(DailyDig.com) – The wig is crucial to the success of any satire involving Bob Ross.
When Owen Wilson agreed to act in “Paint,” a whimsical comedy concerning a fictitious artist, Carl Nargle, starring in a popular TV show played by Wilson, he had no illusions about the movie’s potential success. Prior to filming, Wilson viewed many unrealistic replicas of the character’s perm, which was inspired by the real-life Ross.
Kekepania Vasquez-Tamali’i, who oversaw the hair department, aimed for a look that was a cross between Wilson’s personal preference and Ross’s instantly recognizable cut. Now, he claims that this particular wig is his absolute favorite.
In the 1980s, Ross rose to fame as the presenter of “The Joy of Painting,” a popular PBS program that encouraged viewers to create works of art in as little as 30 minutes. Carl is well-known for his upbeat affirmations, casual wardrobe, and calming voice, much as Ross was before his death from cancer at the age of 52 in 1995.
Behind the scenes, however, Carl is envious of Ciara Renée’s character, Ambrosia, a young painter whose daring work overshadows his charming Vermont landscapes.
Brit McAdams, the film’s writer and director, has said that one of his favorite themes is the big fish in a small pond character, which describes Carl’s position in his universe. According to McAdams, Bob Ross was a fixture of his childhood. Having seen how the picture performed in theaters, he can attest that it is also rather humorous. The world could use a little more of that right now.
Wilson watched past episodes of Ross’s program and painted in tandem with him to get into character. Wilson also brought his boys, Finn, nine, and Robert, twelve, to an art class.
An enjoyable part of “Paint” for Wilson was discovering how much of a legend Ross still is. His continued existence is due to a perceived need. Presenting what Wilson says is a touching and hilarious portrait of Ross, the new film “Paint” captures the feeling of returning to a place that seems like home.
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