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‘Wedding Crashers’ Breaks the Rules of Engagement
LOS ANGELES ( – Weddings, with their curious mix of sanctity and revelry, pose the ultimate temptation and challenge to any self-respecting party crasher. The cast of New Line Cinema’s latest comedy “Wedding Crashers,” however, didn’t have the guts to meet that challenge in real life, even though they had the opportunity.
“We thought about it when we were shooting,” reveals actress Rachel McAdams. “We were in Maryland staying at this beautiful hotel, and there was a wedding on the grounds. We were kind of jealous and thought, ‘You know, we could say it was research,’ but we chickened out.”
The film’s titular buddies played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn aren’t so faint-hearted or scrupulous. John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) are lifelong pals who share a love for crashing weddings so they can score food, booze and women — especially women. They’ve even devised an elaborate set of guidelines, including “Invites are for losers” and “No one goes home alone.”
Although the script only specified two rules, the Frat Packers tapped into their improv skills so they could one-up each other with additional rules.
“Over the course of the movie whenever Vince was on one of his rants, he would throw in rules to support whatever argument he had,” says Wilson. “So I started to throw my own rules into the mix. Eventually, it got to Rule 87: ‘Don’t quote a rule to another. Don’t go throwing rules in another wedding crasher’s face.'”
Following the old adage that rules are meant to be broken, the movie’s Casanovas find that they’re the ones being pursued by aggressive women. Jeremy accidentally violates Rule No.7 — “Avoid virgins. They’re too clingy” — when he hits on bridesmaid Gloria Cleary (Isla Fisher) at her sister’s wedding.
After an interlude on the beach, Gloria declares her love, invites Jeremy to her family home and forces him into sexual situations. In a way, Vaughn also found the tables turned when acting opposite Fisher, whose portrayal of Gloria relegates the normally over-the-top Jeremy to playing the straight man.
“[Gloria] is on mood enhancers and Jeremy is crazy too,” observes Fisher, who modeled her character’s “crazy eyes” on an unnamed friend’s features. “That’s why they’re the perfect match.
John finds himself in a similarly uncomfortable situation. Although he has his eye on Gloria’s sister Claire (McAdams), it’s her mother Kathleen who responds with amorous ardor. To play the Mrs. Robinson-esque “Kitty Kat” who goes topless in one scene, the filmmakers made an unusual choice, casting former “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman” star Jane Seymour.
“I kind of knew her also as Dr. Quinn,” says Wilson, whose character reluctantly gropes Kathleen. “So it was a little bit of a hiccup for me to be all of a sudden doing a scene where I’m supposed to be putting my hands on her in a slightly inappropriate way.”
“Owen was very nervous about it,” Seymour confirms. “We shot his side first and his hands came out like little ferret hands. I said, ‘It’s alright, Owen, squeeze. Do whatever you need to do. Don’t worry about it.’ Afterwards, he gave me a huge hug and thanked me for being brave enough to do it.”
Bradley Cooper, who’s best known for playing nice guy Will on ABC’s “Alias” (although his new fall show, “Kitchen Confidential” will probably change that) is also cast against type. This time, he portrays Claire’s arrogant boyfriend Sack Lodge, who’s suspicious of interlopers John and Jeremy. He sets out to discredit them and goes overboard when body checking Jeremy in a supposedly friendly game of football.
“Sack’s an amalgamation of four or five guys that I went to high school with … that I just hated because they always got the girl,” explains Cooper. “I never understood why. They were just such asses. I thought, ‘What do you see [in him]?'”
In contrast, Christopher Walken traded his usual intimidating villain role for that of a doting father, William Cleary.
“I play a good guy basically. He’s the Secretary of the Treasury. I got to play one of our nation’s leaders. They don’t usually ask me to do that,” says Walken, who enjoys challenging people’s expectations.
“I think that it’d be interesting for me to play something really different like … ‘Father Knows Best,'” he says, imagining a conversation between him and his offspring. “I’d have a pipe and say, ‘Just try and do the right thing.’ That would be a good part — or I’d like to play a psychiatrist.”
“Wedding Crashers” breaks with tradition beginning Friday, July 15.