Owen Wilson has become known the most for his appearances in Frat Pack style comedies, collaborating frequently with his brothers Luke and Andrew in films as well as comedian Ben Stiller. He has also become known for his collaborations with director Wes Anderson. Now he’s back reprising his role as Lightning McQueen in Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3.
Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Owen, where we discussed what he thought about the movie’s message, what it was like working with Pixar, and whether there has been progress on a Shanghai Noon sequel.
First of all, I want to say congratulations on the film. I had so much fun with this movie.
Owen Wilson: Thanks very much. Yeah. I watched it for the first time last night at the premiere.
Owen Wilson: Yeah. I really enjoyed it too.
I loved it! One thing that I loved about this film was how relatable it was to me, mainly because when I saw the first one in 2006, you know, I was decent at playing sports and now I’m a little older and I’m playing with these kids and I’m feeling that age catching up with me, but I loved it. I also loved the fact that this film celebrates diversity. I know it’s all characters, but the character of Cruz just naturally plays into the next person in line and it’s just because that person is the best for the job regardless of if she’s a woman or their race or anything like that. What do you think about that?
Owen Wilson: Well, I know that I think that’s what made, you know, made it a kind of interesting movie to work on and certainly, when I watched it, the thing that I sort of found moving about it was the relationship between Cruz and Lightning McQueen and my character is really facing some challenges and is looking to her for help and she’s such a generous spirit that, you know, Lightning can be sort of, you know, self-consumed that it takes him awhile to recognize that this person has some dreams of their own and, when he finally recognizes that and begins to sort of help to make those happen the way that people have done for him, it is such a nice arc the way the story comes full circle.
Absolutely. One thing that I’ve heard about Pixar was that they are very good at helping and collaborating with you. Is there anything that you may have brought to your character in this one that wasn’t on the page before?
Owen Wilson: Yeah. They are certainly open to any ideas and I know that the story, even on this one from when we started a couple years ago recording, that it evolved and they kind of tinkered with it and the ending kind of changed. I think it is because they are so open to trying to make the best story that they can. They don’t mind rewriting something or changing it and yeah. That’s nice.
Something that I’ve always found fun, and I love this film is Shanghai Noon. Now, I know we’ve been teased a little bit with a possible Shanghai Dawn, reuniting you with Jackie Chan. Any further progress on that?
Owen Wilson: Yeah, there is some talk. Uh, I saw Jackie not too long ago and we were talking about it, but it’s funny that you mention that because Shanghai Noon was the movie, I think, that helped me sorta become involved with Cars because when I met John Lasseter, he and his kids had enjoyed that movie, and he said that he had this animated movie that he thought maybe I’d be good for so that’s you know, how ended up getting cast as Lightning McQueen.