Back in 1996 when he was a struggling actor, Vince Vaughn was "so money" and he didn't even know it. Now he definitely does. With his new Ron Howard comedy 'The Dilemma' in theaters this week, we revisit the breakout 'Swingers' star when he was first interviewed by ET.
"['Swingers'] was based largely on stuff that happened with us, but it was exaggerated very smartly," said Vince about the 1996 comedy about a group of L.A.-based friends working the bar scene, trying to land girls and break into the entertainment industry. "Really it's about the chemistry and the friendship."
At the time of his first interview with ET in September '96, Vince's career was already starting to taking off, with a performance in 'The Locusts' opposite Kate Capshaw, Paul Rudd and Ashley Judd in the can. A month later, ET hung out with Vince and pal Jon Favreau at the trendy Dresden Room bar and restaurant, and he revealed that he was cast by Steven Spielberg to star in the upcoming 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park.'
"[This was] my first film I didn't get cut out of, really," joked a modest Vince about 'Swingers,' which was also written by Favreau. The two met on the set of 'Rudy,' and Vince remarked that 'Swingers' emerged partly out of the desire to create an opportunity for themselves, as opposed to waiting for something to happen.
"I was not working at all at the time, and I didn't have an agent at the time, and Favreau was working and doing stuff, but I think he wanted to do more than what he was doing," said Vince. "I told him that I was writing a screenplay, and there would be parts for him. … [He] said that's a great idea, and he called me two weeks later and he had already finished 'Swingers.'"
"We really looked like a couple of knobs, you know, running around and telling our story with the camera following us, but it was good for us, I think, in the end," said Vince about the low budget production that became a sleeper hit. In explaining his character of Trent, he provided some insight into the real Vince Vaughn, circa 1996: "I think he's a little immature, definitely immature, but I think he has a good heart and I think he's after a good time, but I don't think he's dishonest with what he does."
When asked if there's a lot of his own personality in his character, he responded cheekily, "You personally just called me a slimeball."
After the laughter subsided, he clarified, "No, there's probably a lot of me in the character of Trent. … I think you put yourself in every role that you play. It's very hard for me to talk about because I'm not exactly an accomplished actor who's done a large body of work or anything like that … but I used a lot of my life experiences in Trent, and there's definitely a side of me that's similar to him, but, you know it's an exaggeration -- the whole thing with 'Swingers' was it's a cartoon, a little bit. It's over the top to prove a point, to show the absurdity of the situation. It's not necessary a straight documentary and a slice of life."