Why You Don't Hear Much From Vince Vaughn Anymore

The list of actors who basically disappeared from Hollywood seems to grow each year. Among its ranks are former A-listers like Cameron Diaz, Meg Ryan, Joe Pesci, Bridget Fonda, and, it appears, Vince Vaughn. Back in the mid-2000s, you couldn't go to the movies without coming across an R-rated comedy starring Vaughn and packed with raunchy humor. However, as the Los Angeles Times noted in 2020, Hollywood slowly began shifting away from "male-oriented comedies" in the 2010s, as did movie-going audiences. That meant that the type of film Vaughn had become known for was no longer in demand and soon enough, he was being pushed out of the spotlight.

While his personal life kept him in the headlines — with folks wondering about his friendship with Owen Wilson, his relationship with Jennifer Aniston, and his marriage to Kyla Weber – Vaughn's career appeared to hit the back burner. However, the truth is that Vaughn hasn't exactly disappeared. While he's perhaps less often in the spotlight, he is still working and pursuing a whole slew of different projects off-camera. Here's the real reason why you don't hear much from Vince Vaughn anymore, and what he's up to these days.

Vince Vaughn had a string of box office flops

Vince Vaughn was at the height of fame in the mid-2000s. After first making his mark on Hollywood with 1996's "Swingers," he became an A-lister thanks to several commercial hits. Comedies like 2004's "Starsky & Hutch," 2005's "Wedding Crashers," and 2008's "Four Christmases" solidified his status as a bankable star and brought in the millions at the box office, per Rotten Tomatoes.

However, things began taking a turn for the worse in 2010. 2011's "The Dilemma" earned just over $48 million (compare that to the $209 million "Wedding Crashers" brought in) and triggered a rough patch for the actor. 2013 saw the release of two major misses, as both "Delivery Man" (which made $30.7 million) and "The Internship" (which made $44.7 million) flopped. Then, his career hit a new low with 2015's "Unfinished Business," his fifth straight flop in a row. The movie boasted a measly 10% Tomatometer score and, per Variety, gave Vaughn "the worst opening weekend of his career" with earnings of just $10 million. That same year, the actor even switched agencies, leaving CAA for rival WME, per The Hollywood Reporter, in an apparent effort to turn things around. Unfortunately, box office success has continued to elude him, and Vaughn had his worst release ever with 2016's "Term Life," which he also produced. The flick earned — get this — $13,000.

He doesn't really care if fans like his films

Perhaps realizing he shouldn't limit himself to R-rated comedies, Vince Vaughn began experimenting with other genres. In 2017, he starred in the grindhouse-style "Brawl in Cell Block 99," then followed that up with 2019 dramedy "Fighting With My Family." Fans were feeling the shift and the films received a 90% and 93% Tomatometer score, respectively, from Rotten Tomatoes. There was also 2018 crime thriller "Dragged Across Concrete" and 2020 slasher film "Freaky," both of which viewers seemed to enjoy. The latter even got Stephen King excited as he tweeted, "Based on the trailer of FREAKY, Vince Vaughn has GOT to get nominated for an Academy Award." Unfortunately, Vaughn's diversification failed to make bank. "Freaky," for example, earned just $9 million at the box office.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times in 2020, the actor explained his penchant for trying different things, regardless of revenue. "I will go back and do comedies again, but I think I do better when I'm excited or challenging myself than when I'm trying to read the tea leaves of where the market is going," he said. "Any time you go into a different area, people are reluctant because it's not what they're used to selling." Vaughn indicated that he chooses roles based on what he likes, not what he thinks will do well: "For me personally, I really don't care to a large degree about people's opinions." It's a sentiment he also shared with HuffPost in 2012, saying, "You don't always want to do the same tone over and over again."

Not everyone loves working with him

Despite being one of the most iconic comedic actors of his generation, it seems working with Vince Vaughn wasn't always a laugh-filled experience. In 2007, Vaughn teamed up with Reese Witherspoon for "Four Christmases" and, per the Daily News, they did not get along. According to one insider, their working styles were so different, they were constantly at odds. "Vince rolls onto set in the morning looking like he just came in from a night out, while Reese will arrive early looking camera-ready," the source alleged. "Then Reese tries to force Vince into blocking out each scene and running through their lines as Vince tries to convince her that he's an ad-libber and wants to play around and see where the scene goes." Witherspoon allegedly flat-out refused to film a scripted love scene with Vaughn, per the New York Post (via Digital Spy) — which might have had more to do with the specific scene than with him.

