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Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson Reveal What Kind of Dads They Are

Photo by Kevin Estrada

Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson are old friends, and their chemistry comes through in the new animated feature Free Birds. Wilson and Harrelson lend their voices to a pair of animated turkeys who go back in time to the first Thanksgiving to get turkeys off the menu.

The pair didn’t just help each other in the movie; Wilson, father of 2-year-old son Robert Ford (with another on the way), and Harrelson, father of three daughters—Makani Ravello, 7; Zoe Giordano, 16; and Denni Montana, 20—shared parenting advice during the press tour for the movie.

On what kind of dads they are…

“Have you seen The Great Santini?" joked Wilson. “They say that the No. 1 thing is to be consistent. I guess I try to do that a little bit. I remember you (Woody Harrelson) saying a big thing is to just hug your kids, and I do do that. It comes easily to me because he’s very huggable. It sounds corny, but you can’t hug your kids enough and give them that confidence that they’re loved.”

On "dad fails"...

Harrelson: “I don’t ever remember having a 'dad fail'—literally it would be weird to say I had a perfect record, but my 'dad fails' have to do with if I’m working and can’t go to a play they're in—that drives me crazy. I have one coming up where my daughter is Ophelia. It’s a problem, but I think I’m going to work it out.”

MORE: Amy Poehler Gets "Mommy Brain," Too

The health benefits of being vegan...

Harrelson: “I brought them up vegan; they’re still vegan. I did give them the choice, you know, after a certain age—(at) 40 they could change. ... They hardly ever get sick. My kids, they’re just in great health. It really has a lot to do with your diet.”

Wilson (to Harrelson): “You are committed. You always eat very healthy. And even though I’m not vegetarian, I have learned from you guys some great stuff and I do eat healthier. Even your dog is vegetarian. You’ve never seen a more miserable dog. Usually dogs are so excited when they’re bowl gets put down and you’ll see a bowl of like swiss chard and kale and (the dog’s) like, ‘Are you kidding me?'”

On exposing kids to media…

Wilson: “Sometimes people can be overly protective. You look at a story like Where the Wild Things Are, which I love, there’s a real edge to that story. I think kids have a greater capacity for—ability to deal with—that stuff than we give them credit for.”

On being recognized as Lightning McQueen…

Wilson: “What happens more often is that a parent comes up and says that their kid loves Cars and then says, ‘This is Lightning McQueen!’ and the kid just stares and the parent wants a picture and the kid doesn’t want a picture and then they tell him, ‘Smile,’ and corral the kid into a picture with a lunatic who is saying he’s Lightning McQueen.”

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