Eloise Parker meets a superheroine's leading man.
Ask Luke Wilson what kind of a superhero he'd be and he'll tell you what every woman wants to hear.
"I think I'd want to be 'Super-Understanding'," he says slowly but firmly, considering his options. And his costume? "Some flannel pyjamas and tights."
Unfortunately, in Luke's latest film, My Super-Ex Girlfriend, only his co-star Uma Thurman gets the superpowers.
Despite his leading man good looks, the Texas native has made a habit of being somewhat overshadowed by his onscreen girlfriends. Remember the sassy Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels and the bubbly Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde? The ladies took the spotlight, but Luke's laid-back humour backed them up all the way.
So, it's no surprise to see him reprising his mild-mannered boyfriend persona in My Super ExGirlfriend as Matt Saunders, the regular guy who dates Uma Thurman's sexy superhero G-Girl. Until, that is, he dumps her and all hell breaks loose.
Casting off his well-worn perfect boyfriend persona, Luke says, "Noone really comes to me for advice on relationships. I'm much more likely to ask one of my married friends. They're more likely to say something like, 'Well try and see her side', as opposed to my single friends, who say 'Why don't we go to Vegas and forget about all this?'."
But unlike his character Matt, who discovers that a spurned superhero is every man's worst nightmare, Luke's own relationships - which have included Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow - have ended comparatively smoothly.
"I've been lucky in that I haven't had any really fiery break-ups," he confides, before admitting that his brothers have been less fortunate.
At 34, Luke is the youngest of his actor siblings - the slightly more famous Owen and rather less famous Andrew.
"Andrew, he had a girlfriend who lit some newspaper on fire and threw it into the sunroof of his car," Luke recalls. "That was pretty crazy - and it was Owen's car."
Luke refers to his brothers often, and you can't help noticing a distinct similarity between he and Owen's deliberate speech and easy-going Southern charm.
Together, they make up a significant chunk of Hollywood's 'frat pack', a Hollywood comedy collective that includes Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Will Ferrell.
Working repeatedly with his brothers, most recently on last year's The Wendell Baker Story, has proven successful, though Luke admits sibling rivalry does exist between them.
"We're very competitive, but not in the business sense," he admits. "We hang around together a lot, playing ping-pong and basketball.
"We were making a movie one time - Andrew and I were directing and Owen was playing this part. I remember just all three of us together talking, just trying to work something out, and it sounded just like an argument over ping-pong.
"We're competitive to the level where sometimes we just take a couple of days off from the other guy."
However, Luke clearly respects the differences between himself and his more bohemian brother.
"Owen's a really good traveller, but I hate being jet-lagged," says Luke. "I'll get somewhere and I'll feel sick or something's not right and I'll just go home. But going places really does open your eyes."
He also appreciates that their competitive nature has helped them survive in the notoriously fickle movie industry.
"You have to be competitive and be able to deal with getting rejected. A lot of people when they're starting out have trouble getting work. I can remember auditioning with Jack Black and neither one of us getting the part," he recalls.
Fortunately, hustling for acting jobs is something that Luke rarely has to do these days. He's just signed up to play Bobby Ewing in the big-budget remake of 80s TV series Dallas, and admits that he would quite like to try his hand at a fullscale action movie.
"I would love to," he confesses. "I remember doing this movie with Martin Lawrence called Blue Streak where we were kind of hiding behind a dumpster and I remember just thinking how difficult it is to be good as an action star. I was breathing really hard, thinking 'I don't look very cool doing this'."
But if you've got visions of Luke getting sweaty in a vest in the style of Bruce Willis, forget it.
"I always liked Harrison Ford," he says. "It's kind of a Clint Eastwood approach."
And while staying cool in the vein of Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood is becoming Luke's onscreen trademark, off-screen is a different matter. In fact, he admits he still gets star struck, despite his ten years in the Hollywood scene.
"Yeah, definitely," he nods. "Sometimes it can be daunting to work with people when you've seen their movies."
Take his current co-star Uma Thurman, for example.
"I'd seen Dangerous Liaisons when I was about 18," Luke recalls. "I'd known who she was for a long time. She's on the cover of Vogue and InStyle - she's an icon."
It's a level of fame that Luke, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Austin in Texas, doesn't yet feel a part of.
"I really don't have a problem. I think there's so much focus on people like Brad and Angelina that to follow me day to day would be a pretty boring prospect, luckily. I live a very low-key, laid-back life. Not that I don't get paparazzi around but I'm really able do pretty much whatever I want."
It's a far cry from the life of fellow frat-packer Vince Vaughn, who found himself catapulted into the full glare of the tabloids thanks to his ongoing relationship with Jennifer Aniston. Luke's clearly given his friend's new predicament some thought.
"I just can't imagine living like that. I mean, it's not good for your soul to be sneaking around and hiding everything. As an actor you want to be out and around people and kind of living life."
* My Super Ex-Girlfriend opens on Friday August 4.