Witherspoon wasn't the only A-lister to take issue with Vaughn. After the release of 2011's "The Dilemma," the actor was rumored to have been banned from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" because of a joke he made in the film using the word "gay," per Page Six. Making matters worse, Vaughn stood by the "joke," despite the backlash. "Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together," he argued, per Deadline. "Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us."

He went behind the scenes as a producer

While it may seem like he's starring in less projects these days, Vince Vaughn is still very much working full-time in Hollywood. In addition to trying his hand at different styles of acting, Vaughn decided to get serious about producing with the 2005 launch of his own production company, Wild West Picture Show. He has produced numerous films and shows and, as IMDb notes, he isn't just bankrolling his own films (think "Couples Retreat," "The Internship"). Rather, he's also working behind the scenes on projects you don't see him in, including TBS' "Sullivan & Son" and the movie "A Christmas Story Christmas."

Vaughn co-produced (with Peter Billingsley) and even co-wrote another holiday flick, 2022's "Christmas with the Campbells." The unique project saw a Hallmark writer pen a traditional Hallmark script; then Vaughn and his team took that and amped it up beyond Hallmark's standards of appropriateness. As the actor explained to Collider, his plan was simple: "...change the dialogue, commit the characters to being more adult and the language to be more R, stronger points of view, but we're going to keep the scenes and the sequences the same." This unique and promising premise was met with mixed reviews.

Vince Vaughn had several run-ins with the law

There is nothing funny about Vince Vaughn's legal record. The actor has been arrested twice, starting in 2001 with a bar brawl that left Steve Buscemi injured and landed Vaughn in handcuffs. According to ABC News, the pair was filming "Domestic Disturbance" in Wilmington, North Carolina, and decided to get a drink with screenwriter Scott Rosenberg. At the bar, the outlet reported, "...two local men allegedly picked a fight with Vaughn after one of their girlfriends began talking to the Swingers star." Buscemi was stabbed multiple times and taken to the ER while Vaughn, Rosenberg, and the locals were all arrested. Vaughn faced misdemeanor assault charges, which were later dropped, but he was sentenced to alcohol counseling and banned from all bars in Wilmington, per ABC News.

Jump to September 2018 and Vaughn had another, even more serious run-in with the law. According to the Associated Press, he was pulled over in Manhattan Beach, California, and refused to listen to officers and step out of the vehicle for a sobriety test. He eventually took the test, failed, and was charged with three misdemeanors: driving under the influence, having a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, and refusing to follow police orders. In May 2019, Vaughn "plead[ed] no contest to one misdemeanor count of alcohol-related reckless driving," per E! News, and was fined and sentenced to a three-month alcohol program and three years of probation. Not a good look.

Vince Vaughn wants to build a podcast empire

As Vince Vaughn continues to explore different creative outlets, he's set his sights on podcasts. More specifically, he teamed up with former Carolina Panthers players Ryan Kalil and Greg Olsen to start his own podcast network and production company called Audiorama. As Variety reported, it officially launched in March 2022 with its debut show, "Youth. Inc." Hosted by Olsen, the series examines the balance between fatherhood and pro sports and features interviews with everyone from fellow athletes to psychologists. To date, Audiorama has also worked on Kalil's podcast, "Block Forever," which focuses on all things NFL. In December 2022, Audiorama launched its first non-sports show, "A Cinematic Christmas Journey." The six-episode series explored the appeal of timeless holiday movies and was co-hosted by "A Christmas Story" star Peter Billingsley and his co-writer of "A Christmas Story Christmas," Nick Schenk.

While Vaughn is involved as a producer and co-founder, Mikey Fowler is running the day-to-day operations as Audiorama's VP and GM, per Deadline. Sharing the company's vision with the outlet, he enthused, "Vince, Greg, Ryan, and I are dedicated to making Audiorama a podcast production company focused on building and developing each and every podcast we launch for the long haul rather than short term."

He's focused on family

What some fans may not know is that Vince Vaughn is a devoted family man. The comedian married Canadian real estate agent Kyla Weber in January 2010. Ahead of their nuptials, the actor was glowing when he spoke with People: "It's the first time that I really want to have kids," he shared. In December 2010, the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Locklyn Kyla. Speaking with Access shortly after her birth, Vaughn shared that fatherhood suited him just fine. "I feel really grateful and I've been enjoying it," he enthused. 

