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Vince Vaughn on Fred Claus

Published November 11, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros.
Vince Vaughn has been playing comedy for adults in the last few years, and is widely credited with bringing back R-rated comedies. Now he's got a family film for the holidays. In Fred Claus he plays Santa's older brother, and he toned it down for the kids.

Vince Vaughn on being Fred Claus

"Really the only real R was Old School and Crashers," Vaughn said. "This movie here was kind of fun, to jump in and make a big Christmas movie. The thing in doing more comedies, as I get older, comedy sometimes, and especially the way that David [Dobkin] does it, the jokes can come out of the circumstances. It’s not so sketchy or just like a sketch show. It really does come from human conditions. When you are fortunate enough to have guys, and the girls like Kathy Bates and Miranda [Richardson] who are in the movie as well, that are really good actors, then you are able to work on such a higher level where it’s funny, but you approach it dramatically. It makes it better and it makes the movie much better."

Fred Claus has the drama of sibling rivalry and naughty kids at Christmas. Within the north pole fantasy, it can deal with real human issues. In one scene, Santa (Paul Giamatti) remembers the gift he never gave the bureaucrat (Kevin Spacey) analyzing his factory.

"I think my favorite scene in the movie is between Kevin and Paul. They're two both great actors doing the scene, and the circumstances are absurd at first glance obviously, in that Santa Claus and this efficiency expert having this moment. The emotional truth of the scene is really kind of relatable and really human and kind of a nice message, a nice theme in it, and it’s played by these guys really very real and committed to what their circumstance is. But, it also has kind of a fairy tale element to it that the circumstances are, obviously, make believe."

Fred Claus Fred Claus

Fred Claus Fred Claus

Fred Claus Fred Claus

When Fred shares some of Santa's delivery duties, he ends up eating his share of Christmas treats. "I just ate it. I actually ate a lot more than actually made it in the movie. I ate a lot. I’m happy to do it, I don’t know if you have seen me. I would have been happy to do two or three [takes] though. Unlike Paul, there is no suit on. What you see is what you get. I am authentic. Normally I’m 170 pounds soaking wet. Not on this one, I had to get into character."

The zanier antics required professionals to step in for Vaughn. "Here is the good news. Sometimes I would come down the chimney, and that was fine, because I would just kind of come down the chimney. When you see people falling and doing weird stuff? That is a stunt guy named Joe Bucaro, out of Chicago. A lot of actors, it's not fashionable. A lot of actors like to be like, ‘Yeah, I do my stunts.’ I don’t do any of my stuff. I don’t like to do my stunts. I like to have a stunt guy do my stuff. So, Joe will go and fall on his head and then we’ll do some kind of high five thing or something, and then I will lie there and get up. I have sort of a sense memory moment of when I fell when I was much younger. A lot of the harder falls was a stunt guy."

Fred Claus is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, posters, review and additional movie info, go to the Fred Claus Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros.

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