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February 2006
WILD HOGS PRESS CONFERENCE: John Travolta, William H. Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence

WILD HOGS PRESS CONFERENCE: John Travolta, William H. Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence

By Wilson Morales

What happens when you put a film together with some big names and comedians? Get ready for a laugh-out-loud road trip, which is exactly what you get with “Wild Hogs”, starring John Travolta, William H. Macy, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence. Woody (John Travolta), Doug (Tim Allen), Bobby (Martin Lawrence), and Dudley (William H. Macy), are four successful middle-aged suburban men, who find themselves frustrated with the pace of daily life and decide to become Harley Davidson bikers and explore the road. In a recent press conference to promote the film, all of the actors spoke about their experience on a bike and some of their upcoming projects.

Can you talk about the first time you rode a bike? Did you have any experience riding Harleys before you got involved with the movie and did you have any spills with the bike?

John Travolta: I’ve ridden bikes since I was 18 and my first transportation when I came to Hollywood and it was easy for me and I rode a Harley at the Daytona Bike League several times prior to the movie. I had no spills. So that’s my history.

Were there any spills during the movie?

John Travota: Tim was the only one who had spills.

Tim Allen: That’s because he was showing off; like he likes to always.

William H. Macy: I rode bikes when I was a kid in college and I had a bike the first time I moved to LA. I had a Honda and I got around on that but I had never ridden a Harley so I went to Harley school. Not really, but we learned how to ride Harleys for about a week. I dropped the bike once just because we had to pull in and put the kickstand down and climb off. I did all of that except the part about putting the kickstand down and the bike fell.

Tim Allen: I rode mini-bikes and a motorcycles and my brother was in an accident when I was a kid and my mom forbade us to use motorcycles. About four years ago, I bought a Norton (motorcycle) and I’ve been riding around LA a little bit. I spilled the bike a couple of times because I was looking at Martin’s ass. (Laughs)

Martin Lawrence: I rode a bike a long time ago, but I wasn’t that good so I got rid of it and the only time I started riding again was on this movie and I was really nervous and everything; so I feel really good to announce my retirement from bikes.

Tim Allen: But like Jay-Z, you can come back.

What was it like to work with Peter Fonda and can you talk about the nude scene in the pond?

Martin Lawrence: For the record, I had my draws on!

John Travolta: For the record, I used to pull them down occasionally just to feel the cool water. It was my idea to have Peter Fonda, and I will take full credit for this idea. I was 13 years old when I saw him on the screen in Easy Rider and pretty wowed by that so I thought it would be the perfect classy cherry on the cake idea, to bring him in as the savior of the day again. I am very fond of Peter and Jane (Fonda) and glad that we used him in the movie. Now, naked in the pond...

William H Macy: It changed my life. (Laughs)

Tim Allen: All of ours. Lord.

Martin Lawrence: Safe to say that in the movie, Bill showed his ass.

Do you have any favorite road trip memories that you may have taken with buddies or on your own?

Tim Allen: I took a trip with the best looking girl in college. Got her somehow convinced, and she’s a rich girl, to take a trip in her Camaro, thinking we would hook up being she’s stuck with me in that dam car. I was the most frustrated angry man. She’s driving in a bikini because we didn’t have air conditioning. I had to sit there in that car and we drove cross country and we got to Los Angeles. I was just going to go home because I was going to explode if I didn’t get out of that car and she says, “Why don’t we stop by the Capital before we go home” – we’re almost in Washington. I said, “Washington? That would be Washington D.C, this is Washington state we are headed to”. She says, “That’s ridiculous. They wouldn’t have two Washingtons in the same country.” To this day I say to myself, “Glad we didn’t hook up that day.” (Laughs)

John Travolta: Well, when I was a kid I would take short trips to Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. But nothing,no road kill to report or any such thing.

Martin Lawrence: My road trips have been to Vegas, but you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

William H Macy: I'd been on a road trip right out of college, with a buddy of mine. It was uneventful. We didn't get laid. Although one time it was about 800 degrees and we were in Texas. We had shorts on and nothing else and somehow a motorcycle cop pulls up beside me and says, ‘Come on, get on it, get on, go, go, go!’ So I speeded up and it turns out we're in a huge state funeral. There are about 40 black Cadillacs in a row and then a green van called Mr Greenjeans, with two guys with no clothes in it. We went right out of town onto the freeway. I waved goodbye to them, and isn't that a good story?

