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Owen Wilson on Marley & Me

Published December 28, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
Marley & Me Marley & Me

In any animal movie, there are several animals to play each character because each one knows different tricks. Marley & Me covers the entire life of a Labrador Retriever, so there were multiple puppies and grown dogs to play him. "Costar" Owen Wilson had to steel himself from attachment issues.

Owen Wilson on Falling for Marley(s)

"There were so many dogs playing Marley that it was like doing a Vietnam movie where you didn't want to get to close because you knew that that dog might not be there the next day," Wilson said.

He did get attached though, so that even when he was only acting in tragic scenes, Wilson could imagine the real impact. "I knew those scene were coming up and I was kinda nervous like, 'Gosh, I hope I feel something' so they don't have to get out those fake tears that they do. The glycerin was on stand by but I didn't really need it because as soon as Copper, the dog who played the old man Marley, as soon as you see this dog it was hard not to start getting kind of emotional so that was what was nice about the movie that the situations didn't feel ever contrived. Everything seemed kind of relatable so it wasn't difficult to kind of understand, this makes sense what he's feeling."

Wilson plays John Grogan, a Florida newspaper columnist who adopts a dog initially to stave off his wife's desire for children. Ultimately the dog follows them as they grow into a family of three. Jennifer Aniston plays Jenny Grogan and the movie hinges on their chemistry as much as the dog's.

Marley & Me Marley & Me

Marley & Me Marley & Me

Marley & Me Marley & Me

"We didn't really know each other before the movie began. We just met in passing and I think it was more like in rehearsal just early on feeling like were on the same page with the way we felt things should go. The thing about chemistry, it's sort of you get along with a person and then sort of if the movie does well, then you have great chemistry."

Along their 15 year family life, they undergo serious times that might not be apparent from the cute marketing of the movie. Without giving away spoilers, Wilson offered comfort to concerned parents of the family movie.

"I would think its okay to say there are real life issues. Sometimes I'll think, 'Am I supposed to give away what happens?' But we're kind of telling the story that the book told. You hope that people appreciate that and that story. I guess that's just something for parents to decide. It's also I think right that sometimes maybe as an adult you kind of underestimate or forget kids' ability to deal with stuff or how much they do soak up."

Marley & Me is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, posters, stills, review and more movie info, go to the Marley & Me Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox

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