Four long-time friends take the ultimate road trip to spice up their dull and ordinary lives. Along the way, their impulsive and tumultuous outing turns out to be the adventure the guys were unknowingly looking for. Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy star in Touchstone Pictures’ Wild Hogs as wannabe bikers who find and stir up trouble throughout their outrageous cross country journey.
ComingSoon.net talked to the gang in Los Angeles and soon discovered their onscreen chemistry wasn’t just for the cameras. During the press conference, the guys couldn’t resist cracking jokes between one another and talking and laughing immensely with each other.
ComingSoon.net: What kind of experiences did you have riding Harleys before this film?
John Travolta: Okay, I’ve ridden a bike since I was 18, and it was the first transportation when I came to Hollywood because it was inexpensive and easy for me, and then I rode Harleys with the Daytona Bike League several times hither to the movie. So that’s my history.
CS: Any spills during the movie?
Travolta: No. Tim [Allen] was the only one that had spills. And that’s because he was showing off, like he likes to always.
William H. Macy: I rode bikes when I was a kid.
Travolta: What was the brand name?
Macy: A Hodaka in college. And I had a bike the first time I moved to L.A., I had a Honda, and I got around on that, but I’d never ridden Harleys, so I went to Harley school. Not really, but we learned how to ride Harleys for about a week. A couple of weeks, before we went there. And I dropped the bike once. Just because we had to pull in and put the kickstand down, and climb off very quickly, and I did all of that except the part about putting the kickstand up. The bike fell. They roll if you don’t put the kickstand down.
Tim Allen: I rode many bikes and motorcycles, and my brother was in an accident when he was a kid, and my mom forbade us to use motorcycles and about four years ago I bought a Norton that I’ve been riding around L.A. a littlebit, but this was the first time I was on a Harley.
Martin Lawrence: I rode like a long time ago, but I wasn’t that good, so I got lit up, and only time I started riding it was on this movie, and I was really nervous, so I feel really good to announce my retirement from riding.
Allen: But like Jay-Z, you could come back.
CS: Are any of you still riding?
Macy: I’m hooked.
Allen: Here too.
CS: What was it like to work with Peter Fonda? And talk about the nude scene in the pond.
Travolta: For the record, I used to pull (my underwear) down occasionally just to feel the cool water. It was my idea to have Peter Fonda, and Iwill take full credit for this idea. Because 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. So I am very fond of Peter and Jane (Fonda), and glad that we used him in the movie. Now, naked in the pond…
Macy: It changed my life. (Laughs)
Allen: All of ours. Lord. Where’d you put that sock again? What was that sock you were – he had a sock he was wearing.
Travolta: (to Macy) Can I ask a question? Is your mother still alive?
Travolta: Okay, your father is?
Travolta: What will he think of your hiney on that screen?
Macy: He’ll be very proud.
Lawrence: It’s safe to say that in the movie, Bill (Macy) shows his ass.
Macy: I put my ass on the line.
CS: Do you have any favorite road trip memory?
Allen: I took a trip with the best looking girl from college, got her somehow convinced, she was a rich girl, to take a trip with her Camaro, thinking that they got hooked up somehow, and you know, she had to be stuck with me in that damn car. I was the most frustrated angry man. She’s driving in a bikini, because we didn’t have air conditioning. So I had to sit there in the car, we drove across country, when we got to Los Angeles, I was just gonna go home and explode if I didn’t get out of the car. She said why don’t we stop by the capitol before we go home? And I said, of what? She said we’re almost to Washington. I said, that’s, um – that would be Washington, D.C., this is Washington state we’re heading towards. She said “that’s ridiculous, they wouldn’t have two Washingtons. In the same country.” I’m glad we didn’t hook up. Our children would be owning 7-11’s that’s for sure.
CS: Any other road stories?
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.
Lawrence: My road trips have been to Vegas, but you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
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, and 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 forty black Cadillacs in a row, and then a green van called Mr. Greenjeans, with two guys with no clothes in it, and we went right out of town onto the freeway, I waved goodbye to them, and isn’t that a good story?
CS: Are you getting the benefits of being in a bigger film?
Travolta: Oh, yeah, I can vouch for that. He took to riding in private jets and caviar like nobody I’ve ever seen. Haven’t you, Bill?
Macy: I’m a personal friend of John Travolta. I was at the Super Bowl, we were in a box. It wasn’t raining where we were. We had shrimp.
