“The Buddy System” {archive}

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Rolling Stone, October 29, 1998

Current Project Rushmore, an off-kilter comedy that’s one of the funniest, most intelligent teen flicks since the heyday of John Hughes. Like their previous movie, Bottle Rocket, it was co-written by the twenty-something duo and directed by Anderson. Rushmore stars Bill Murray and is set at an all-boys private school.

Inauspicious Meeting Anderson: “We went to school together [at the University of Texas at Austin] and were in a play-writing class. We never spoke the entire semester. There were only eight people in the class, and everyone sat around a long table, and we sat in desks in opposite corners of the room. A mutual friend introduced us the next semester.” Wilson: “We recognized each other from that class: ‘There’s that jerk who wouldn’t take part, who thought he was too good. Who does he think he is? This brooding outsider.'”

Work Ethic Rushmore was filmed at Anderson’s high school, St. John’s, in Houston. And, like the films main character, Wilson was expelled from his school in Dallas: “It was for cheating in geometry. We had the teachers-edition book. I was one of the worst geometry students and I was handing in these extra-credit problems that were, like, hundreds of lines of complicated proofs. There were other kids involved who I wouldn’t name. I figured there was a kind of shabby nobility in that. The headmaster said it showed that I still protect cheaters.”

Wes on Owen Specifically, on seeing Owen act in blockbusters like Anaconda and Armageddon: “You’re not really experiencing the movie. It’s just like, ‘I’m waiting to see Owen. There he is!’ I thought he was funny in The Cable Guy. I think he’s listed in the credits as Obnoxious Date. He gets beaten up by Jim Carrey.

Owen on Wes “Having a collaborator is like having brothers. It serves a good purpose. It kind of keeps you in check.”

Fun Fact The former college roommates still live together (along with Wilson’s younger brother, Luke), in Los Angeles. Wilson: “That’s probably a sign of real immaturity. It needs to change. It’s ridiculous.” Anderson: “There’s lots of terrible things that happen living in the same house with people. They’re mostly just matters of hygiene, I would say.”

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