Wednesday, March 12, 2003

I'm liking Vince Vaughn these days. It's not often you see an actor defend his roots in the face of ugly anti-America bashing from Euro-trash flunkies, plus toss in a backhanded shot at Canadians. From the March 3rd edition of USA Today:

As an A-list celebrity, actor Vince Vaughn employs an array of weapons to cope with hecklers, from a Saharan wit to a waiting limo.

But during a movie shoot recently in England, Vaughn found himself repeatedly reaching for the same comeback. Three totemic words from the attic of history: the Marshall Plan.

"I'd say one in three conversations wound up the same way, basically that 'America is the devil.' So I'd ask folks to think about the Marshall Plan a bit and get back to me," says Vaughn, 32, referring to the Allied blueprint for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. "In the end, though, I just had to tell people, 'I'm not having this discussion anymore.'"

But if you're heading overseas, be prepared to have it. Again and again. If the past 100 years were widely considered the American Century, this new one is fast shaping up as the Anti-American Century.

Just ask tourist Colleen Frost, 33, who hopped into a cab recently on her first day in Berlin. An English-speaking driver demanded an explanation for what he called "America's megalomania."...

During Vaughn's stay in England, he found himself criticized on all those levels. Like a boxer countering each blow, he shot back with the best responses he could.

Sometimes the complaints left him speechless, like the time he was told "'America had no culture' by a kid wearing a Kobe Bryant T-shirt and listening to rapper DMX."

But one incident really stung.

"Man, it was bad," says the Rat Pack-y star of Swingers. "These girls saw us and were kind of flirting, and they kept asking us if we were American. Finally we said, 'Yes,' and they just took off.

"One girl turns and says, 'We were hoping you were Canadian.' Canadian? Since when was it cooler to be Canadian?"


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