Movie star Owen Wilson was seriously considering joining the US Marines after sitting through test screenings of his movie debut BOTTLE ROCKET - because he thought it was awful.

The film, which featured Wilson and brother Luke and was the directorial debut of Rushmore film-maker Wes Anderson, has become a cult favourite, but Wilson was sure it would be a huge flop.

He recalls, "After one disaster in Santa Monica, when half the people walked out (of the cinema), I asked Luke if he thought anybody liked it.

"He said, 'Let me put it this way. I was afraid someone was going to recognise me from the movie and beat me up.' For a couple of weeks after that I couldn't talk. There was something about having my face up there that made it seem like a personal rejection.

"I just wanted to distance myself. I even looked into joining the military."

But Wilson had to keep his interest in signing up a closely guarded secret because he lived with his brother and Bottle Rocket co-writer Anderson.

He adds, "I kept having to run out to the mail box to keep them from finding any recruiting stuff."

14/06/2005 03:17