Vince Vaughn Says the ‘Peek-a-Boo’ Moment in ‘Swingers’ Happened To Him in Real Life
Actor Vince Vaughn recently dished about why writer and star Jon Favreau included the hilarious diner scene in Swingers where his charter Trent Walker thinks a woman is playing peek a boo with him but is actually communicating with her baby.
The 1996 coming-of-age cult classic film is loaded with sharp-witted quips combined with cringeworthy moments. Vaughn revealed how one cringeworthy hilarious moment was woven into the script because it actually happened to him in real life.
“I was coming back from Chicago,” he recently recounted on the Life is Short with Justin Long podcast. “I was sitting in the airport, I was sitting in a seat, and there was the ticket counter that I could see the line was going towards the counter. And there was a man, but he started waving and smiling at me, in a way that was treating me like a cute little teddy bear.”
“It was a strange moment because it was very… I didn’t know this person, and it was so confidently done,” he continued. “I thought this is an odd thing. It’s one thing to wink and smile at someone, but this guy is really waving at me and blowing me kisses and sh*t.”
The moment gets crazier
Like his wise-cracking fast talking charter, Vaughn is now convinced the man is gesturing toward him. At this point in his career he was also a total unknown actor so it wasn’t because the man recognized him.
“And I remember going through a gamut, do I just ignore him?” he said. “Do I look back at him like I’m a tough guy, don’t play around with me? How do I make this stop because I felt harassed. He didn’t stop.”
“It happened about four or five times,” he recalled. “It was the craziest thing ever. So then once he exchanged his ticket, he began to walk directly at me. And I thought this gentleman is the most confident, condescending person. And then a couple rows before me. He stopped, he bent down, and I couldn’t tell because the head of the child did not come up above it. He was entertaining a baby.”
Vince Vaughn tells Jon Favreau he has to include the moment
Like in the film, the man was simply gesturing to the child the entire time, but Vaughn and his character are convinced the stranger is reaching out to them.
“And I shared it with Jon, and so then we created the scene where at the end, the fun of the movie and that idea was that,” he said adding that Favreau actually didn’t want to include the moment in the film. But he ultimately went with a woman in the scene. Favreau’s character Mike is trying to talk to Trent in the diner. Meanwhile, Trent is busy playing peek-a-boo with the woman in another booth.
“Then it became me being engaged with the woman,” Vaughn said. “We got off of that. And in a way, what you’re saying in a fun way, at the end, is there’s a lot of levels what that suggests. And then, Mike is resolved, he looks out the window, he’s no longer searching for coaching or things.”
Vaughn adds that Swingers is durable because it mirrors real life. “And this is true in most stories or movies or all of us in life is, we’re not inventing anything,” he said. “We’re revealing what’s already there. In this case, what you’re getting at, in a Socratic way, and I don’t think any of us in any of these conversations get there all the way, is that being yourself and being genuine with someone is more intimate and a better way to have a connection because someone can really love you. And if you’re presenting things that you think someone is going to like, well, then you’re not really… They’re not giving them a chance to get to know who you are.”