LOS ANGELES — All Vince Vaughn had to do to find inspiration for his role as a sperm donor who's fathered 533 children in "Delivery Man" was think about his own life.
Vaughn married Kyla Weber in 2010, when he was 40, so the couple made a conscious effort to have children right away. The 43-year-old actor's now the father of two. In a bit of art imitating life, the second child became a reality while Vaughn was filming the movie.
"So there was a day, it was around Christmas, that my wife came to me with a Christmas ornament with the family and there was an extra little person in a Santa hat. That's how I found out, which was great," Vaughn says. "So I was really excited both times, thrilled to have impregnated my wife at this point."
Unable to pass up a joke, Vaughn laughingly boasts the pregnancy "is more about me being proud of the fact of my own ability."
It may have been all the pregnancy talk, but Vaughn signed on to star in the movie — a remake of the Canadian film "Starbuck" — despite it being different than the films that help make him a star.
There's no swagger to the character, like the one he played in "Swingers," or the lunacy of his roles in "Old School" or "Wedding Crashers."
"I think for all actors, it's fun to do different things," Vaughn says. "I'll definitely do something more crazy, but I think part of it is your age, and different roles present themselves to you. Change is what you play, I think, at 23 to some degree different than what you play at 43. So for me, it's more about tone.
"I think I started off doing more dramatic and character stuff, and had a lot of fun. Now for me this movie particularly has been really great because it is more dramatic, but I think it also is very funny and also a lot of different things."
"Delivery Man" is about family, responsibility and parenting that at times is deeply endearing. Vaughn was attracted to how the film looks at a group of people — who all share the same biological father — looking for a connection. They want to be a part of something. He likes how the film deals with that quest in a "non-fluffy" way.
Vaughn brings to the role the perspective he's gotten as a father. It's important for him to enjoy being a dad and to have fun being with his children. At the same time, he's trying to figure out how to give his children the tools they need to be happy in life.
And, he's trying to balance that with being a husband.
"I'm very fortunate with my wife. You realize how much the relationship, when kids are young, can suffer. And it's important to make sure that you are able to spend some time with each other. I think as a father, the best thing you can do for the kid is to love the mom," Vaughn says. "Even as a parent I believe that loving the mother is the most important thing.
"And even parents, who maybe aren't together, I think that's important for them to respect each other and to be kind to each other."
Vaughn's happy the "Delivery Man" script came to him at this point in his life. He loved being able to play a more grounded character, but he's not turning his back on more outlandish roles in the future.
"I would definitely do another kind of more outlaw or comedy again, depending on what that story was," Vaughn says.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, email@example.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.