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Q&A With Owen Wilson

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


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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