WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 20: Vince Vaughn attends “Fighting With My Family” Los Angeles Tastemaker Screening at The London Hotel on February 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
  • Interviews

Vince Vaughn on “Freaky”

As an actor, Vince Vaughn has crashed weddings, interacted with dinosaurs, seen his relationship break up, gone to therapy and excelled at dodgeball. In his thirty-two-year career, he’d never been asked to play the part of a teenage girl. Until now. The 50-year-old Minneapolis native can now be seen playing the “Blissfield Butcher” in the slasher/comedy Freaky. Loosely based on the Disney film Freaky Friday, the story is set during a strange geophysical phenomenon which causes him to switch bodies with an awkward high school girl. He spends the second half of the film attempting to reverse the curse.

What is your own relationship to the horror genre?

For this movie, what was fun about it, it was a blend of the hard-core slasher genre with some comedy. Chris Landon, who had done the Happy Death Day films and the Paranormal films, I just found him to be a great director and a good guy. It was fun for me to give myself over to someone who has a command and a love for these types of things; that mash-up of comedy and horror. I had a blast navigating between the gorier, horror stuff and the light more comedic moments. It is a tough tone to pull off but Chris has done it a lot and is good at it.



You are asked to go quite dark in the first ten minutes of the movie. Was there some release valve for you to tackle your inner slasher?

I think it is funny. As an actor, you get to give yourself over to certain things. When you do it, you are committed and you try not to judge it. But it is fun to allow yourself to explore stuff on a simple level. All of us have many people inside of ourselves but we get comfortable presenting what we get more rewarded with. Acting is fun when you get to pull those other people up that you wouldn’t in your everyday normal life.

Did putting on a mask give you a different physicality?

That is a good question because I looked at physicality for the part. Obviously, how would one carry themselves as the Butcher, this killer as opposed to when Millie takes over and I am working from being her. Physicality had a lot to do with how the transitions would occur for me between those two characters.

Actors talk sometimes about being thieves; watching others and then taking things to help them with a performance. As you have a daughter, how much did you observe her and take characteristics for your turn as Millie?

I more kind of went with teenage girls that were of age. I spent time definitely observing my nieces and their friends and other friend’s kids. I watched and observed and found some things that became instinctual for me. Observing people of that age and getting specific with them was my starting point. You want to own that physicality without being conscious of it.

How did you find the balance between masculine and feminine tendencies?

I think we all have masculine and feminine tendencies. You just kind of draw on stuff that is there. As far as the voice, the instrument was the same as my body wasn’t changing. It was the inner person, the person who was inside was different. Where the difference existed was inside. As I would with any character, I just went for the backstory. I spoke to Kathryn (Newton) so we were on the same page. We kind of physicalized it to present this girl who wasn’t assured with herself, not confident in all situations. She was having a hard time connecting with her family and the social circumstances being the age she is. In some ways, the film is a coming-of-age story of a girl who finds her strength, her voice. It’s really being in a place where you are at a starting point that feels right and then you are going through each moment that you believe the girl would be experiencing that.

How were you in high school? Self-assured? Awkward?

I was all of it, shy but an extrovert in some ways. I got along with people. I had a sense of humor so I could make fun of myself or other people if I needed to. I liked people. I did a bunch of different things from theater to sports. I got along with my peers really well but I did get bored with school. I liked English but others I wasn’t as interested in. But like most people, I had self-doubt and just tried to navigate situations. Those experiences are good because even in times that are challenging, it teaches you humility and empathy for other people. Your world is so small at that point. The population in school is less, your experiences are limited and so you have less perspective. So, everything is heightened. In this film, it feels like the end of the world and that is what high school is. You just don’t have the experience to know that tomorrow is another day.