Not My Job: We Quiz Actor And Director Olivia Wilde On Buffalo Wild Wings

Jun 8, 2019
Originally published on June 8, 2019 3:13 pm

Olivia Wilde is well known as an actor for her roles in The O.C., House, Tron: Legacy and Cowboys & Aliens. She's now directed her first movie, Booksmart, about two star students who realize just a little too late that they probably could have had a lot more fun in high school. (The alternative title for this film: The Public Radio Host Story.)

We've invited Wilde to answer three questions about the casual dining franchise Buffalo Wild Wings. Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

And now the game where we ask somebody cool to do something lame. Olivia Wilde became well known as an actor in TV shows like "The O.C." and "House" and movies like "Tron: Legacy" and "Cowboys And Aliens," and now she's behind the camera. It seems to be working out well. Her debut film, "Booksmart," is one of the best-reviewed films of 2019.

Olivia Wilde, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

(APPLAUSE)

OLIVIA WILDE: Thank you.

SAGAL: So you've done so much in a relatively brief time. Is there one thing for which you think you're most well-known when people see you on the street?

WILDE: I think it is probably "House," but you never know. There's "Tron" fans everywhere. They come out of the woodwork, you know?

SAGAL: I do. They're sort of more of the nerdy variety.

WILDE: (Laughter) Yes. They're also the most awesome. I love the "Tron" fans everywhere.

SAGAL: Right.

WILDE: But I have to say, "Drinking Buddies" is a movie I shot in Chicago.

SAGAL: Yes, with our very own Joe Swanberg.

WILDE: And - yes, and I love it very much. And I have to give it up for the Chicago microbrew scene, which is really awesome, and I miss it.

SAGAL: This is great. And...

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: I'm glad you mentioned some of them because obviously, as we've mentioned, you've done some pretty serious Hollywood projects. And Joe Swanberg, a local filmmaker here in Chicago, he's famous for shooting ultra-low-budget movies.

WILDE: Yes.

SAGAL: He doesn't script them. He just says, hey, guys. This is your character. Sit here. I'm turning on the camera. Go.

WILDE: Yeah. That's right.

SAGAL: Yeah. And did you enjoy working that way?

WILDE: Oh, my God. I loved it - especially because we were drunk 100% of the time.

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: I tried to emulate it with "Booksmart" - with less beer because we had young people.

SAGAL: I understand.

WILDE: But it was still fun.

SAGAL: So let's talk about the movie. You're - this isn't the first thing you directed. You've done some short films. But this is your first feature, which is very exciting.

WILDE: Yeah.

SAGAL: One of the things I've read is that it's very intimidating to be a movie director because even on a low-budget movie, there's a lot of money. There's a lot of people. They're all looking to you to be the leader.

WILDE: Yes.

SAGAL: Did you have to struggle with that? Was that tough for you? Or did you fall naturally into the role?

WILDE: I fell pretty naturally into it because I've been on sets for 17 years. And I was ready to take the reins, you know? I was ready to be the boss. So it wasn't too hard. I enjoyed that part.

SAGAL: Had you been on sets doing all those other projects you've been doing sitting there the whole time going, damn it, I should be in charge?

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: Increasingly, yes.

SAGAL: I understand.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah. This movie, "Booksmart" - it's about two young women. They're about to graduate high school. It's also very contemporary. If I'm not mistaken, it takes place right now, the spring of 2019.

WILDE: Yes, that's right.

SAGAL: And you are, to me, a very young person, but you're not that young.

WILDE: No.

SAGAL: So did you have to learn stuff about, like, what high school kids are like now and how they were different when you were graduating high school?

WILDE: Yeah. Basically, they're just a lot better now. They're much smarter. They're much cooler. They're much more evolved. They're much more fluid. And then I had to learn some of their cool lingo because I am 100,000 years old, and I had to kind of catch up on how they talk. And they have cool lingo. Like, for the longest time, I didn't know what they meant when they were, like, rad fit, Liv. And I'm, like, what are they saying?

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: But that means outfit, so I pass that on to you.

SAGAL: I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: The word...

WILDE: Fit.

SAGAL: The word fit.

WILDE: F-I-T.

SAGAL: F-I-T, so the word...

WILDE: F like frog - fit.

SAGAL: Rad fit.

WILDE: Rad fit, man.

SAGAL: Yeah. Did they ever tell you anything that made you think they were just pulling your leg?

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: I'm sure they were the whole time. But they were very, very kind to me.

SAGAL: I have to ask you - this is a movie, as is given away by the title, about two rather brainy girls in high school who, in fact, decide at one point they haven't had enough fun they've been so brainy and working so hard. Was that what you were like in high school?

WILDE: I went to, like, the ultimate nerd high school - just the nerdiest of the nerds - and I was one of them, and I am proud to be. But we didn't have fun parties - unless everyone else did, and I just wasn't made aware. But...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I've met some...

