Wilson makes his comeback shot after apparent suicide attempt in August
By Robin Rowe for Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 3/21/08 â€“ In the comedy â€Drillbit Taylor,â€ Owen Wilson is a down-and-out soldier of fortune hired to protect three young outcasts from high school bullies. â€˜Drillbit Taylorâ€™ is Wilsonâ€™s first movie since suffering from depression last August and being hospitalized for a week after an apparent suicide attempt.
â€œI went to military school and everybody gets picked on in military school,â€ says Owen Wilson. â€œYouâ€™re kind of getting screamed at and hazed and thatâ€™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.â€
â€œThereâ€™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,â€ says director Steven Brill. â€œOwen plays Drillbit in a way that youâ€™re always wondering if heâ€™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 Drillbitâ€™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.â€
â€œOne thing I realized on â€˜You, Me and Dupreeâ€™ is that Owen is really hilarious with kids,â€ says Seth Rogen who co-wrote â€˜Drillbit Taylorâ€™. Rogen gave the script to Wilson while they were starring together in â€˜You, Me and Dupreeâ€™. â€œHe was great for this role because he can be dangerous-seeming and at the same time has that childlike quality,â€ says Rogen.
Working with his teenage co-stars held surprises for Wilson. â€œI kinda felt intimidated because they were coming up with all this funny stuff,â€ laughs Wilson. â€œInitially I thought â€˜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.â€
In â€˜Drillbit Taylorâ€™, Wilson plays opposite producer Judd Apatowâ€™s wife, Leslie Mann, a teacher who falls for Drillbit Taylor in the film. â€œIt seemed that Judd was always on set whenever Leslie and I had one of those passionate embracing scenes, so all I could say was â€˜you know, itâ€™s just a movie, Judd,â€™â€ 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 â€˜The Cable Guyâ€™. â€œItâ€™s kind of ironic that weâ€™ve now made a movie in which Iâ€™m protecting these kids from the kinds of things that happened to me in â€˜The Cable Guyâ€™, such as getting my head dunked in a toilet,â€ says Wilson.
â€œBullying in todayâ€™s schools is actually a growing phenomenon, estimated to effect 5.7 million American children every year,â€ says Kristofor Brown who co-wrote the screenplay with Seth Rogen. â€œWe 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.â€
â€˜Drillbit Taylorâ€™ stars Owen Wilson, Alex Frost, Matt Gallini, Troy Gentile, and Nate Hartley.
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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