In Dreamworks’ Delivery Man Vince Vaughn plays an affable Average Joe whose past comes back to haunt him. The sperm donation clinic he went to (years ago) for extra cash informs him that he’s the father of over 500 children. With debt collectors on his case and his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulers) expecting his first ‘real’ child, David has the tough choice of revealing himself to the kids he fathered who’ve filed a lawsuit to find out his identity. Along with the aid of his best friend Brett (Chris Pratt), David embarks on a journey to discover who he wants to be and whether he’ll prove himself to his family.
Vince Vaughn is known for doing screwball comedies, but in Delivery Man he takes a turn as an underachiever who finds himself in an unbelievable situation.
Vince Vaughn: One of the things that I really love in the film is that nowadays a lot of times you’ll have something be just a comedy or just a drama, or just sentimental, and this under one umbrella is really unpredictable. From one scene to the next you don’t know if you’re going to laugh or be tense. This movie particularly has been really great because like I said I think it is more dramatic, but I think it also is very funny and also a lot of different things. I think of the scene with the daughter where you are wondering what decision to make, or the boy in the wheelchair. It’s just the circumstances… but I think the journey for Chris’ character you really get a good feel of the backstory of how he’s been perceived by his family. He’s a very loveable guy but he’s kind of overwhelmed with these kids, and his life and for Cobie you see such a strong character is really embarking on a big decision with someone who’s not fully there. So, I like that in this movie. You kind of have all of those different things.
Cobie Smulders plays Emma, David’s girlfriend and mother of their unborn child. She challenges him by proposing to raise their child alone unless he cleans up his act. From the career driven Robin Scherbatsky to bad-ass S.H.E.I.L.D agent Maria Hill, Smulders shares why she’s drawn to playing strong women.
Cobie Smulders: Because they’re the most fun to play. I mean it’s also Emma’s a very conflicted character as well because she’s in love with this man, and she just wishes that it wasn’t so challenging at times. And I think that especially at the beginning when you’re single and you’re just in a relationship with each other, its one thing. But then if you bring a kid into the mix it brings up a whole other list of responsibilities. And so, it’s fun playing against that. I don’t know why I get cast as strong women a lot, but they are. They’re kind of the most fun to play, you know. It’s also nice to portray strong women in media and to have young girls grow up watching them.
Chris Pratt plays Brett, David’s lawyer and best friend who not only gives him legal advice but parenting tips from his experience as a father. Pratt and the cast talk about their parenting off camera and how their lives have changed.
Chris Pratt: Oh, yeah, you can’t help but change when you have a kid. For me it was just a sense of I didn’t feel like anything was missing in my life and it wasn’t and now if I am absent from my son I do feel like something is missing. But before that I was very fulfilled and I was having a lot of fun, and I was sowing wild oats and doing the kind of things that you should do when you don’t have kids. Now, I’m just doing less of that, but I earned it, you know. What’s funny is the way I’ve changed, I’ve got a whole new window through which to see the world, and everything is exciting for me again. Things that I took granted are exciting for me again. The way something feels or smells or tastes or how drawers open. I’m like, ‘Look at that, kid. That is actually really cool. It’s like just a wall with a knob and then you pull it, and there’s a bunch of shit in there. What is that about?’ I wouldn’t take a minute to appreciate a drawer before my son.
Vince Vaughn: I think it’s true. I think you definitely get a whole world opened up to yourself with kids, and I think as a parent you try to enjoy them, and be happy and have fun. Also, try to figure out what’s the best way to be a parent to them and set them up to be happy in life and pursue those things. So, I think a lot of it for me goes to my relationship. I’m very fortunate with my wife, and we were just talking when we were sitting down, and you realize how much the relationship when kids are young can suffer. And it’s important to make sure that you are able to spend some time with each other. I think as a father, the best thing you can do for the kid is to love the mom. Even as a parent, I believe that loving the mother is the most important thing. Even parents who maybe aren’t together I think that’s important for them as well to respect each other and to be kind to each other. Because I think it does so much in who they would pick to be around, or how they feel about themselves. So I think sometimes how we communicate is important just an example.
The cast on whether playing or being parents has enlightened them as far as their own childhoods. Plus, have their expectations of being a parent changed?
