,” Owen Wilson is a down-and-out soldier of fortune hired to protect three young outcasts from high school bullies. ‘Drillbit Taylor’ is Wilson’s first movie since suffering from depression last August and being hospitalized for a week after an apparent suicide attempt.


“I went to military school and everybody gets picked on in military school,” says Owen Wilson. “You’re kind of getting screamed at and hazed and that’s just how it is. I also remember there was a kid in the neighborhood when I was growing up that we were all terrified of.”
“There’s all this mystery and ambiguity and contradiction about him, but also he does it all with a smile and his own kind of comic edge,” says director Steven Brill. “Owen plays Drillbit in a way that you’re always wondering if he’s a good person or a scumbag. His Drillbit is sort of a philosopher/poet/madman. Owen brought tons to this role. He was always punching up the dialogue. What surprised me is the depth he brought out of Drillbit’s character. We would do just completely dramatic takes of Owen tapping into being a homeless person and his real situation and that brought out some very interesting things.”
“One thing I realized on ‘You, Me and Dupree’ is that Owen is really hilarious with kids,” says Seth Rogen who co-wrote ‘Drillbit Taylor’. Rogen gave the script to Wilson while they were starring together in ‘You, Me and Dupree’. “He was great for this role because he can be dangerous-seeming and at the same time has that childlike quality,” says Rogen.
Working with his teenage co-stars held surprises for Wilson. “I kinda felt intimidated because they were coming up with all this funny stuff,” laughs Wilson. “Initially I thought ‘oh these poor kids are going to be so nervous on the set, but instead, they were just completely comfortable. Sometimes I wished they were a little more nervous.”
In ‘Drillbit Taylor’, Wilson plays opposite producer Judd Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann, a teacher who falls for Drillbit Taylor in the film. “It seemed that Judd was always on set whenever Leslie and I had one of those passionate embracing scenes, so all I could say was ‘you know, it’s just a movie, Judd,’” says Wilson. It was Apatow who cast Wilson for his first major Hollywood role, the hapless date who gets beaten up by Jim Carrey in ‘The Cable Guy’. “It’s kind of ironic that we’ve now made a movie in which I’m protecting these kids from the kinds of things that happened to me in ‘The Cable Guy’, such as getting my head dunked in a toilet,” says Wilson.
“Bullying in today’s schools is actually a growing phenomenon, estimated to effect 5.7 million American children every year,” says Kristofor Brown who co-wrote the screenplay with Seth Rogen. “We kept in mind that what Ryan, Wade and Emmit are going through is a reality for a lot of people. We found these high school pamphlets about how to deal with bullies and it was clear a lot of the advice was just completely unusable and unwise. The pamphlets also made it clear that if a kid was really worried a bully might do him in, he might have no choice but to take matters into his own hands.”
‘Drillbit Taylor’ stars Owen Wilson, Alex Frost, Matt Gallini, Troy Gentile, and Nate Hartley.
Distributor: Paramount

Release date: March 21, 2008

Duration: 1 hr. 42 min.

Rated PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Robin Rowe is a co-founder of ScreenPlayLab (www.screenplaylab.com).

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