Will Ferrell on Collaborating with Other Comedians: “As much as we like to get laughs, it’s just so funny to see someone else execute a joke properly”

Will Ferrell has had a reputation for being a hard actor to approach in public, and was even named as the worst celebrity autographer in 2007 in Autograph magazine. But in an interview with USA Today to promote his upcoming film The Campaign, Ferrell seems to suggest it isn’t him that lets people down — it’s their own expectations.

Ferrell admits that he disappoints people who expect him to be as funny as his on-screen characters.  He says, “I know I am continually letting people down when they come up to me.  They approach me with the sense of, ‘He’s going to do something funny.’ I don’t feel any pressure to have to do it. Sometimes you’re in a mood to be playful. Other times you have to be somewhere or you have your family. I have no problem with going, in a polite way, ‘I have to go.’ When someone yells out a line from a movie I’ve done, a lot of times I can’t remember what the line is.”  Still, there is one aspect of being approached in public that he enjoys: when he is mistaken for someone else.  Ferrell says, “I love when you get mis-recognized. I love when it’s totally the wrong movie.  Or when you’re asked to give the résumé. ‘Where do I know you from?’ I go, ‘I used to be on St. Elsewhere. How can I help you?’ “

Despite starring alongside fellow comedy star Zach Galifianakis in The Campaign, Ferrell doesn’t see working on comedies as a competition.  He explains, “I think so much of making these movies is about the bits happening in between takes. The screwing around that happens outside of what’s actually put on film. We both share this thing of not being threatened by someone else being funny and not being competitive. As much as we like to get laughs, it’s just so funny to see someone else execute a joke properly. End of quote.”

I can definitely see where he’s coming from — whenever a Will Ferrell movie gets released on DVD or Blu-ray sometimes the bloopers and screwed-up takes are even funnier than the actual movie.  I’m sure Ferrell and Galifianakis had just as much fun during this shoot, too.

Leave a Reply

Tom Hanks on Working with Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance in ‘Bridge of Spies’
"Steven does this incredible thing when he casts you: He empowers you with the scene." - Tom Hanks on Steven Spielberg
Tom Hardy on Playing Twins in ‘Legend,’ Being Seen as a Tough Guy, and Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hardy speaks about why he challenged himself to play twins, what he thinks of his tough guy image, and working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed him on stage.
Emily Blunt on Action Movie Roles: “I think it’s important to show different layers. Nobody is just tough, nobody is just vulnerable”
Emily Blunt touches upon why she has gotten into roles with an action bent and why she thinks there aren't more action movies with female leads
Jorja Fox on Life After ‘CSI’: “I’ve always enjoyed not knowing exactly where the road leads”
"I think you kind of have to embrace the unknown if you're an actor." - Jorja Fox
John Turturro on the Life of an Actor: “It’s a rough business. I wouldn’t want my kids to do it”
"I am usually very well prepared. If you’re a surgeon, you’ve got to know what you’re going to take out today." - John Turturro