Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Old School, Wedding Crashers, True Detective
Currently Known For:
Actor, Producer, Screenwriter, and Comedian
Old School, Wedding Crashers, True Detective
“I’ve never been a person that’s gone through excessive therapy at all. Some people might say that I should.” Although he launched his career in the late 1980s with a handful of small roles in television series like 21 Jump Street, ABC Afterschool Special, and Doogie Howser M.D., Vince Vaughn didn’t truly find fame until the next decade when he starred in Jon Favreau’s 1996 comedy-drama, Swingers. In the years since then, the actor, screenwriter, producer, and comedian has established his versatility across a variety of film genres from the 1993 sports classic Rudy and the 1997 sci-fi adventure film The Lost World: Jurassic Park to the 1998 drama thriller Return to Paradise, the 2006 romantic comedy The Break-Up, and the 2017 thriller Brawl in Cell Block 99.
Along the way, Vaughn’s talents as a comedian have often taken center stage as he joined fellow actors Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Ben Stiller in guy comedies like Old School (2003), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), and Wedding Crashers (2005). He even showcased his softer side when he joined Jennifer Aniston in the 2006 romantic comedy, The Break-Up. Most recently, he’s taken his skills to a new level with more dramatic roles in the HBO anthology series True Detective (2015) as well as in films like Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017).
“For me, I love California. I feel like it’s my second home in that I moved out here by choice at eighteen. It gave me opportunities that I didn’t have anywhere else.” The son of a toy company salesman and a stockbroker and realtor, Vincent Anthony Vaughn came into this world on March 28, 1970 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent most of his childhood in Buffalo Grove, Illinois where his interests were solely on sports like wrestling, baseball, and football. Despite his passion, however, he showed very little promise as an athlete. Instead, and much to his surprise, he excelled in musical theater, which his parents fully supported. “My father came from nothing, so he believed that people could do anything if they worked hard enough,” Vaughn said of his early ambitions to perform. “I think he liked that I chose to be an actor. Both he and my mom were totally supportive.”
Vaughn was 17 years old when he decided to become an actor and, after graduating from Lake Forest High School in 1988, he set his sights on making that dream come true. Shortly after graduation, he appeared in a commercial for Chevrolet and then moved west to Hollywood where he was certain he would find bigger roles. Luckily, that’s exactly what happened as he honed his talents with minor guest spots on popular television series like China Beach (1989), 21 Jump Street (1989), ABC Afterschool Specials (1990), CBS Schoolbreak Special (1991), and Doogie Howser, M.D. (1992).
After he snagged an uncredited role in the 1991 film For the Boys, things improved for Vaughn in 1993 when he landed his first feature film role as Jamie O’Hara in Rudy. While the film didn’t make Vaughn a household name, it introduced him to fellow actor Jon Favreau who would play an important role in launching Vaughn’s film career just a few years later. In 1994, Vaughn appeared as Max Nolan in At Risk and saw his luck drastically improve when Favreau finished the screenplay for a new film titled Swingers and recommended Vaughn for the role of Trent Walker. With only a $200,000 budget, Swingers made its theatrical debut in 1996 and grossed over $4.5 million at the box office making both Vaughn and Favreau overnight stars.
“I’m not running for office. I just want people to come to my stuff and escape and see me as a character, not as anything else.” Following his success with Swingers, Vaughn caught the attention of director Steven Spielberg who cast him in his next blockbuster, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which grossed over $615 million at box offices worldwide. Vaughn suddenly had more attention than ever before and no longer had trouble finding work as he joined Anne Heche in Return to Paradise (1998), Joaquin Phoenix in Clay Pigeons (1998), Jennifer Lopez in The Cell (2000), and Jon Favreau in Made (2001).
By the new millennium, Vaughn was settling into his fame nicely when he turned his attention to comedy and starred in the 2003 flick, Old School, which sealed his fate in Hollywood as a guy’s guy and an anti-authoritarian comedian. “I loved Old School,” Vaughn said of the film. “I thought Old School was very different than a lot of the comedies that had come out. And that character I liked. I tried to ground him very much in reality and play him very much finding things important to him that are somewhat ridiculous.”
The success of Old School paved the way for even bigger opportunities for Vaughn as his friendship with Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell earned him a coveted place among Hollywood’s “Frat Pack,” which also included Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. Vaughn embraced the inclusion and joined his pals in hit comedies like Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wedding Crashers (2005), and The Break-Up (2006). The latter two films grossed over $200 million at the box office thanks to Vaughn’s incredible performance opposite Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers and opposite Friends star Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up. Coincidentally, The Break-Up was also his debut as a writer!
