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Men's Health

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Q&A With Owen Wilson

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


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?

Nicolas Cage, Adam Sandler, Robert Duvall, Al Pacino, and Daniel Day-Lewis are a few that come to mind.

How do you measure success both professionally and in your personal life?

It goes back to that part of the conversation about being grateful. I think the way I would measure success is feeling content and happy with family and friends, and being able to make a living doing something creative.

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Reviewed on September 14, 2013

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