Hollywood is particularly difficult to break into and can be quite daunting for the next aspiring Steven Spielberg, but hey, at least the food service industry of Los Angeles will never go wanting for employees. Really, that's of dire importance because the variety of food in LA is half of its charm, maybe more. Some of the great Hollywood actors only come to us after chance meetings with other like-minded individuals.
For the shaggy-haired drawling Texan that individual was Wes Anderson. You know, the director of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums... what?! You don't know what I'm talking about? Maybe this isn't the writeup for you, but if you do know, please continue this foray into one man's life.
The self-styled troublemaker, Owen Wilson was born November 18, 1968 in Dallas, Texas to a photographer mother and advertising executive father. After a boyhood of typical shenanigans (sorry, I just had to use that word) with his brother Luke, Owen meandered on over to the University of Texas at Austin where he met friend and mentor, Wes Anderson. Anderson was the leader from the start, writing a play and asking Owen to star in it. The two became good friends, with common tastes in film-directing like, Terrence Malick, the Coen brothers, John Huston and Roman Polanski. They went on to write the short Bottle Rocket together, which through a family friend found its way to the 1993 Sundance Film Festival and into the hands of James L. Brooks.
Fortunately Brooks had an eye for talent... and also for poverty when he saw it. After visiting the roommate's one-bedroom apartment ("He came by our apartment, and I think he was shocked by our living conditions," Wilson told the New York Times in 1996. "I think that actually helped us.") Brooks knew he was going to have to do some major funding in order to get the feature film about two middle-class guys trying to pull off a major heist onto the screen. Though critically acclaimed, Bottle Rocket did not make a profit at the box-office, but it did get both Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson recognised by that intimidating industry I was previously referring to.
As an actor Owen Wilson has a unique style, combining an affability and humour with a stylish wit. He is equally able to pull off a more complicated character, such as the amiable serial killer in The Minus Man, or the laugh-out-loud doofus model that is Hansen in Zoolander. He is currently slated for even bigger roles at the time of this writeup, but it is this author's opinion that his greatest work is still done when within the team of Wes Anderson and the Wilson brothers. Such movies as Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums really have no comparison in modern cinema. The writers combine extreme dialogue with a subtly ironic humour, and luckily the actors of both films have pulled off the script perfectly. Owen Wilson is one of those rare individuals that shines on both sides of the camera.
A C T O R
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) - Ned Plimpton
Starsky & Hutch - Hutch
Around the World in 80 Days (2003)
The Big Bounce (2004) - Jack Ryan
Shanghai Knights (2003) - Roy O'Bannon
I Spy (2002) - Alex Scott
Behind Enemy Lines (2001) - Lt. Chris Burnett
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Eli Cash
Zoolander (2001) - Hansel McDonald
Meet the Parents (2000) - Kevin Rawley
Shanghai Noon (2000) - Roy O'Bannon
Heat Vision and Jack (1999) (TV) - Voice Of Heat Vision/Doug
The Haunting (1999) - Luke Sanderson
Breakfast of Champions (1999) - Monte Rapid, TV Host
The Minus Man (1999) - Vann Siegert
Rushmore (1998) - Edward Applebee
Permanent Midnight (1998) - Nicky
Armageddon (1998) - Oscar Choi, Geologist
Anaconda (1997) - Gary Dixon
The Cable Guy (1996) - Robin's Date
Bottle Rocket (1994,96) - Dignan
W R I T E R
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Bottle Rocket (1994,96)
P R O D U C E R
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) (executive producer)
Rushmore (1998) (executive producer)
As Good As It Gets (1997) (associate producer)