After being plunged into the giant swirling vortex of rumors surrounding this year's biggest celebrity breakup, you couldn't blame Vince Vaughn if he got a tad defensive about starring in a movie called "Wedding Crashers."
Luckily, that's not the case. The 35-year-old actor has already shot down reports that he and Jennifer Aniston are romantically involved, even after pictures of her in his arms emerged in a recent issue of Us Weekly.
Now, he's free to relish his role as a party-hardy womanizer who preys on bridesmaids in "Wedding Crashers," his new movie with frequent co-star Owen Wilson. Vaughn actually doesn't see his character as a guy who's all that bad.
"He's kind of a big kid, real innocent," he says. "He really loves his friends and wants them to have a good time. … He doesn't go to a wedding to ruin it, he wants everyone to have a great time."
Vaughn has actually been much more of a workaholic than a party boy, despite being best known for "Swingers." He and Aniston are actually shooting a movie together, "The Break Up," about a couple going through a divorce that's forced to cohabitate. Vaughn conceived of the story, and confirming his status as one of the most in-demand comic stars, a bidding war broke out, with Universal finally plunking down $2.5 million for the rights.
Meanwhile, Vaughn's hard at work with his regular on-screen partner, Wilson. They're already making plans for their next film, "Outsourced," in which they play factory workers who lose their jobs when their company opens a plant in Mexico. They decide to head south of the border for some long-distance commuting.
The rumors over the alleged affair were particularly awkward because Vaughn is good friends with Brad Pitt, Aniston's estranged husband. Vaughn even makes a cameo in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," the movie on which Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly became more than just friends.
Vaughn is actually a bit disappointed that he's been featured in movie trailers, since he wanted it to be a surprise, unbilled appearance. Instead, it became grist for the rumor mill.
"I wanted people to go, 'Oh, Vince is in a scene'," he says. "Now, they're going to go to the movie and go, 'Vince really isn't in the movie that much. His name is not even at the top of the movie, so if I see Vince in the trailer does it mean he's not in the movie?'"
Vaughn's career has been a steady climb after meeting Jon Favreau in 1993 on the set of "Rudy."
Favreau had been writing a script about his life as an out-of-work actor, and was so taken by his new friend that he wrote him into the low-budget comedy. "Swingers" became an instant cult classic, and soon Steven Spielberg was calling, offering him work in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."
These days, Vaughn seems to be a movie-making machine, hitting a stride in "Old School" and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." Even when he's not paired with Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, or Owen and Luke Wilson in a starring role, he's likely to pop up in a few scenes in one of their movies, as he does in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."
Off-screen, other than a relationship with actress Joey Lauren Adams, best known for playing a bisexual comic-book artist in "Chasing Amy," he largely keeps his private life private.
But last week at the British premiere of "Wedding Crashers," co-star Wilson joked that he might not be that far away from his character. "The problem with Vince is he spells commitment 'F-R-E-E-D-O-M' and a lot of women have a problem with that … long term," he said.
"Vince breaks out into a cold sweat if he even hears about a wedding. It's going to be hard to lasso this stallion right here."