Owen Wilson On ‘Wonder’ And His Tendency To Kill Fictional Dogs

Senior Entertainment Writer
11.13.17 3 Comments

Lionsgate

Owen Wilson has a propensity for killing fictional dogs. Well, maybe not killing, but fictional dogs do have a way of dying when Owen Wilson stars in a movie. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Owen Wilson’s character, Eli Cash, does kill the dog, Buckley, in a car crash. Most notably, Wilson stars in 2008’s Marley & Me, which is all about a dog dying. It’s true that the death of the dog in Wilson’s latest film, Wonder, isn’t a huge plot point, but now it’s impossible not to notice this trend: If you are a fictional dog, do not star in a movie with Owen Wilson, because you will not make it to the credits.

Perhaps it’s comeuppance for all of the times Owen Wison’s characters were killed off early in his career. Remember Armageddon? Yeah, Owen Wilson’s Oscar Choice wasn’t long for that world. Neither was his Gary Dixon in Anaconda. Perhaps fictional dogs must die so that Owen Wilson’s fictional characters can live? (It’s just a working theory, there’s really no proof of this… yet.)

In Wonder, Wilson plays Nate Pullman, the husband of Isabel (Julia Roberts) and the father to Olivia (Izabela Vidovic) and Auggie (Jacob Tremblay). Auggie was born with a facial deformity and the film follows the family as they cope with Auggie’s enrollment at a new school after years of being homeschooled. Wonder is a sweet film, with a lot of Star Wars references, that takes us through Auggie’s friends and family and how his life affects them all. And Wilson is particularly great at playing the loving father, even though it’s a little weird that Wilson now plays the “adult” after years of playing the offbeat, cool guy with some sort of scheme up his sleeve. But as Wilson warns ahead, fictional dogs still need to take heed.

Oh my gosh, the dog dies again.

Yeah, that’s my calling card. Actually, that’s the third, because, in The Royal Tenenbaums, the dog dies also.

This is a trend.

Although actually, in that one, it’s not my dog. In fact, I run over the dog! What’s the name of the dog in this movie?

Daisy.

Daisy, yeah.

Yeah, Daisy doesn’t make it.

Buckley, Marley, and Daisy. You know, it’s getting where if a dog sees me cast in a movie, he starts to get nervous.

I need to start emotionally preparing myself before I watch an Owen Wilson movie that the dog is going to die.

[Laughs.] Yeah.

When I first saw Daisy, I was thinking to myself that a funny little opening question for you would be, “At least the dog didn’t die this time.” And then the dog dies.

No, still use that opening and then say, “Not so fast!”

“Not so fast.”

“The movie is a tearjerker, but at least the family dog makes it. Whoops, not so fast!”

With everything else going on in this movie, I thought that would be a special treat, Daisy was a little sick, but she pulled through. Nope.

That’s how it originally was in the script, but, you know, when I came aboard…

It’s in your contract, the dog cannot make it.

Exactly. “Dog does not make it.”

People expect this now.

And I know how the dog feels, because I used to never make it to the third act either. I died in Anaconda, The Haunting

Armageddon.

Armageddon. Yeah…

So this is like your personal revenge? Because you used to not make it to the end…

It’s a journey, you know, their cross to bear. But you come out the other side and before you know it, you’re making it all the way to the end credits.

This is a good lesson for everyone.

Yeah.

There’s a scene in which Julia Roberts compares you to Patrick Swayze.

I didn’t even know that. I haven’t seen the movie, so I just heard that the other day.

They’re watching Dirty Dancing.

She sees me dancing?

No, they’re watching Dirty Dancing and Julia Roberts says, “Doesn’t Patrick Swayze remind you of your father?”

Well, that’s very flattering. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. You know, actually, my older brother, Andrew, there’s a little bit more of a resemblance between those two.

I believe, too, this is your first onscreen lightsaber fight.

It is. Yeah, it’s my first one. I’ve got some practice with my own kids, that’s for sure. And actually, on the set of Night at the Museum, Steve Coogan is playing a Roman soldier. He had swords, but of course they weren’t lightsabers.

Chewbacca shows up in this movie. I wasn’t expecting that and I don’t know how that even works with licensing.

Well, what’s that Marvel movie that’s coming out.

Thor?

No, the one where all the people are together. Justice League.

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