DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY - Q&A with Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller
Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
Vince, apparently you compared this film to the Wizard of Oz, How so?
VINCE VAUGHN: Yes like that classic we have some very exceptional characters here as well so you needed somebody grounded in a form of reality to guide you through their world, so like Dorothy I was grounded enough to balance out the rest.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: You said that very well!
VINCE VAUGHN: Yup I nailed it! [Everybody laughs]
Christine, are you a big gym fan?
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: I work the gym like crazy! No, no actually I don't do it much, in fact Vince and I would joke about our levels of fitness. Dodgeball lasts for five minutes at the most in real life, in the movie things where extended for the dramatic effect. It proved to be exhausting and I kept reminding everyone that I had just recently had a baby and then one actor said, "Yeah, isn't she a year and a half." [Everybody laughs]
Ben either you've been working out for this movie or CGI can do things that I never thought where possible, which is which?
BEN STILLER: Well it's the spandex, and the character is so obsessed with his weight so to express that aspect I had to get into shape. I played dodgeball with 8 year-old children and that's how I managed to fit into the singlet I wear in the movie.
Ben, firstly congratulations on patting Jamal your huge co-star's bum in the movie, and were you worried about the response to the movie considering that dodgeball is not a common European sport?
BEN STILLER: Yeh, Jamal is so big I think my face is just about the same level as his bum!
The name yes, but the characters no, I think that they should be easy to relate to as we have all been underdogs at one time or another so we just concentrated on the movie.
Christine, is there any aspect of White Goodman that your husband Ben Stiller shares?
CHRISTINE TAYLOR [Smiling]: I can't believe that anybody out there exists that is like White Goodman.
BEN STILLER: Are you saying that my character isn't realistic? [Laughter]
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: Everything from his look that was based on Patrick Swayze in ROAD HOUSE to his delusional personality. He is just so out of touch so no there is nothing similar to Ben there.
Christine, the scene where White comes to your house, what was that like?
CHRISTINE TAYLOR [Smiling]: It took me 20 takes to nail it!
BEN STILLER: You weren't that bad.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: Ben was so committed to the character and the scene but I just couldn't stop laughing, especially at the moustache.
BEN STILLER: Yeh, well I guess I was trying to get her to laugh, in fact at one point we thought about getting white to rip off his moustache but then we thought that maybe it would take away any little reality that the character had. [Laughter]
Vince, are you similar in real life to Peter LaFleur your character in the movie?
VINCE VAUGHN: Yes, I don't push things and I share Peter's lack of motivation.
Vince, considering your body of work...
VINCE VAUGHN interrupts: Do you mean how I work out my body?
No, with films like SWINGERS your image as the cool white dude of the Dean Martin variety, how do you feel about this image?
VINCE VAUGHN: Firstly I take offence to the white guy tag [laughter] and well I was an unemployed actor playing video games and only hooking up with girls through movies.
BEN STILLER: Vince is cool.
VINCE VAUGHN: Ben is a great guy.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: Plenty of flirting going on here! [Laughter]
Did any of you learn any life lessons in the film and are there any for us the audience?
BEN STILLER: No we just wanted to be there and have fun. Also we had so much fun at the initial read through that we just felt it could work.
VINCE VAUGHN: I learnt that not exercising and then running and stretching is a bad, bad idea, and this lesson I happily pass on to you all.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: I realised that guys in their 20s or 30s with a ball become 12 all over again, including Ben!
BEN STILLER: Yeh, I nailed her in her face by accident the first time.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: No you said that the second time was the accident.
BEN STILLER: It became an ego trip with all those extras watching you on set the last thing you want to do is miss your shot.
VINCE VAUGHN: Well at least we had a masseuse to keep us relaxed, a professional masseuse though so no happy endings there!
Vince and Ben which one of you two is a natural at dodgeball?
VINCE VAUGHN: Ben had a great natural instinct for the game. I had a bad arm so it all went as you say over "pear shaped" for me.
Vince and Ben you have made three films together will you work together again?
VINCE VAUGHN: Yes it was fun and a great experience but no we will not be working together again. [Laughter]
BEN STILLER: I loved it and I look forward to working with him again.
Were any of you good at sports?
BEN STILLER: No not me.
CHRISTINE TAYLOR: No not me either.
VINCE VAUGHN: Baseball, American football and wrestling but after I turned fifteen wrestling was not so interesting anymore if you know what I mean [laughter].
To all of you. If you could hurl a ball at a public figure who would it be?
VINCE VAUGHN: You stand Up and give me a ball! [Everybody laughs] Nobody really.
BEN STILLER: I don't know, probably all politicians.
Ben, did you hire Rip Torn and if so why?
BEN STILLER: He is a great actor and he handles comedy very well, he was perfect for the role very real in funny way.
Ben, White Goodman is very similar to ZOOLANDER, you seem to be drawn to these characters, would you do such a character again?
BEN STILLER: Well I never saw the correlation, but I don't think that it's that complicated I just pick up on a concept and flesh out the written character.
VINCE VAUGHN: Well I think it's complicated and I'd love to stay over to discuss it with you. [Laughter]
Vince and Ben you switched roles in this with Vince playing the good guy and Ben playing the bad guy, how hard is it playing the bad guy?
BEN STILLER: I thought that White is basically just funny not really a bad guy. He has issues definitely whereas in STARSKY AND HUTCH Vince's bad guy grounds the film as he is real. Basically what I am trying to say is that Vince is a more realistic actor.
VINCE VAUGHN: Ben's portrayal of White Goodman is perfect.
BEN STILLER: Vince says that shooting people in the first scene like in STARSKY AND HUTCH is always a good thing [laughter].
Vince, Ben and Christine all say goodbye.