Cobie Smulders: Well, I think one of the things that I have fought for a long time is that what you grow up with or how you grew up is what you think is right. And I think for a long time I was trying to recreate that, but it’s just not going to exist in my life for my child because like we have a very different lifestyle. So, I sort of combated that for awhile, and it was kind of learning just to be able to go with it, and do the best for your child in each moment instead of trying to make it something else because I grew up in Canada. It’s pretty awesome up there, guys. So it’s just very different.
Chris Pratt: Oh, my dad is a big man, and I remember as a kid always wondering why the hell does he tie his robe above his belly. Like what is the deal with tying it up on top of his belly when most people would tie it like at their waistline? And I realized after being big in this movie and wearing a robe that was probably designed for like Cobie or something that that’s just where the tie is. When you have a big belly you have to tie it above there. So I saw myself in my dressing room wearing that robe with the tie tied where it falls naturally on top of my belly. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my God, I just became my dad.’
Vince Vaughn: Some of your own experiences can make things easier. You build off of it, but your imagination is always the best thing you have as far as creating things I think specifically for what that character is going through. But you’re definitely drawing obviously things that you can connect to, and then you kind of mold the change that you’re making into it sort of right for the character. What I love about the film is that to me the movie a lot of it is about learning to accept who you are. You have the pressures to be a bunch of different things, and we don’t all have all skills at all sides of stuff. But getting to be okay with yourself, forgive yourself, you know, love yourself, and bringing that to the table for relationships whether it’s with someone that you’re in love with, a romantic relationship or a family, parents, kids. There’s a lot of that in the movie, and I feel like as we all watch the film, and to the point earlier about hopes and fears. I think what’s great about the film is as a parent it does kind of deal with your biggest fears or hopes for kids. But I think as a young person they connect to the movie because it’s what is in front of everybody everyday is, ‘Gosh, I’d love to be doing this or I want my life to go this way, but how do I did I find myself in this? How do I get out of this? How do I change where I’m at?’ You know, I think that that’s something for all of us as we go through life. As you get older hopefully you get a little better at getting past the moments that aren’t your best, or getting out of situations that aren’t your favorite and trying to increase the things that you are enjoying.
Pratt is poised for super-stardom when Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters next year. He shares what he’s taken away from working with Vaughn when it comes to dealing with fame.
Chris Pratt: I learned so much from watching Vince. Not only just in terms of acting and being professional and being sharp on set, but also how to treat your fans when they approach you and stuff. I mean this guy – anywhere he goes he gets recognized, which is something that I don’t necessarily have. I’ll get recognized from time to time but really Vince can’t go anywhere without being confronted by people who just really love him. That sounds like it would be really great, but I think after a while that can be overwhelming. I never once saw him treat somebody poorly. He treated his people really well. We were in Madison Square Garden with thousands of people, and they all knew who he was, and that’s where he gave every single one of those people a little moment. A little piece of himself. I think that’s something I’d aspire to do. I just want to work with people who are going to keep teaching me.
With How I Met Your Mother in its final season, Smulders reveals how she’s transitioning into the next chapter of her career.
Cobie Smulers: It’s very emotional. Everyone is soaking it in. I’m really grateful to have been employed for the last nine years, and they’re very accommodating. They allowed me to go and shoot this movie on a hiatus week, and during, I think I missed a few days of production to fly to New York and work with this guy [Vaughn]. So, they have been just amazing, but in terms of the future to sort of piggyback on what these guys have been saying, I mean as actors you’re sort of open to new experiences and I’d like to just try new projects.
Vaughn shares the impact the movie’s had on him and what he hopes it will have on others.
Vince Vaughn: I think one of the things that’s so loving and warm in the film was that you have a bunch of people looking for a connection who are looking to be a part of something. And there’s something really wonderful in the way that the film, in a very kind of non-fluffy way, takes that journey. And I’ve received some really nice notes from people already. Even some people in the industry who have been adopted or had other experiences that really moved me in a way that the movie spoke to them. And so, to me when I watched the film I find the kids in the movie to be really positive and loving. They have all this life and joy inside of them. There’s something that feels really wonderful about that connection that they find and that they experience. So I think that side of things and however you go through it in life is what we all seek. It’s nice to feel loved and also I think that it’s forgotten a lot that it’s nice to have someone to love. That’s a great side of it as well.
Delivery Man opens November 22.