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Q&A With Owen Wilson

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

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Is there anything about staying healthy that you wished you’d learned 20 years ago?

As a kid, I played in the neighborhood and did sports, and that kind of continued into college. But I didn’t really start exercising until I was about 29, so I would say that for most of my twenties I was not exercising. I hadn’t made it a habit. I didn't understand how much exercise could improve my state of mind.

What are some of your favorite, guilty-pleasure foods?

Cheeseburgers and French fries. I would say I have a cheeseburger once a month. But when I was just in New York working for 6 weeks, I stumbled upon this place that had one of the best cheeseburgers I’d ever had in my life. Over the next 2 weeks, I literally had 11 of them. I could not stop going there. It was so good.

What do you do to relax?

I love going to the ocean. I live in Hawaii and in Malibu, and a big part of both of those places is spending time at the ocean swimming and stand-up paddling. The ocean kind of represents vacation and freedom to me. Having grown up in Dallas, a landlocked city, I still get excited when I see the ocean.

Where did you go on your last vacation?

I’m in Hawaii now so it sort feels like a vacation. I went to Vancouver 2 weeks ago. A great city with a great healthy, outdoor lifestyle. I went cycling around Stanley Park’s Seawall and hiked up Grouse Mountain.

You’ve been in movies for close to 20 years now. How do you stay passionate about your work?

I always remember Woody Harrelson saying, ‘If you’re on a movie set and you’re not feeling really grateful to be there, there’s a problem.’ I try to think of that when I’m feeling irritable or if I start to take it for granted. As a kid growing up in Dallas, I loved the movies, and I remember thinking that if I could one day work in the movies, that would be the greatest thing ever. I try to stay in touch with that feeling, but some days it’s easier than others.

What's one way that your family influenced you and your career?

I was very lucky to grow up in a family where both my parents were creative and on both sides of my family humor was a big part of how you’d cope with life and deal with things. That helped me and my brothers a lot.

If you could act side by side with any actor, living or dead, who would it be?

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