CS: Can you talk about music in the film?
Allen: Gary Busey, what? Was he in this? He was great. Gary and I are like this. The music, I picked that AC/DC tee shirt because it was the only one Disney could afford. No, we had a whole series, the Allman Brothers Band, J. Geils was my pick. That’s what I wanted, was Full House, because that was what I grew up with, and that’s what the character – I wanted to have the old rock and roll, and he’s lost all that, and John’s (Travolta) character and mine, we went to college together and we were real partiers, and I always just thought that was cool, because I got a bunch of guys like that, that just were these guys, I thought they were gonna die, the way they partied, and now these guys are dentists. And I said, doesn’t that ever bother you? I think we killed a few people. I don’t even remember what we did, but this is the kind of guy who wanted AC/DC after that – what was that, it was in Spain, the concert. The huge concert video that I loved. I hope that answered something. I don’t have any idea what I just said.
CS: You’re all big Hollywood stars…
Allen: Yes, the biggest! We’re HUGE Hollywood stars!
CS: You haven’t had that chance to go through the middle age soul searching…
Allen: We’re not allowed to.
CS: So how did you relate, what was the personal connection to these characters?
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, so 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, you know, Russia, wherever, I love it. So I do, that’s probably the only thing I identify with my character, is the wanderlust aspect of it.
Allen: I went to all my old high school reunions, that’s where I came from, is high school reunions, that I love all my old friends, I’m still in contact with them, and I’ve got three guys, one who took it in his head to raise one of his brother’s kids, he’s got two of his own kids, he took over his drywall and plumbing business when the dad had died, and all of the sudden, we were both at this party and he goes, what happened to my life? And this guy was gonna be, go to Africa and I don’t know, skin beasts with a pocket knife, I don’t know what he – and he had all these plans, and now he turned around and look what he’s got, he’s living in a modest size home outside of Warren, Michigan, and he goes, what the hell happened? Does that make any sense to anybody? You all just want to go get something to eat.
Macy: I think we’re all confused.
Allen: Isn’t there a meal penalty coming up soon? Sandwiches and Orange Crush for everybody. Come on, sign up!
Macy: Orange Crush? (laughs) It’s Fanta.
CS: This question is for all four of you.
Allen: Good luck. (laughs) Good luck with that.
CS: Have any of you gone through a mid life crisis in your romantic life, relationships? Do all guys?
Lawrence: Romantic? I don’t know…
Allen: Martin’s too young for any of this s**t.
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. 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. Then they hit the – one of the things about the whole Harley motorcycle culture is that it’s a little bit renegade, and 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.
Travolta: It can happen at any age, really.
Macy: At any age.
CS: So let’s talk about the love men can have for other men, like in this film. (laughter)
Allen: What?! (laughs)
Macy: It’s a gay question, yes. [laughs] We talked about homophobic moments in this film, we talked a lot about…
Allen: It should be called homophobe on bikes, that’s what it is.
Macy: Homophobia. I think women are a lot better – I think women are better, especially after marriage and kids, women are a lot better at staying in touch with their friends, and guys have a tendency to isolate.
Travolta: Well my character, it takes the whole movie for him to admit that his wife left him, if it was two women, they’d get it out there in the first five minutes, so it takes guys longer to get in communication with each other in an emotional way. And in this movie I think these guys have a lot of growth in that way. And actually end up in a good place with each other, and trust.
CS: and Tim, what’s the word on “Toy Story 3?” John, what about “Dallas?”
Allen: We’re combining it. “Toy Dallas.”
CS: So how’s “Toy Story 3” coming then?
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.
CS: And John, “Dallas” and “Hairspray?”
Travolta: “Hairspray” comes out July 20, and “Dallas” starts whenever they say it is, I’ve already started to get paid on that, I just haven’t gotten a start date.
CS: How was it to dress in drag?
Travolta: Oh honey, you gals have such power, it’s amazing – I would get in that get up, and the men would flirt, and 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.
CS: And who’s going to play Sue Ellen at this point? Any suggestions?
Travolta: There have been so many changes, I don’t know who it will be now.
CS: And if you could choose?
Travolta: I’d choose my wife, of course. Personal choice.
CS: For Sue Ellen?
Travolta: Yes, but that’s just my choice.
Wild Hogs rides into theaters on Friday, March 2.