WILDE: I had to make a movie about it in order to go to the party.

SAGAL: Yeah.

WILDE: I had to cast everyone and pay them to be there.

SAGAL: Really?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So the movie has come out. It's gotten great reviews. I hope a lot of people see it. Let's assume that it is the success that it seems to be. Do you know what you want to do next? Are you going to try to do one of those big superhero movies next? That seems to be the...

WILDE: I mean...

SAGAL: ...Usual progression.

WILDE: Wouldn't that be fun?

SAGAL: Wouldn't it? Well, you've done those big movies. You could handle it.

WILDE: I could handle it. I can handle it. As long as I have, you know, good snacks...

SAGAL: (Laughter).

WILDE: ...And some loud music, I could make it happen. But truly, you know, I will say the statistics are pretty grim for female filmmakers. So I say that all of us ladies should step up and start telling stories as much as we possibly can.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well, Olivia Wilde, we have, in fact, asked you here to play a game that we're calling...

BILL KURTIS: Olivia Wilde, Have Some Wild Wings.

WILDE: Ooh. All right.

SAGAL: That's right. We're going to ask you about Buffalo Wild Wings...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...The casual dining franchise that was named in your honor by some drunk guys who were really into "Cowboys And Aliens."

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Answer two out of three questions correctly, and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners - the WAIT WAIT-er of their choice to read their voicemail. Bill, who is Olivia Wilde playing for?

KURTIS: Ned Muhovich of Denver, Colo.

SAGAL: All right. You ready to do this?

WILDE: Yes, I am.

SAGAL: All right. Here's your first question. Though the star of the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings is obviously the wings, that's not all they have to offer. You could also order which of these at one of their restaurants? A, a one-gallon bag of fountain soda for only $7.99...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...B, a cocktail called the gin and tonic and ranch dressing...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, chicken forearms?

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: Oh, my God. I'm just - I really hope it's the bag. What was the bag of? A bag of...

SAGAL: Fountain soda.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: That's what it is.

ADAM BURKE: And what does that come with? Well, it comes with a bag and some soda.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Are you choosing that?

WILDE: I'm choosing it.

SAGAL: You're right, Olivia.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: That's the right one.

(APPLAUSE)

MAZ JOBRANI: Wow.

SAGAL: Very good. It's good for parties.

WILDE: Yes.

SAGAL: Next question. You can catch almost any sport you want on the many TVs at your local Buffalo Wild Wings. But at one location in Alabama, you can also do what? A, attend a church service; B, hunt game in the very big backyard; or, C, have paintball fights with other customers?

WILDE: Oh, wow. Oh, my gosh. I'm going to go with church.

SAGAL: You're absolutely right, Olivia.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Of course, the church service at this particular Buffalo Wild Wings begins before the restaurant opens. You can't have beer and wings during service. However, they encourage you to stick around and enjoy it after the sermon.

(LAUGHTER)

BURKE: Does the communion wine also come in a bag?

SAGAL: Absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: All right. Here's your last question. You can be perfect in this as you have been in so many other things.

WILDE: Aw.

SAGAL: Aw. Here's your last question. March Madness is the busiest time at Buffalo Wild Wings, right, so the restaurant is always looking for ways to make the customers' experience even more enjoyable, including which of these? A, they set up booths with sports bookies to help you draw up your brackets; B, an onsite therapist for those suffering from actual clinical March Madness...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or C, the jewel stool, a cooled bar stool for men who got vasectomies so they could skip work and watch more games?

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: I love all of those so much, but I'm going to go with A.

SAGAL: You're going to go with A, the booths with sports bookies. No. It was actually the jewel stool.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This is true, and it is ingenious. Many men schedule vasectomies around March Madness - this is true - so they can enjoy the enforced rest in front of the TV. So why not entice them down to Wild Wings, right?

WILDE: Oh, my God.

JOBRANI: Wow.

SAGAL: Marketing...

WILDE: That's amazing.

SAGAL: ...Genius.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Olivia Wilde do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She won, 2 out of 3. That's a big win for us.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Congratulations. You should feel good about this.

WILDE: I feel great. Do I get a lifetime supply of wings, I'm hoping?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: I think you should go into your nearest Buffalo Wild Wings and say, hello, I'm Olivia Wilde. I would like some wings - and see what happens.

(LAUGHTER)

WILDE: OK, I'm on it.

SAGAL: You - go do it. Olivia Wilde's new film, "Booksmart," is in theaters now. Go see it. It's charming and funny as all get out.

Olivia Wilde, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

(APPLAUSE)

WILDE: Thank you, guys. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILD THING")

THE TROGGS: (Singing) Wild thing, you make my heart sing. You make everything groovy.

SAGAL: In just a minute, duck - it's our Listener Limerick Challenge game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to join us on the air. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.