Owen Wilson says his wig 'does a lot of the heavy lifting' in his new Bob Ross–inspired film Paint

Owen Wilson says his wig 'does a lot of the heavy lifting' in his new Bob Ross–inspired film Paint

It seems all Owen Wilson needed to channel his inner Bob Ross was a perfectly permed wig.

A wardrobe that evoked the 1980s also helped the star, who portrays a Ross-inspired artist named Carl Nargle, Vermont's No. 1 public television painter, in director Brit McAdams' new comedy Paint, out in April. The movie follows Nargle, a local treasure known for his landscape paintings and soothing voice, as he finds a rival in a new painter (Ciara Renée) hired to revitalize his show's channel.

At Paint's Los Angeles premiere this past week, Wilson credited his fluffy brown wig as his secret to embodying the role so seamlessly.

"I did a little painting before to just see what it felt like," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. "But one of the big things for me came when they got the look dialed in with the wardrobe. And, I mean, let's be honest, the wig does a lot of the heavy lifting for me in terms of feeling not like myself."

Owen Wilson in 'Paint'
Owen Wilson in 'Paint'

IFC FIlms Owen Wilson in 'Paint'

And yes, Wilson also turned to Ross' voice for inspiration. "When you watch those Bob Ross shows, there's just something very attractive and welcoming about the way he sounds and the stuff he's saying," he said. "Carl Nargle, you know, had the No. 1 painting show for 22 years in Vermont, so he had something that people enjoyed as well. He was very comfortable and confident until everything sort of gets shaken up."

Like Nargle, Ross hosted a PBS painting show. Ross' was The Joy of Painting, which ran for 31 seasons between 1983 and 1994. His dulcet, soft-spoken voice and frizzy 'do have remained a significant part of the pop culture fabric.

In a new CBS Sunday Morning segment, Wilson said he used to tune into the series, "but I can't quite do an imitation."

Paint was previously featured on Hollywood's Black List of most-loved not-yet produced scripts in 2010. The film also stars Wendi McLendon-CoveyStephen RootMichaela Watkins, Lusia Strus, and Lucy Freyer. It hits theaters April 7.

Watch the trailer for Paint above.

Want more movie news? Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free newsletter to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.

Related content: