Interviewer: Is it hard to take a PG movie now--to take all the crudeness away, all the F- words? How does that work?
Vince Vaughn: I think it's a testament to David, in that I loved those claymation films growing up, and this kind of feels like a live-action one of those. It has such great heart to it. I think it works on a smart level. Kevin and I were talking about a scene that we are not supposed to talk about, but if you have seen the movie you know, which is a really smart kind of adult-themed scene. The movie never has to be risqu? or shock value or gratuitous in order to accomplish that. So the adults really are following it on one level, and the kids are really connecting on another level.
AM: Is it hard?
VV: No, not really because really the only real R was Old School
, and this movie was kind of fun--to jump in and make a big Christmas movie.
AM: What Christmas did you get what you wanted?
VV: I guess understanding. Thanks for asking. Sometimes under the turtle's shell is kind of a soft interior. [Laughs] No. I don't know--as a kid, Christmas is fun because you want toys. Then, when you get socks or shirts, you kind of don't want those. As you get older, that is all you get. It's nice to have kids around because you kind of get to enjoy Christmas. I have a nephew and some nieces, and them opening presents and being excited in that way is fun.
AM: What is your secret gift wish?
VV: My secret gift wish was understanding. Sometimes I have to wait until next year and be thankful for the things that I did get. Thank you, guys.
AM: How was it putting Paul in a Santa suit?
VV: It was a hard process. It really was.
Paul Giamatti: It was a whole lot of stuff, yeah, but it was fun. It could have been a lot worse.
AM: Talk about the magic of the Christmas film and the reality theme of the film.
VV: I think the best thing--my favorite scene in the movie--is the Superman cape between the two great actors doing the scene, and the circumstances are absurd at first glance, obviously, in that Santa Claus and this efficiency expert are having this moment. The emotional truth of the scene is really kind of relatable and really human. It's kind of a nice message, a nice theme in it, and it's played by these guys really very real and committed to what their circumstance is. But it also has kind of a fairy tale element to it that the circumstances are, obviously, make believe.
AM: I'm with JFK in Washington, DC...
VV: That is the third time you have said that. If you say it again, I'm coming over the table. [Laughs] I'm kidding you. I'm proud of you. I'm on your side and joking with you.
VV: Are you with W...? I'm kidding with you! Allow me to celebrate you, please! If I hurt you, I hurt a piece of myself. It's a spiritual thing. You are safe and we are on the same team. Now they are ganging up--there are going to be shout-outs. Go ahead, I'm sorry.
AM: Did Paul give you tips on how to eat flan?
VV: No, I just ate it. I actually ate a lot more than actually made it in the movie. I ate a lot of it.
AM: How many takes?
VV: That was a one-er. I'm happy to do it. I don't know if you have seen me. I would have been happy to do two or three, though. Unlike Paul, there is no suit on. What you see is what you get. I am authentic. Normally I'm 170 pounds soaking wet. Not on this one--I had to get into character.
AM: How many times down the chimney?
VV: Here is the good news. Sometimes I would come down the chimney and that was fine, because I would just kind of come down the chimney. When you see people falling and doing weird stuff, that is a stunt guy named Joe Bucaro out of Chicago. I'm an actor that is not fashionable. A lot of actors like to be like, "Yeah, I do my stunts." I don't do any of my stuff. I don't like to do my stunts. I like to have a stunt guy do my stuff. So Joe will go and fall on his head and then we'll do some kind of high five thing or something, and then I will lie there and get up. I have sort of a sense memory moment of when I fell when I was much younger. A lot of the harder falls was a stunt guy.
AM: The first part of the question is...
VV: The answer is I did not wear a fat suit. What I did do was... I'm sorry, go ahead. If we're not having fun when we do it... I'm proud of all of you. I'm sorry, go ahead. I'm sorry.
AM: Are you only local actor?
VV: Local, which way?
AM: Do you live here in LA?
AM: Are you worried about the fires?
VV: No, California. My sister lives near Griffith Park, so over the summer, it was very hot. On a couple of different occasions, there were fires there. It is obviously a very scary and unfortunate thing for families, to be presented with losing their homes. Even when the earthquake happened a few years ago and people went through that--even on a much larger level, it happened with Katrina. Any time you have natural disasters occurring and people's foundations with their homes and stuff start being uplifted or kids being moved, it's never an easy equation for people. I will also say nothing screams Christmas more than California brush fire.
AM: Stellar cast. Usually it's one big star and a b-list cast.
VV: This movie had a bunch of big stars and me.
AM: Many actors don't do Christmas movies. Second question...
VV: Let's just focus on that one, first of all. We'll come back to the second one because that's a lot. You guys have an answer? Obviously, for me, I am just thrilled to work with all of these guys, truthfully. These are great actors. The thing in doing more comedies, as I get older--comedy sometimes, and especially the way that David does it, the jokes can come out of the circumstances. It's not so sketchy or just like a sketch show. It really does come from human conditions. When you are fortunate enough to have guys and the girls like Kathy Bates and Miranda [Richardson], who are in the movie as well, that are really good actors, then you are able to work on such a higher level. It's funny, but like David said, you can place it dramatically. It makes it better and it makes the movie much better.
AM: Naughty or nice--who was who?
VV: I would have been naughty but in a very nice way.
AM: At what age was your faith in Santa Claus shaken? Has anything restored it?
VV: I remember the day I had neighbors that let me know (I was 6 years old) that there was no Santa Claus. They go, "You know there's not a Santa Claus, right?" and of course, covering in front of them, I was like, "Well, yeah. Of course there's not a Santa Claus, guys." Then I went to my sisters and they said, "Okay, now you know the painful truth. There is not a Santa Claus." I was the youngest. They said, "Don't tell Mom and Dad because then we may not get gifts anymore. You got to keep pretending that you think there is Santa Claus or you are not going to get any gifts." I was like 16 going, "Dad, when is Santa coming down?" My Dad was like, "Look, it's getting weird. You are getting older. You know there's not a Santa. We're going to keep giving gifts, but there is no Santa. You know that, right?" I said, "You're going to keep giving gifts? Yeah, there is no Santa. I get that. I totally get that." That was my experience with it, but I can't speak for this group of angels that are sitting up here. We just did this fun short for the World Series with these kids. We did Claus kind of coaching. We did the whole thing and when it was over, one of the kids, who was nine or ten, came running up to me afterwards. He goes, "Hey, Fred." I felt like Joe Green in that Coca Cola commercial. He's like, "Hey, Fred." I turned and looked at him. I said, "Yeah?" He says, "Tell your brother to get me something this year." I looked at him and I said, "Oh, I got you. I got you." So now I'm just hoping that this guy is getting something good. Otherwise, he's going to hunt me down.