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Q&A With Owen Wilson

The actor talks about his new movie ('Free Birds'), plus why he practices gratitude.


What are your favorite father-and-son activities?

We like to be on the tennis court and hit tennis balls. We’ve been fishing a few times. He loves playing with balls. Just kind of kidding around. He’s getting to the point where he likes to roughhouse a bit and have pillow fights. Stuff I would have done with my brothers as a kid I’m now starting to get to do with him.

What’s the most valuable lesson your son has taught you?

It’s like those things your parents say to you: You get out what you put in. Before Ford arrived, I didn’t imagine I would be doing stuff like changing diapers, waking up with him, doing all these things. I was a new father, so I didn’t really know. Doing all that stuff, that all makes for a stronger bond and foundation. You’re taking care of this little person, feeding him, changing him, getting him ready for his bed, along with his mother. All that creates this real connection.

Do you have a personal health philosophy?

One of the biggest things for me is, if I get enough sleep and I exercise, I almost always have a great day. If I don’t get those things, especially sleep, I’m a lot more prone to being irritable and getting sick. When I’m working a lot or traveling a lot, I have to be really careful to get enough sleep.

What do you do to keep in shape?

I go swimming or jogging or use the treadmill or stair master or ride a bike. I sometimes throw in some weights but mostly it’s cardio.

Do you make a point of eating well to stay fit?

When you’re tired, all of a sudden you’re like, ordering cheeseburgers and French fries. When you’re being healthy, getting exercise and enough sleep, you really want to continue that momentum by eating healthy. I’m not a vegetarian, I eat everything, but I try to eat a lot of vegetables, drink vegetable juices, and try to eat organic, clean, locally sourced food. It makes you feel better.

What’s your best health habit?

My best health habit is probably exercise. I’m pretty good about always exercising. And it goes way beyond vanity. It’s really about what it does to my mind, the peace of mind I get. After exercise, it’s like a high. You just feel a lot more energized and at the same time relaxed enough to deal with the day’s stress.

What's your worst health habit?

I sometimes don’t get enough sleep. I run myself ragged by going to bed too late and waking up too early. I really have to guard against that and make sure I don’t get into a thing where I’m only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I really need 7 or 8.

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