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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Vince Vaughn’s transformation on- and off-screen

    Much like his character Dan Trunkman in his upcoming movie “Unfinished Business,” Vince Vaughn is undergoing a career transformation. In the movie, Trunkman is a frustrated cubicle jockey who decides to stake his own claim by starting his own business. Vaughn is beginning a similar transition.

    Since his R-rated smash hit “Wedding Crashers” debuted in 2005, the past decade has been filled with a plethora of PG-13 comedies starring Vaughn, such as “The Internship,” “Couples Retreat” and “Four Christmases.” With 2012’s “The Watch” and 2015’s “Unfinished Business,” Vaughn is once again embracing R-rated comedies.

    The rejects and outcasts from his previous employer populate Trunkman’s new company. Mike Pancake (Dave Franco) happened to be interviewing at Trunkman’s old company when he publicly quit, and his only job experience is working at Foot Locker. Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson) was being forced out of the company because of his old age.

    Fast forward one year, and Trunkman and colleagues are about to close a giant deal. On their way to finalize the details, they find out they are actually competing with Trunkman’s old company, led by his former boss, Chuck Portnoy (Sienna Miller).

    “I guess I relate more to the underdogs in life, personally,” Vaughn said in an online group interview. “What I like about the movie is that these guys are in a position that they don’t like in life. They are involved in a job that they are not passionate about. And, in a moment, [Trunkman] pushes all in and thinks that things could be different.”

    This new business deal forces them to travel all the way to Berlin, Germany, where they have to maneuver around protesters at the G8 summit and one of Europe’s largest BDSM and leather conferences, Folsom Europe. Along the way, Vaughn’s character is also trying to be a good father to his family despite being a continent away. 

    Much like his character in “Unfinished Business,” Vaughn himself is an underdog. His first break as an actor came in high school when he was cast in an industrial film. As a teenager, he used his 6-foot-5 stature to sneak into Chicago bars to participate in improv comedy.

    Vaughn packed his bags after graduating from high school and moved to Los Angeles, Calif., to be an actor.

    “I was always drawn to storytelling and creative things,” Vaughn said. “I didn’t really understand that you could make a living out of it.”

    In LA, Vaughn competed for roles and found his way onto television in shows such as “21 Jump Street” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” His first appearance on the big screen was the critically-acclaimed sports drama, “Rudy.” The constant struggle to find roles translated well into Vaughn’s first big hit, “Swingers,” which documents the misadventures of a group of young, aspiring actors in Hollywood.

    Vaughn is widely known for his goofy comedic roles, but some of his first roles were in dramas. Vaughn is exploring his dramatic side again in a leading role in the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.”

    “I’m kind of returning on some level to dramas, which was the first thing I broke out with,” Vaughn said. “Now that I’ve done comedies, people feel like that’s a switch. I feel really excited to get on a different tone.”

    Vaughn and his “Unfinished Business” character may have a lot in common, but luckily for Vaughn’s fans, they don’t share one key element.

    “While I think the idea of it is fantastic, I don’t have any plans of retiring and starting a full-time business,” Vaughn said.

    “Unfinished Business” premieres Friday.


    Follow Patrick O’Connor on Twitter.

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