We like to make fun of Vince Vaughn a lot around these parts, because he seems like an actor who just sort of drops by the set for a hoagie, and maybe does some acting while waiting for them to toast the bread. It’s mostly good-natured ball busting though, because can you blame him? He wants to make money for not working very hard, he’s living out my free sandwich fantasies. Still, Vaughn has Unfinished Business coming out this weekend, and as moviegoers, we have to wonder if the guy who said yes to the script was Wedding Crashers Vince Vaughn or The Internship Vince Vaughn.
To hear Vaughn explain it in a recent Playboy interview though, The Internship might not have been as terrible an idea as you think (aside from letting Shawn Levy direct it, presumably). This thanks to a last-minute studio decision to make it PG-13:
Wedding Crashers was your highest-grossing comedy, bringing in more than $200 million worldwide—perhaps the most ever paid for a hand job under a banquet table.
Right? Crashers is an adult situation comedy. I think that movie did well because it really captures how guys talk—the purple stuff, the explicit tone and language. It was a blast to work with Owen on that. We had never really worked together, aside from a cameo in Zoolander, and Crashers just went all-out on the content. You have to do that sometimes in a movie. It’s sort of a relief to people when your characters say things people are thinking but don’t have the nerve to say. When you pull away from that sort of content, it can really mess up a film.
What are you referring to?
Well, The Internship was supposed to be an R-rated comedy. Right before we started shooting, the studio said they wanted to go PG-13. I said I just didn’t see that. I said we’d do it both ways and then make the call. But the ship had sailed, and I found myself in a movie that was PG-13, which was not my initial intent. As an actor you’re not in charge of how those decisions get made, so you find yourself in positions sometimes where you’re making a movie that’s different from what you expected. [Playboy]
2014’s highest-grossing live-action comedies were 22 Jump Street and Neighbors, and 2013’s were The Heat and We’re The Millers. 2012’s were Ted and 21 Jump Street. All of them rated R. I can only hope recent history has all but killed the notion that a PG-13 comedy is a safer bet than an R-rated one.
People will ask, “but do a few cuss words really make such a huge difference?” Well, when you’re making a silly dick joke comedy, being able to actually say the word dick, yeah, it does make a pretty big difference.