Over the next few years, Vaughn found plenty of work in films like Into the Wild (2007), Fred Claus (2007), Four Christmases (2008), and Couples Retreat (2009). In 2011, he produced and starred in The Dilemma and, in 2012, he narrated and produced the Netflix documentary Art of Conflict. After appearances in The Watch (2012) and Lay the Favorite (2012), he wrote and produced The Internship in 2013 and joined the Frat Pack once again in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.Switching Gears: Proving Himself as a Dramatic Actor
“Whenever you’re scared of something, don’t let that define you. We all feel it, but step up.” Between 2013 and 2016, Vaughn’s career seemed to slow down until he returned to the silver screen as Sergeant Howell in the 2016 biographical war drama, Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. For Vaughn, the film marked one of the first times he played a straight-laced role instead of the typical anti-authority or comedic figure.
“I had never heard this story before when it came across my desk. I didn’t know who Desmond Doss was and I was really inspired by this guy’s conviction,” Vaughn said of reading the script. “I think at a time when they throw a movie out if it doesn’t have a clear-cut sequel or franchise, it is nice to be a part of a movie that is about an ordinary person who did extraordinary things that were coming from a place of love. For me, the character was great because I got to show so many different colors. You get to be funny, you get to be strong and show some empathy, so I really enjoyed the part on top of it as well.”
To prepare for the role, Vaughn whipped himself into pristine physical shape and did extensive research on sergeants and the relationship they had with their men. “As an older actor on the set, a lot of those very dialogue-heavy scenes from me came very early and so it was important for me to come in very prepared as an example and be ready to go,” Vaughn said of his preparation. “I think the mixture of it all played into how we sort of interacted with each other.”
Of course, Vaughn admits that another big draw to accepting the part was the chance to work with Mel Gibson. “He is a great actor and he has a great sense of humor,” Vaughn said. “There are a lot of lessons in this film for me in that it is dramatic and there is a lot of powerful stuff but he also makes sure that there is some vulnerability and other human feelings as well…”
With Hacksaw Ridge winning several awards, Vaughn was even more prepared to tackle another serious character when he won the part of former boxer and drug mule Bradley Thomas in Brawl in Cell Block 99 in 2017. Again, the role was unlike anything Vaughn had ever played before, which is exactly what the actor loved about it.
“It first grabbed me when I read a scene where my character comes home like shown in the trailer, and he beats up his car in the most comical way,” Vaughn said. “You later see that his wife was up to things that would hurt any man. You see the pain he has, and despite his bland personality, you can see that he’s very capable of being angry but distances himself from that. I was so surprised by the conversation he has with her involving his forgiveness, which brings them closer. That’s a unique situation that would warrant a divorce or breakup. I didn’t expect that, and I loved him for it, because I thought in his pain, in his hurt, there’s so much understanding and forgiveness that they’re capable of, which I think in life, we all kind of think that if people can make mistakes, there’s a bond, or there’s still a way of finding yourself back from that. That became very rootable for me.”
Vaughn’s kinship to his character is part of what made the film a huge success as it earned a nomination for Best Thriller Film at the Saturn Awards in 2018 and continues to make year-end best of lists for leading publications and media outlets like Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times. On the heels of the film’s success, Vaughn jumped directly into his next project, Dragged Across Concrete, which is an American crime thriller starring Mel Gibson that premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in September 2018. He’ll return to his comedic roots in 2019 to star in Fighting with My Family starring Dwayne Johnson and is currently wrapping up production on the political thriller Against All Enemies starring Kristen Stewart.Life Today: Personal Relationships and His Future in Hollywood
“I was lucky I always got along with girls. It was never like a big deal. I had a lot of girls I was friends with that I wasn’t sexual with. I think having two older sisters made me comfortable like that.” Always finding it easy to befriend women, Vaughn surprised his fans when he confirmed that he and Jennifer Aniston, his costar in The Break-Up, were dating in late 2005. However, the romance was short-lived as Vaughn and Aniston broke up in November 2006 after Vaughn sued three tabloid magazines for accusing him of being unfaithful to the former Friends star.
Doing his best to keep his personal life out of the spotlight, Vaughn met and fell in love with Canadian realtor Kyla Weber and confirmed their engagement in March 2009. They married on January 2, 2010 surrounded by family and friends at the historic Armour House at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois. After their honeymoon, they returned to Los Angeles where they’ve since welcomed daughter Locklyn Kyla (2010) and son Vernon Lindsay (2013) into the world.
Now juggling fatherhood with his busy film schedule, many wonder what the future holds for the 48-year-old actor, producer, and comedian. For Vaughn, the answer is simple: “I have a preference for film just because of the familiarity. It’s what I know, and I sort of have nostalgia for it.” As for whether or not he’ll focus more on comedy or drama, Vaughn isn’t giving up on either. “I feel like as you get older, the roles you get change,” he says, “and you don’t always want to do the same tone over and over again.” It looks like Hollywood’s beloved “Frat Pack” member and former Old School star is finally growing up!