The Daily Grind Video

Comedic icons Jack BlackSteve Martin and Owen Wilson have come together for our viewing pleasure. These three comedic geniuses star alongside each other in their upcoming film The Big Year which hits theaters tomorrow, October 14th.

We were lucky enough to catch up with this thrilling threesome to chat with them about traveling and practicing their bird calls for the film. Watching these three play off each other is too entertaining!

Check out our exclusive below!

GlobalGrind: Do any of you have any formal experience or education on birds?

Jack: We had consultants, real birding experts.

Steve: Jack did a lot of extensive research, then we asked him about it.

Jack: That’s very kind of you to say. I did some research.

Steve: My wife loves birds and has a bird App. Once, a hawk sat on our window sill. And that’s the extent of my birding education.

Owen: What kind of hawk?

Steve: A red tail hawk, I know you are challenging me.

Jack: You can read about birding and do research, but you can’t really decide you want to be a birder. You have to have a compulsion and obsession with birds. I don’t share that with the birding society at large, but it was fun to hang out with real birders and watch them in action. It’s kind of remarkable.

Steve: I heard Jonathan Franzen was a birder. After he wrote his last book, Freedom, he took a vacation and birded.

Owen: Everyone is sort of a birder in the sense that if you are walking through a park and you see a cardinal you know what that is.

The movie was filmed in over 55 locations in 100 days. What location surprised you the most?

Steve: The most beautiful location was the Yukon, when we shot in a little town called Dawson. We had to helicopter in and we were flying through the Rockies and there is good reason they call them the Rockies, because there are just rocks. It was quite a beautiful experience. There were bears.

Jack: We had two forest rangers protecting us at all times from Grizzly Bears.

Steve: As well as an acting coach protecting us at all times.

What was the most interesting part about making this film?

Owen: One of the highlights for me was seeing an eagle. Then it turns out we saw thousands of eagles, so it lost it’s excitement. But the first time we saw an eagle we were filming in Canada. I think they had one that was trained to stay perched at the hotel.

Steve: I saw an eagle when we were on a boat out in the water. The other birds parted the ways for the eagle.

Jack: They are the bullies of the bird community.

Owen: Then it was odd to see the eagles like scavengers, because we saw the most eagles at the dump. 

A big draw of this movie is to see all three of you guys together. Did you spend a lot of time together?

Steve: We did hang out on the set.

Owen: It was nice back in base camp. You’d hear Steve paying the banjo or Jack reading a comic.

Steve: You can hear him reading?

Jack: I am a very vocal comic book reader!

You three seem to get along well, were there any pranks played on the set?

Steve: I’m not a prankster. On April Fools I go around and change people’s calendar to April 2.

Jack: I always regret that I didn’t pull some sort of a George Clooney prank, so that I would have a prank to talk about later. We really missed an opportunity there guys.

Steve: We should have hired a writer to come up with pranks we could have said that we played. We did have a lot of fun.

Jack: We had a night of debauchery, and by that, I mean gambling.

Steve: The Yukon never got dark. We came home at midnight and Owen went to play golf.

Owen: That’s right. I tee’d off at midnight and the course was called The Top of the World golf course. You could literally hear wolves howling around the fourth hole. The ball flies a mile an hour up in that altitude.

Steve: It’s like being on the moon.

You guys and Rashida Jones made bird calls. Did that take practice, and was it difficult?

Jack: Rashida Jones did the most incredible bird calling. She did work closely with the country’s foremost expert.

I did some bird calls, but mainly my character was more about the hearing of the calls.

What did you learn about obsession making this movie?

Owen: Anybody that takes a hobby or a sport so seriously, they are obsessive. To me that’s almost a life affirming thing because they are engaged with something other than just being bored or aimlessly walking around. It gives a lot of shape and meaning to their lives, and that seems to be true for anyone who has a real interest in something.

Steve: I don’t think this movie is about obsession. I think it’s about loving something. Everybody here has had passions that have led to something. I’ve had many passions: magic, juggling, banjo. Doing interviews, I love that.

Jack: I have a few different ones. For instance I love Scrabble. It seems like a waste of time, there is no career there, but it still feels good to be the best in the room, to win even when it’s a small meaningless game.

Is playing against reality part of the pleasure and challenge of comedy?

Owen: I think that it’s always great to put on the skin of a new character, but usually you find something in the character that you can relate to.

Steve: Owen, I think your spirit came through in your character. And actually I am sort of uptight.

Is your character similar to your real life?

Owen: I think I can get very competitive. Growing up, two brothers, we were always intensely competitive with anything. So that part of the character I can relate to. It’s more when I read something, if I find something interesting or funny recognizable about the character. I sort of understood where everyone was coming from.

Global Grind

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