Vince Vaughn’s latest movie, “Couples Retreat,” is set to hit theaters Oct. 9. The movie stars a large cast of superstars, including Malin Akerman, who plays Vaughn’s wife, Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell, and Faizon Love and Kali Hawk. The movie follows the four couples as they travel from the Midwest to a tropical island, only to find out that they will be going through couples therapy instead of riding Jet Ski’s and drinking away at the tiki bar.
Vaughn answered a few questions with btw in anticipation of the film.
btw: The idea behind “Couples Retreat” was yours. What sparked that idea and how did you develop it?
VV: Well, I thought it would be fun to do a movie about couples instead of just about one relationship. I think all of us, you know if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, will find that it’s always nice if they get along with your friends.
I think what happens usually is that you find a group that you hang out with and that you like doing stuff together with. I thought it would be fun versus a movie just about a relationship to do a movie about a bunch of relationships and the group dynamic.
I tried to pick a bunch of characters that I set from the Midwest who all had a sort of relatable problems in their relationships. I think everyone can kind of see themselves and their friends in these different couples that we have in the movie.
btw: With such a large main cast, did you find that friendship and group dynamic was emulated on set?
VV: Well I’ve worked with Jason Bateman and Jon Favreau before. I did the movie “Made with Faizon,” which Favreau directed and I produced along with Peter Billingsley. This is the first movie that he (Billingsley) has directed. He produced “The Breakup” with me; he produced “Iron Man” with Favreau.
So, there is a real friendship with the guys that has existed because we’ve done a lot of stuff together. The girls were sort of new to the dynamic. Kristin Davis, from “Sex and the City,” Malin Akerman, who plays my wife, and Kristen Bell and the up-and-comer Kali Hawk, which is great.
I’ve got a system that we’ve used to build the screenplay, and I’ve always liked to bring the actors in and sort of play around and improvise and sort of get them included in the process. And that way, when you go to the set, everyone has looked at the stuff we’ve rehearsed, people get to have their ideas heard, and we sort of shoot what we have, and we see if we can improve upon it.
btw: With such a large cast of friends, as well as being on location in Bora Bora, were there more distractions while filming this movie? Was it any more fun than other movies you have done in the past?
VV: You know, the location is really great. I grew up in the Midwest where it is flat and cold, so to go to a place like this it was incredible. I’m really fortunate; I love what I do for work. We worked very hard while we were there, but we got to Jet Ski and do a bunch of stuff that we don’t normally get to do.
btw: We are here in Columbus, Ohio so our readers know all about that flat and cold you mentioned, but where are you from in the Midwest?
VV: I was just at the game there in Columbus! I went to the game two weeks ago against USC. I was there with my father and his brother. I’ve always been a Buckeye fan. All of my family is from Ohio, I’m the only one that wasn’t born there. Both of my sisters were born there. My dad grew up in Zanesville, Ohio. My grandfather was a farmer in a little town called Brewster, Ohio. Both my sisters and my parents lived in Columbus before I was born, and I was raised in Illinois. My dad has always been such a big football fan that I was born into Ohio State, and I’ve always been a fan of them.
btw: What was your favorite part of filming “Couples Retreat?”
VV: I just thought it was fun to do such a relatable subject matter and also to be able to work with people that I’m close with and that I admire. You get to make something funny and laugh all day; it’s always fun to do that.
btw: What about the film do you think will be most relatable to college students?
VV: I think a lot of it is relatable to college students. If you’re in a relationship for a little while, or you’re older and have been married for a couple years, there are dynamics that are similar. There’s a young girl in the movie that is dating an older guy. I think that there are just relationship dynamics that we all see ourselves in no matter what age we are. You know, I did the movie “The Breakup” and there is a scene in that movie when they are arguing about dishes and lemons and how she wants him to want to do the dishes, and that scene is very real. I think there are a lot of scenes like that in this movie as well, where you watch and think, yeah, that’s something that I went through not so long ago.