Q: Do you even remember the first time you realized there was porn on the Internet?
Luke Wilson: You know, I’m just not computer savvy. I mean, I can barely work my BlackBerry. I feel like, for me, it was a couple of years ago. But just to hear that it started back in 1995 is pretty incredible.
Giovanni Ribisi: It is something that you’ll often find at the beginning of any technological advance. The early proponents for DVD technology, for instance, were the adult-film-industry producers and pornographers. But I remember when porn was sent via e-mail on dial-up modems, so it took an eternity to even pull up a Web page.
Q: So if porn isn’t one of your Internet vices, what do you surf for on the Web?
Luke Wilson: BobDylan.com. That’s it for me. Literally, I can’t work a computer. I feel like a knucklehead saying it. I barely got out of college without learning how to use one. I’d write a paper in longhand and get it typed out by a typist for about $1 a page. And I was in the last era where you were able to do that. I do have an iPod. But again, I’ll have a friend feed a disc into his computer and get the song that I want while I lean over their shoulder saying, “Are you kidding? You can get this that fast?”
Giovanni Ribisi: I’m addicted to this Web site for the Khan Academy [www.khanacademy.org]. This guy, Salman Khan, went to MIT and ended up being an investment banker. He walked away from that to post online tutorials for everything from mathematics and biology to economics. He has been on CNN, and he’s won a ton of awards for the way that he teaches. Apparently he has more than 80,000 subscribers. It’s really just phenomenal what this guy has done for nonprofit education.
Q: Luke, what made you want to take this part?
Luke Wilson: I do a lot of comedy, and so the idea of getting to do something that was very different than anything I’d ever played really appealed to me. I was just appreciative of getting asked to do something like this, that someone would have enough faith to think, “Oh, this guy can do that.”
Q: And yet a lot of the material in Middle Men could have been played for huge laughs.
Luke Wilson: Yeah, but also I’ve seen the movie about four times now, and when I do I laugh a lot. Especially at Giovanni’s and Gabriel Macht’s characters. The thing about George [Gallo] is that he’s really funny and very quick-witted. He wrote Midnight Run and Bad Boys. But the movies I like always walk that fine line. The Wes Anderson movies always seem bittersweet. They can be sad, and then they can be really funny. And George just seemed to walk that line well.