Introspective yet enthusiastic, comedic yet serious, crazy tall yet completely down to earth — it’s all a contradiction in terms, and it’s just part of what makes Vince Vaughn endlessly fascinating.
Delivery Man, based on writer-director Ken Scott’s 2011 French-Canadian film Starbuck, tells the story of affable underachiever David Wozniak (Vaughn), a mediocre meat-truck driver whose anonymous — and plentiful — donations to a fertility clinic more than 20 years ago resulted in 533 children.
Now, 142 of them have filed a class action suit to try to determine the true identity of the biological father they know only as Starbuck — the pseudonym he used at the clinic. As Wozniak embarks on a journey of heartwarming self-discovery, he comes to realize that no one is ever quite ready for what life delivers and learns what it truly means to be a parent.
“It was fun to be making this movie with people who are at a similar stage — as excited parents,” Vaughn says of working with co-stars Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt. “They’re very balanced, so that was fun to be around.”
As for where his own parenting life will lead him, Vaughn is open to more kids, having just welcomed second child Vernon to his family.
“I’m really thankful for the two kids that I have, and if another kid comes along, I would be thrilled for sure,” he says.
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Vaughn in Los Angeles the night of Delivery Man‘s red carpet premiere to talk more about parenthood (no nannies!), what it would be like to have 533 children (he’d ask for peace and quiet on Father’s Day), and what it meant to be a young actor in Hollywood when he first started out. (We’ll count the part when he kissed me on the cheek at the after party as a definite added bonus.)
To that end, here are 10 life lessons learned from the film. And Vaughn. Don’t worry, it turns out no one know what they’re doing at first:
This parenting thing is harder than you might think… 1 of 11
But don't worry. No one knows what they're doing at first.
Life imitates art more often than you think. Go with it. 2 of 11
"Nowadays movies can be just a comedy or just sentimental or just a drama, and I think is all of those things in one movie," Vaughn says. "It makes it a very unpredictable story. You're not quite sure what emotion is going to come next."
Kind of like life, amirite?
Nobody knows what they’re doing at first. 3 of 11
"Part of the journey as a parent is communicating with the other person," Vaughn says. "What's the win-win? How do me and my wife both get what we want. It's just learning better skills at something that you've never done before."
Communication gets pretty clear pretty quick when that first blowout happens. You know it's true.
Parenthood is a story you write along the way. 4 of 11
"You're so cracked open as a parent..." Vaughn says. "I had only my daughter [during filming], and my second child was conceived during Delivery Man. And so, you have your kid and you start thinking about a family, and inevitably you start thinking, 'What should I do for their lives?'
"You start seeking information about [parenting], and it just becomes a journey of figuring out the best way to give them skill sets to be successful," he adds. "You start down that journey so strongly. And I think for me, fortunately, I come from a very close family, and I waited till I was older and I really wanted to be a parent, so I'm very invested in it. It was very easy to draw on those kind of emotions that were running in me anyway, because it was very much at the surface."
It's true. Being a parent means having adorable little pieces of your heart walking around getting the furniture sticky.
Lead by example. 5 of 11
"I think the best thing you can do as a father for your kid is to love the mom," Vaughn says. "It shows him what a good relationship should be. There's so much teaching that's not downloading information, it's just by example."
Commence the collective "awww."
Do your best. 6 of 11
"I was fortunate, because my parents were good with me choosing something very non-traditional in acting," Vaughn says. "I never had pressure to be financially successful, but I always had a lot of pressure to work hard. It was expected of me to try my best, but I was never pressured for results."
"When I started acting at 18, there was only Entertainment Tonight," he adds. "So there was no focus on celebrity to the same degree. Me and all my friends just wanted to be better actors, but none of us thought we were going make any money. We just thought, 'Oh, if I get a part in this, that would be great.' And I thought that was a great place to work from, because we were trying to get better at something."
"You want to work hard," he continues, "but you want to try to find something that you're passionate about."
To quote Yoda (because everything comes back to Star Wars): "Do or do not. There is no try."
Talk to each other. No one’s a mind reader. 7 of 11
"It's interesting for Cobie's character and my character to figure out how they see each other, because I find relationships to be about communicating and expectations," Vaughn says. "Once you start breaking expectations and if you're not understanding what the other person wants, then trust can get broken."
Love each other. Yep. It’s that simple. 8 of 11
"My character comes to a place of accepting who he is," Vaughn says. "I can't be someone I'm not, but I love this kid and I love you, so let's start from that place. And that's the thing with parenting. It's about connecting."
All you need is love. And a nice strong latte in the morning. Also, occasional alone time in the bathroom without little hands poking underneath the door.
Go ahead and fall in love. With change. 9 of 11
"Once a kid comes in the picture, I do think you look at your life differently," Vaughn says of parenthood. "Your life becomes secondary."
Mainly because that new life is so amazing, it's all you can eat/breathe/sleep the first year.
Play! 10 of 11
"No, that was acting," Vaughn says of being ticklish during his pedicure in the film. "I've only gotten [a pedicure] maybe once or twice, but I'd rather let my daughter paint my feet. She likes to get her nails painted. She'll say, 'Oh, that's red, or blue, or that's natural.' There's a little place my wife likes to go with her."
Again, commence the collective "awww."
Never play favorites. Or at least don’t tell anyone if you do. 11 of 11
"Love â€˜em all the same," Vaughn says of having a favorite among his 533 children. "You know, I really did. All those actors were just so wonderful and so excited. There's something in that enthusiasm and commitment to do a great job that I found inspiring."
Yes. OF COURSE we love ALL our children the same.
Delivery Man releases everywhere on Nov. 22!
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures, DreamWorks
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