Owen Wilson Ducks Publicity For New Film

03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • John Horn and Gina Piccalo LA Times

On Friday, Paramount Pictures will release "Drillbit Taylor," a new comedy starring Owen Wilson as a bodyguard hired by several high school students looking for bully protection. The film has been accompanied by most of the marketing efforts typically associated with a national theatrical release -- including television promotions and coming attractions previews -- but you can look far and wide and not find Wilson conducting the kind of interviews that stars of his caliber usually do when they have a big movie to promote.

The intentional choice not to sit Wilson down with television reporters, print journalists and talk show hosts is understandable. The studio worried that rather than let Wilson plug the movie and its comic pedigree ("Drillbit Taylor" was produced by "Knocked Up's" Judd Apatow), his interviewers would steer the conversation toward the 39-year-old actor's hospitalization last summer following an apparent suicide attempt. (The actor has yet to address the incident in the mainstream media.)

So rather than put Wilson together with television or print reporters, Paramount had the actor record "Drillbit"-themed introductions to Fox's Sunday-night prime-time lineup, with Wilson appearing in front of " The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Family Guy" and "Unhitched." Paramount said Wilson has done all that the studio has asked of him, and his publicist said the actor's availability was affected by "Marley & Me," an upcoming movie Wilson is currently shooting in Florida

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Read reviews of "Drillbit Taylor":

Entertainment Weekly says, "It's hardly worth going on at much length about the movie, a disordered, dispirited shuffling of flailing-to-be-funny and trying-to-be-empathetic scenes..."

The Hollywood Reporter calls it, "a relatively lame exercise that never achieves comic traction."

writes, "A junior-league "Superbad" with an aftertaste of "The Pacifier," "Drillbit Taylor" is a just passable pubescent comedy with a modest laugh count..."