Luke,Andrew & Owen Wilson Deliver Mother’s Day Celluloid Gift

Owen Wilson in The Wendell Baker StoryMother’s Day Hollywood Style: Wilson Brothers make Mom a Movie. 
Luke, Andrew & Owen Wilson Deliver Mother’s Day Celluloid Gift 

by Anne Howard for Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (rushprnews) May 11, 2007 — Some sons just get Mom a card. But when you have three boys in the movie business, you might get a Mother’s Day gift like “The Wendell Baker Story. Actor-director Luke Wilson and Brothers Owen and Andrew combined their fraternal filmmaking talents to make the family picture.

The motion picture is set for release May 13 just in time to make their talented mom proud on Mother’s Day. The film not only brought together the three brothers but also actually involved the whole Wilson clan. From mom as set photographer, to Uncle Joe as a location scout and the dog Brother who played the part of Junior, this flick is truly a family affair.

The Wendell Baker Story

Wilson stated to Hollywood Today, “Every few years, we, (the brothers) get together and make a movie, like a band”. Of course, there is no denying that the brothers’ keen visual acumen comes from mom. Laura Cunningham Wilson worked for a number of years with Richard Avedon and is the author of four-photography books. As the still photographer for The Wendell Baker Story,  she kept her well-trained eye on the boys together and played a major part.

The film tells the story of Wendell Baker played by Luke, a small-time con man who gets a fortuitous shot at redemption while working in a run down retirement community. He hatches the plot while jailed for selling counterfeit driving licenses to illegal migrant workers. The unscrupulous head nurse is played by Owen Wilson as Neil King. He does not hesitate to pin his crimes on the ex-convict when confronted with his fraudulent ways. To succeed in defeating the scheming Neil Kind, Baker enlists the help of Shady Grove elderly residents.

Luke said of the casting choice, “Owen does a great job playing these characters, actually he enjoys playing mean. You saw him in “Meet the Parents”. On the other hand, when Andrew the co-director was asked about directing his brother Luke, he replied tongue-in-cheek, ” He’s in every shot”.

Luke Wilson’s screenplay was able to attract the interest of not only his family but also of movie greats. The seniors in the films are played by Boyd (Seymour Cassel), Skip (Harry Dean Stanton), and Nasher (Kris Kristofferson) who for the great graying ensemble cast.

Few movies since Cocoon have starred so many great ol’timers. According to Luke the script had a lot to do with bringing them aboard, “Kris stated to me that he hadn’t read such a great script in very long time.” Moreover, pure enthusiasm for the film was demonstrated, “Stanton was more than happy to meet up with me to discuss the film at 10:30 at night.” The older actors’ stamina became legendary on the set; explained Owen “Seymour would want to meet up with the crew late a bar even though we had a six in the morning scene to shoot.”

When asked by if the “idea man” from the movie is based on Luke’s own personality, the director explained, “The guy who is pumped up in the morning and always excited with ideas actually makes me think of my dad. I’m not that positive of a guy”. In addition, the dog is actually not a movie dog but their dog Brother. As Luke puts it, “I like these guys including the dog, we’ve always been close. We’re just moving back to that feeling of connection”. Apparently, the mood was contagious and attracted great musician Bob Dylan who contributed to the soundtrack with a musical piece. From the sound of it, there could not be a more fun way to work with family and friends than joining force with this crew.

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