Wilson: I Had No Idea "Old School" Would Be A Hit

Actor Luke Wilson reflected on the 2003 cult classic, his career, and his beloved Dallas Cowboys, among other topics

Taz and the Moose
February 01, 2019 - 10:05 am

USA Today Images

Believe it or not, it’s been 16 years since Old School hit theaters. Released in February 2003, the cult classic stars Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as 30-somethings trying to recapture their glory days by starting a fraternity.

Wilson, 47, had no idea the film would take off like it did.

“No, not at all,” he said on Taz & The Moose. “I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I will say just looking back, just going to work with Will and Vince was so fun. I now realize from having worked on other stuff that you don’t always feel that way going into work. Even on comedies that doesn’t happen. You definitely don’t know that something is going to be a hit. I knew that those guys were making me funny, and I knew that Todd Phillips was a really funny director and had good ideas. But you just can’t tell.”

Wilson cited Idiocracy as an example. The film came out in 2006 but perhaps didn’t resonate until a few years later.

“It kind of came and went,” Wilson said, “and it seemed like a couple years later people started coming up to me and mentioning the movie. So it’s weird how things can hit immediately, or things can now hit a couple of years later – or they’ll never hit at all. . . . I’ve had a few of those movies that kind of came and went when they were in the theater and then kind of caught on as cult movies.” 

Old School, however, caught on immediately, which is unsurprising given the cast.

“I feel like in that movie I kind of played more the straight man, but with Will and Vince, those guys are just coming up with ideas constantly,” Wilson said. “It was a funny script and a funny outline to begin with, but those guys were constantly coming up with good ideas. A lot of ad-libbing and really funny lines to end a scene. It’s a real skill. There’s nothing worse than someone going off the page and having it not work.”

When Wilson isn’t making movies, he’s watching the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, he never misses a game and was sad to learn that Jason Garrett likely won’t receive a contract extension after the 2019 season.

“I always liked him,” Wilson said. “It just seems like such a hard job, and I think some of those owners are kind of different in that Jerry Jones is a very involved owner. It’s not like (Seahawks owner) Paul Allen. You always got the impression he kind of let Pete Carroll kind of handle it. I don’t know. It just seems like it can get a little complicated. But I’ve always been a Garrett fan. It just seems like in this day and age such a tough job – not just coaching, but just big business and managing the players and all that stuff. I always got a good vibe from Garrett.”

Click below to listen to Wilson's interview in its entirety.