The family grew again in 2013 with the arrival of son Vernon Lindsay. Again, Vaughn was overjoyed, telling E! News, "There's nothing more fun than laughing and playing around with the kids." Vaughn and frequent co-star Owen Wilson have children around the same age.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Vaughn's Dad Mode went into overdrive. As he shared with the Los Angeles Times, he was dedicated to keeping his kids on-track with schoolwork and was helping to manage their learning pod. That November, he also headlined a rally of over 100 parents and kids to ask authorities to reopen schools and sporting activities in Manhattan Beach, California, per Spectrum News 1. "Not all the kids are succeeding on calls, and they need some extra support," Vaughn argued. "...we feel like there's room for people to stay home and there's room to figure out safe ways of getting kids some support in person."

Vince Vaughn is serious about poker

In addition to his family, his work in Hollywood, and his podcasting business, Vince Vaughn has been making time for yet another passion: poker. In November 2021, Caesars Entertainment announced he would be the celebrity Master of Ceremonies for the 53rd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament taking place in Las Vegas in 2022. As PokerNews noted, the appointment wasn't all that surprising given that Vaughn has been known to play in "high-stakes Hollywood private games." Indeed, the actor was overjoyed by the news; as quoted in the press release: "Poker has long been one of my favorite sports." 

Amid promotional activities, he also played a hand in his first WSOP gold bracelet tournament. Although he lost, he did so graciously, per PokerNews, shaking hands with his competitors and saying, "No worries, good suck out."

As part of his WSOP duties, Vaughn debuted the Main Event bracelet in July 2022, per PR Newswire, and gushed, "I couldn't be more excited to play a role on the Las Vegas Strip by kicking off the biggest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world." That October, he was tapped by Caesars Entertainment to appear in their iGaming ads. "With my long history of love for Las Vegas and gaming, I am excited to be part of the royal family with Caesar and Cleo," said Vaughn, per Casino.org. And the relationship is showing no signs of fizzling out. In November 2022, Vaughn began promoting the 2023 WSOP event, per Card Player.

His political views have raised eyebrows

Vince Vaughn's eyebrow-raising political antics have turned some fans against him. The actor, who calls himself a libertarian, reportedly once told Rolling Stone in 2013, per Politico, "I really do like Ron Paul — I agree with him on most things." He then came under fire in 2015 when he told British GQ that schools should allow more guns. "[Mass shootings have] only happened in places that don't allow guns," he said, claiming that criminals are drawn to schools for that reason. "Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat," he added. 

That same year, he also spoke out against affirmative action, telling Playboy (via The Root) that this measure meant "you're evaluating someone based on race, which is racism."

Vaughn again sparked controversy in 2020 after he shook Donald Trump's hand at a New Orleans football game. Fans on the left called for him to be "canceled," per The Guardian, but Vaughn defended himself. "In my career I've met a lot of politicians who I've always been cordial to," he told the Los Angeles Times, saying he and Trump had never met before the ball game, but simply greeted each other. He also argued, "I was raised with the idea that you could have different likes and beliefs and you should respect and defend that in other people, not shout it down."

You can still catch him on the small screen

While Vince Vaughn may be appearing in less films these days, he hasn't given up acting. In fact, he's appeared on a number of TV shows. First, there was his run on Season 2 of HBO's "True Detective" in 2015. Unfortunately, critics didn't take very kindly to his first major role on the small screen. Bustle proclaimed, "Vince Vaughn is awful," while For the Win teased, "Why Vince Vaughn is the worst part of 'True Detective' Season 2." Folks seemed to be taking issue with Vaughn's approach to a serious role while also putting some of the blame on the script itself. Luckily, he's fared better since. In 2018, he voiced Chet Stevenson on eight episodes of Netflix's "F Is for Family" (which his company, Wild West Picture Show, also produced), then appeared on an episode of "Immoral Compass" in 2021, and showed up as Freddy Funkhouser on eight episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in Seasons 10 and 11.

Up next, Vaughn is slated to co-executive produce and star in a 10-episode drama series called "Bad Monkey." Deadline confirmed the news in August 2021, reporting that Apple TV+ had picked up the show based on Carl Hiaasen's 2013 novel of the same name. As of January 2023, though, the series had yet to get a release date.