John, did you add to the dance scene?

John Travolta: No. The dancing was in the screenplay, actually. We modified it and made it more about Bill's dance with Marissa than mine intruding. We actually removed a lot of what they wanted me to do, because I thought it was a little arbitrary. So basically I said I would teach and let him go do his thing, but I didn't want to go out there as well. They actually eliminated some ideas.

What about the music in the film?

Tim Allen: I picked that AC/DC t-shirt because it’s the only one Disney can afford. We had a whole series, Allman Brothers, Jake Isles. That’s the music I grew up with. I wanted this guy to be all rock and roll and he lost all that and John’s character and mine went to college together and we were partiers. I thought that was cool. I know a bunch of guys like that; I thought they were going to die the way they partied and now the guy’s a dentist. Doesn’t it ever bother you? I think I killed a few people.

Being Hollywood stars, you haven’t had the chance to go through the middle-age soul-searching period that your characters are going through. How did you relate to that and what was the personal connection to these characters?

John Travolta: Well, we're too blessed to be stressed. Woo! Well, the only thing I ran into is that I am a wanderlust, as far as travel and adventure. I will go off on any given moment with the family and friends to explore the world. I go around the world once a year. I go to Africa, Russia, wherever. I love it. That's probably the only thing I identify with my character, is the wanderlust aspect of it.

Tim Allen: I go with the high school reunions and that’s where I came from. I have my old friends and I’m still in contact with them and have three guys, one in particular had to raise one of his brothers’ kids. He has two of his own kids. He took over his dry wall and plumbing business from his dad who died and all of a sudden, we’re sitting at this party and he goes, “What happened to my life?” This guy was going to go to Africa and had all these plans and now looks at what he has. He lives in a modern size home in Michigan and goes, “What the hell happened?”

Do all guys go through a mid-life crisis in romantic relationships?

William H Macy: I don't think the film's about four guys having a mid-life crisis as much as four guys who are trying to regain something. One of the things that I love about it, what I love about it is that these guys adore each other, but they don't know how to say it. They don't know how to express it. And because they face this danger together, it never has to be stated, but it's more palpable at the end of the film. And secondly, I think it's four guys who are tired of being afraid, just afraid all the time. They're afraid of saying the wrong thing, of not being there when they're needed. They're afraid in their jobs, the whole thing, they're just afraid. One of the things about the whole Harley motorcycle culture is that it's a little bit renegade. It’s a little bit dangerous and then it gets intensified when they run afoul of this other motorcycle gang, and they stand up for once in their lives. So it's not about the midlife crisis as much as four guys who need to sort of plant their flag.

John Travolta: It can happen at any age, really.

If it’s not about mid-life crisis, can you then explain how men express their love for other men?

Tim Allen: There are a couple of homophobic moments in the script and we talked a lot about it. I think women are a lot better, especially after marriage and kids, at staying in touch with their friends and guys have a tendency to isolate.

John Travolta: My character takes the whole movie to admit that his wife left him. It takes guys longer to get in communication with each other in an emotional way; and in this movie, there’s some growth there. They actually end up in a good place with each other.

Tim, what’s going on with “Toy Story 3”?

Tim Allen: Disney would like us to not talk about it for some reason. Even though it was in the Wall Street Journal, they'd like us not to talk about T3. I don't know what it was. They've just stopped talking about it.

John, what’s happening with Dallas and Hairspray?

John Travolta: “Hairspray” comes out July 20th and “Dallas” is starting whenever they say it is. I've already started to get paid on that, I just haven't gotten a start date.

How was putting on the dress?

John Travolta: Oh honey, you gals have such power, baby! It's amazing. I would get in that get up and the men would flirt. I'd be like, “do they even realize it's me under here?”‘How ya doin', Edna?’ You get those things going, and everybody gets happy about it.

In regards to Dallas, who’s going to play Sue Ellen?

John Travolta: Well, I don’t know because there have been so many changes. I don't know who it will be now.

And if you had your choice?

John Travolta: I'd choose my wife, of course. Personal choice.

What’s the first movie you saw in theaters?

John Travolta: The first movie I saw in theater was probably something like “Peter Pan” or“Houseboat” with Sophia Loren.

WILD HOGS opens on March 2, 2007




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