Vince Vaughn Hosts Special Screening of New Movie at USO Event

Vince Vaughn visited Edwards Air Force Base to show his new movie "Unfinished Business."

Vince Vaughn has played a wedding crasher and a professional dodgeball player, but one of his lesser-known roles is USO ambassador and military supporter.

While many celebrities are easily associated with their high profile military outreach efforts, Vaughn has chosen to show his appreciation for military members in a way you might expect from the actor/comedian known for buddy comedies and his close group of famous comic friends -- sharing laughs and hanging out with people he respects.

Vaughn entertained roughly 1,000 service members and their families on Saturday when he hosted a special advance showing of his movie, “Unfinished Business,” at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

This is Vaughn's third USO tour but also the third time the star has quietly screened an upcoming film for service members before releasing it to the public. Vaughn began his relationship with the USO back in June 2004 when he premiered his film "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." In September 2005, he debuted his movie "Wedding Crashers" for military audiences giving them advanced showings of what would become two wildly successful films that established him as a leading Hollywood man.

“My father was in the military, my sister was and relatives going all the way back to the beginning... I am always appreciative of the troops and all the sacrifices that are made, and it’s always been important to me to express that,” Vaughn said.

“I had met Pat Tillman and then I got the news in the morning on the TV that he had passed. It really bothered me and I had other friends who were overseas. So, I called the USO out of nowhere and said can I come over,” Vaughn said, recalling the start of his relationship with the USO.

Vaughn’s father served in the Navy and his sister was a reservist with the Army and later served as a member of the Texas National Guard.

In 2010, Vaughn even had the chance to perform a tandem jump with the Army Golden Knights parachute team.

”The USO is fortunate to have worked with Vince for so many years and for studios like 20thCentury Fox who are willing to bring some Hollywood glamour and a behind the scenes “sneak peak experience” to the most deserving audience in the world,” said Rachel Tischler, USO Vice President of Entertainment.

Vaughn hasn’t played many military roles in his career. He played a solider cheering in the crowd in “For the Boys” and played a motor pool driver in a “China Beach” episode, but there are some classic military characters from 70’s and 80’s television that he could play if given the chance. asked the actor to choose between playing Major Tony Nelson from “I Dream of Jeannie,” Captain Buck Rogers from “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” or Captain Hawkeye Pierce from “M.A.S.H.”

#qp_main256727 .qp_btna:hover input {background: rgb(255,215,169)!important;background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,215,169,1) 0%, rgba(255,209,157,1) 50%, rgba(255,200,137,1) 51%, rgba(255,240,223,1) 100%)!important;background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,215,169,1)), color-stop(50%,rgba(255,209,157,1)), color-stop(51%,rgba(255,200,137,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(255,240,223,1)))!important;background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,215,169,1) 0%,rgba(255,209,157,1) 50%,rgba(255,200,137,1) 51%,rgba(255,240,223,1) 100%)!important;background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,215,169,1) 0%,rgba(255,209,157,1) 50%,rgba(255,200,137,1) 51%,rgba(255,240,223,1) 100%)!important;background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,215,169,1) 0%,rgba(255,209,157,1) 50%,rgba(255,200,137,1) 51%,rgba(255,240,223,1) 100%)!important;background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,215,169,1) 0%,rgba(255,209,157,1) 50%,rgba(255,200,137,1) 51%,rgba(255,240,223,1) 100%)!important;filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr='#ffd7a9', endColorstr='#fff0df',GradientType=0 )!important}In the 60’s and 70’s we saw some iconic military characters on TV. Who would you like to see Vince Vaughn play?Major Tony Nelson from "I Dream of Jeannie"Captain Buck Rogers from "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century"Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce from "M.A.S.H."

Vaughn thought a minute and then answered, “Buck seems to live an exciting life you know out there in space; but Maj. Nelson, did have the genie and the genie could make a lot of things happen, so probably him.”

Vaughn arrived at the base via helicopter Saturday afternoon and visited with select service members who had recently returned from deployment and members who had been recognized for exemplary service within their commands.

The screening took place at the restored base theater which has not been in operation, until Saturday. The USO worked closely with personnel at Edwards Air Force Base to restore the theater in time for the screening which included the addition of professional sound equipment and a state of the art projection screen.

“Unfinished Business,” a 20th Century Fox film, tells the story of small business owner Daniel Trunkman (Vaughn) and his two associates who travel to Europe for the most important deal of their lives. But their routine business trip soon takes several unplanned turns as they try and close the deal despite competition from another company, and a protest at a world economic summit and several other hilarious detours.

“The movie is about going on a business trip overseas but you know there are a lot of temptations in Berlin which results in funny situations; just really good comedy, good laughs,” said Vaughn who called the event and the movie a “great opportunity to get together with folks and just have some laughs and relax .”

First Lt. Robin Anderson, who attended the screening said, “Tonight has been a really great opportunity, I really appreciate everything the USO does for us. I hope that celebrities continue to do this because even though it’s a small chunk of time out of their schedule, it really means a lot to the military personnel that attend these events. “

The movie includes a scene involving a service member in which Vaughn’s character, who finally gets upgraded to first class, sees a young man in uniform waiting to go back to the coach section of the aircraft. While making excuses for not giving up his seat, he reaches out to shake his hand only to discover the member is an amputee. Vaughn said the role was played by an actor and, “one of our writers came up with that. I liked the point of view -- you know here is this guy on a business trip he thinks is so important and sitting in first class is so important and then has that situation.”

Vaughn’s USO trips have taken him to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and the United Arab of Emirates. Asked about his favorite memories of those trips he said, “just the time I got to spend with the troops and laugh and talk about families. Big screenings were great because there is a lot of laughter. When I screened “Dodgeball” I laughed because when I got there so many of them already had the pirated version of the film.”

— Sarah Blansett can be reached at

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