SECRET HEADQUARTERS Interview With Star Owen Wilson And Directors Henry Joost & Rel Schulman (Exclusive)

We talk to Secret Headquarters star Owen Wilson and directors Henry Joost and Rel Schulman about the movie, learning how the actor's role compares to Loki, creating a secret headquarters, and more...

Interviews Opinion

In Paramount+'s Secret Headquarters, Charlie and his friends discover the headquarters of the world’s most powerful superhero, The Guard, hidden beneath his home while hanging out after school. However, when villains attack, they must team up to defend the base and save the world.

The movie is a lot of fun, and we can now premiere an exclusive clip from the action-packed superhero adventure starring Owen Wilson, Walker Scobell, Jesse Williams, Keith L. Williams, Momona Tamada, Michael Peña, Abby James Witherspoon, and Kezii Curtis.

Earlier this week, we spoke with Secret Headquarters star Owen Wilson and directors Henry Joost and Rel Schulman about the movie. To start, we hear from the actor about his first superhero role and how preparing to play The Guard was different to introducing Mobius in Loki

The filmmakers, meanwhile, talk about revisiting their own childhoods to capture the sense of wonder the movie's kids have after discovering this secret headquarters. Finally, Owen, Henry, and Rel all weigh in on fanny packs (they're a running joke in Secret Headquarters) and whether they've been guilty of owning one...or still do, for that matter!

Check out our interview with the trio in the player below:

Owen, as Jack, you get to suit up as a cosmic Iron Man, of sorts, but is playing a superhero like The Guard something you’ve always hoped to tick off that acting bucket list? 

Owen: I think 100%. I think the chance to…it’s funny because I did get the chance to play an astronaut in the other [Jerry] Bruckheimer movie I worked on, Armageddon, so to now be a superhero felt like it completed something. It felt like I accomplished something. And the idea that with this superhero, there’s the fanny pack element of it, the father/son struggle…it felt like if I was ever going to step into this genre, this would be the appropriate character for me. 

Henry and Rel, as filmmakers and writers, what was it like getting to put yourselves into these kids' shoes and exploring that sense of childhood wonder at finding The Guard’s secret headquarters? 

Henry: It was really fun. We grew up with big imaginations. I think it’s a thing that kids have where they want to have their own space and their own secret clubhouse or secret headquarters. That’s something I would sit in class and draw. 

Owen: Yeah. 

Henry: I would have a Batmobile and an escape hatch. So, we really got to tap into that childhood wonder of designing that kind of thing and we lucked out with our incredible production designer, Martin Whist, and an incredible location in Atlanta where we didn’t have to rely on CGI. We just built this secret headquarters that was, I don’t know, 10,000 square feet?

Rel: It just had the stuff we wanted. It had a pool table. A fridge full of Chinese takeout. An old record player and microwave to heat the takeout. 

Henry: An electric guitar!

Rel: Multiple motorcycles.

Owen: Jetpacks!

Henry: A 3D printer. 

Rel: It had a workout section and a basketball hoop. I think part of our job is to never lose that sense of childlike wonder and, every once in a while, you get to make a movie where that applies. 

Having had a taste of that huge Marvel Universe with Loki, Owen, was it fun to step outside of that world to create this original character or were there some similarities between finding who Jack is and your approach to playing a lesser-known comic book character like Mobius?

Owen: Well, I think it was, right from when I first read the script, it was more about connecting with the idea of being a kid and the awkwardness of your first crush and fitting in with your peer group. It was really that story that I just appreciated when I read the script. Then, playing the superhero that is, you know, struggling with his son, that just seemed like kind of a unique way to tell that coming of age story in a funny way.

Fanny packs are kind of a big part of this film, so I have to ask: have any of you guys been guilty of owing, or still owning, one?

Owen, Henry, & Rel: [Laughs]

Rel: I’m wearing one right now under my pants.

Owen: When I’m skiing, I feel like they’re appropriate. They have a cooler vibe on the mountain than in the suburbs.

Henry: What do you keep in there?

Owen: Oh, you know, schnapps.

Rel: He’s got plenty of pockets this guy. That’s the thing about Owen. 

Secret Headquarters premieres on Paramount+ this Friday, August 12.

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