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The Wendell Baker Story in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Wendell Baker Story

Luke Wilson • Eva Mendes • Owen Wilson • Seymour Cassel • Kris Kristofferson
DIRECTOR: Andrew & Luke Wilson

The Wilson family has finally made a movie together. Written and directed by brothers Andrew and Luke Wilson, and starring Luke and their brother Owen. The movie tells the story of Wendell Baker (Luke Wilson), a good-hearted conman released from prison who gets a job at the Shady Grove Retirement Hotel, where he ends up leading a spirited rebellion by the residents against the home’s evil head nurse, Neal King (Owen Wison).

U.S. RELEASE: May 18 2007, Limited • Rated: PG-13


“I think the pluses of working with your family are that we get along and you do kind of know each other, and you are able to hit the ground running. Sometimes when you get on a new movie you have to figure out the way other people work, and it can be like being the new kid in High School, where you’re trying to find out where your place is on the movie or on the set. And I don’t know what the minuses would be.”

“We didn’t really have time to have any sibling (squabbles). We were on such a tight time constraint. We had 35 days to shoot it and the producers called it an ambitious schedule, which is euphemism for impossible, so we were just trying to get the thing done and we were always aware we really didn’t have time to mess around, argue about this and that, and we just tried to get the best shot.”

“I wrote the part of Neil King for my brother Owen without ever really telling him until late in the game. I knew Owen could take it and make it more, so I wrote it simply. And he did just that – made it a lot more.”

“Owen was incredible. We did Owen’s scenes in the first couple of weeks and we had a great time. It was the perfect way to get started because he was so funny.”

“I wrote the part of Boyd for Seymour Cassel, and Skip for Harry Dean Stanton. And I wrote the Nasher part not knowing who would play it, but we were lucky enough to get Kris Kristofferson.”

“We all do have a similar sense of humor. Owen obviously is a really funny, funny guy and he has been since we were little. I can remember my dad saying, ‘You think you’re the funniest person in the world don’t you?’ in a very negative way. And it turns out he may be one of the funniest people in the world. We think the same things are funny, and when Luke showed me the script I thought it was funny and really well written.”

“We’re working on the DVD right now. It will come out in October. We’ll have funny outtakes, but we are going to try and do a bunch of other little interesting ideas and not have the usual boring ‘Making of’ type of thing. Try to have something a little more fun.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #684, Summer 2007 cover

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