What could be more fun than getting an internship at Google? How about filming a movie about getting an internship at Google with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson?
Late last year, Yahoo Movies (as well a limited number of other outlets) got the chance to experience how fun it is to do just that as we visited the set of director Shawn Levy's "The Internship," -- Vaughn and Wilson's first movie together since2005's blockbuster comedy "Wedding Crashers."
Vaughn and Wilson play two out of work salesmen who somehow sell their way into landing highly competitive internships at Google. Once they arrive on Google's campus, they encounter some sort of "mental Hunger Games against a bunch of genius kids for just like a handful of jobs," as the trailer professes.
Though they spent time filming at the Googleplex, Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley, Levy's crew also created a replica of the office on location in Atlanta. In between filming, ping pong, and billiards, we caught up with Vaughn, Wilson, and Levy about the comedy.
Vaughn initially wrote the script after seeing a "60 Minutes" segment about Google company culture. "I sort of thought of the concept of how, just in life right now, I felt a lot of people were losing their jobs -- things were tough. And then I saw this thing on '60 Minutes' where I saw Google. I thought this is so different from what we were raised for what a job to be. People have chefs around. They're taking naps. They're playing games in their campus. It looks like a fun college campus."
So Vaughn began writing the fish out of water tale. Along the way he realized it was the perfect chance for him to reunite with his old pal Wilson. "When Vince had this idea, it just seemed like something that would be really funny for us to work on," Wilson recalled.
Vaughn pitched the idea to Levy ("Night at the Museum" 2006, "Real Steel" 2011) while on the set of "The Watch," which Levy helped produce. Levy bit hard on the idea, and had a fairly easy time selling it to Fox. "The fact it was me, Vince, and Owen coming as a package together with this big idea: Vince and Owen as interns at Google. It's clean. It's strong. It's timely. So it was a pretty quick yes."
The Vince and Owen part of that equation has been a pitch in the works since "Wedding Crashers" made over $285 million worldwide eight years ago.
"We had so much fun working together, and we've always stayed such good friends. There had been some things, but nothing really that made sense because you want it to be its own original thing. I knew we wanted to do something together again but it had to feel like its own kind of fun, original idea that made sense," said Vaughn.
"You kind of wait to find something that you both get excited about. So when Vince had this idea, it just seemed like something that would be really funny for us to work on," added Wilson.
When we asked what was the biggest difference between now and 2005, Wilson quickly chimed in, "Kids!" Then wondered, "Was the internet around when we were doing Wedding Crashers?"
"The internet had more than a heartbeat in 2005, yes," joked Vaughn.
While it might seem odd that a couple of middle aged guys would get internships at Google, the concept isn't completely out of this world (like "The Watch," for example).
"Even Google has to be able to sell stuff. So there is room for people that aren't necessarily great at coding but do have the gift of gab and can sell people on a dream," said Wilson. "It might be some sort of affirmative action too."
"Google often accepts employees and interns with a kind of outside-that-Silicon-Valley-box way of thinking, and it's one of the reasons that these characters get in," added Levy.
"At the end of the day, the movie's really about still having a dream, whatever that dream may be, wanting something in life. To try something. To try to reach your potential," said Vaughn.
"There's that famous [F. Scott] Fitzgerald quote, 'There are no second acts in American life.' And so, that's what this movie would be. I mean, we are looking for a second act -- A second chance," added Wilson.
But the film isn't just about second acts, it also features a host of talented young actors -- including Max Minghella ("The Social Network"), Dylan O'Brien (TV's "Teen Wolf") and Josh Brener, who stole every scene we observed -- playing characters still trying to write their first act.
"We show this generational story, that is as much about 20-year-olds as it is about late 30-somethings," noted Levy. "It’s very much about those 20-year-olds' perspective on the world as much as it is about Vince and Owen’s perspective of the world."
Before any of those kids got hired though, they had to play some improv tennis with Vaughn, so that Levy could insure the supporting cast could keep up with the two leads, whose working relationship has only improved over the years.
While much has changed since "Wedding Crashers," plenty has remained the same. "We almost play tennis every day," said Vaughn. "There were lots of times on 'Crashers' and on this and in the rehearsal process where I would come with a good idea, or he would come with a good idea, or Shawn would. So it's nice when you're working with people that are enthusiastic and having fun with it and trying to come up with different ways, never settling, and always thinking of fun ways of doing stuff."
The fun starts June 7, when "The Internship" opens wide.
See Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in 'The Internship' theatrical trailer...
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