[Movies] Will Ferrell Says He Enjoys Doing Ron Burgundy in Promotional Appearances
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.17.2013
Ferrell discusses Anchorman: The Legend Continues...
Will Ferrell recently spoke with CS.net about Anchorman: The Legend Continues which opens this weekend. Check out the highlights:
On what "Stay Classy"-style memes will come out of the sequel: "You know everyone wants to know and it makes me laugh so hard because theres no way to purposely create a viral video, a this or a that. We have no idea, as we had no idea with the first one that "I love lamp" would become a quote. Especially considering the studio wanted to cut the entire Brick Tamland part from the first movie. It'll be fun to see, knock on wood, what grabs people. It's too hard to say. Paul heard that someone at Wimbledon, in the middle of a silent moment, someone just yelled "LOUD NOISES!" In the middle of a tennis match. So who knows?"
On playing Ron for promotional appearances: "Yeah, it would be easier to be Ron, 'cause Ron doesn't have to answer any question ever. There's really only been five or six things we've done as Ron outside of the Dodge campaign which has gotten a lot of play. What's so funny is the news media loves it so much. I heard there was a thing tracking, "What's Ron gonna do next?" Which is hilarious!"
On planning the Ron Burgundy marketing: "In the early stage, marketing meetings with the studio that this is one of those rare instances where I love the character so much and he's very easy to do on the fly and I'd be up for some creative ways to do it. I came up with the bit for the news station, that was my idea. My publicist came up with curling in Canada, and we tried to get a college to name a school of journalism so Emerson did it. The most insane part of that is I did a 45-minute press conference in-character and there were a hundred press requests. I'm next to the president of Emerson College and the Dean of Journalism and they didn't get asked one question. I've gotten to do all these crazy things and I've turned down a ton of stuff as well."
On whether he worries about Ron Burgundy overkill: "No because I think that's more of a Twitter hater thing. Anyone who's actually gonna bring that up is just a small fraction of someone who has to say something contrary. It's not even about it being effective, it's just kind of fun to do. We've heard about Leslie Mann, Judd's wife, was talking about her aunt in St. George, Utah was like, "I'm going to see that movie!" It's literally 'cause she's seen me do a weird thing. So when we're reaching people like that I think it's worth it."
On whether he gets concerned about going too far with improvisation: "Never a moment, only because we won't use it. If you put it in the film and it cracks it in half then we'll just go, "Oh, that didn't work." There's never a moment on set where Adam or one of us is like, "Wait a minute…" And kissing a shark is so not even close, that was like, "Oh my gosh, this might be the single greatest thing we've ever done." And it's beautifully shot… I'm just like, "I hope I can hold my breath long enough to get to the shark.""
On creating dialogue for a film like Anchorman 2: "Of all the movies we've done, Adam and I have the same process which is we sit in a room and spitball every single idea that comes to us, whether it's a plot idea, a character idea, a thought of a joke. We take it and throw it into the pot and start clacking away. That's kinda how it happens."
On the MPAA being difficult with the rating: "Pretty much...The crack scene was a battle, that's been augmented, but I'm glad to hear it still works for you guys having seen it...There was more footage and the shots were wider. Brian actually gives the recipe for crack on the air! We said the word "vagina" too many times in the "50 Greatest Vaginas in History" which is sexist if you ask me, 'cause you can say every form of penis you can think of, but we were literally saying the medical term too many times. So we had to change it to "gina," "va-jay-jay" which is almost worst. There's a part where Rudd says, "We can do stories on the amount of ejaculate on hotel duvets," we had to change that to whatever that one was, but you couldn't use that term. It's just interesting that comedies are scrutinized on a certain level and "Hunger Games" can happen and it's a PG-13, no problem which is essentially a movie of children murdering each other. So that just seems strange to me."
On reactions from people who were adults in the 1970s: "The first movie had an interesting journey because at first I think we were just patted on the head by local news people. "That's funny, it's not very accurate" to now every local news station embraces that movie. Something that was considered silly is now considered so accurate!"
On what reaction he anticipates from cable news personalities: "I think it's gonna run the gamut in the 24-hour news world from, "Hey, we're not that bad" to "God that was good… yeah." There was a focus group at one of the test screenings in LA. The discussion became all about how much they didn't think about the fact that someone had to do the car chase for the first time. "There is a lot of graphics in our news, it's hard to focus on what the story is." There is a lot of just trying to fill the time which becomes filling the time with conjecture as opposed to reporting. That was kind of great that it was reaching people that way and still making them laugh."
On why he did Anchorman 2 but not Elf 2: "It was just a slow drip-drip-drip that as the movie kept growing in popularity without us doing anything, all of us checking in over the years. "Just so you know, everyone always brings up that movie." We were reticent about making sequels then just woke up one day and said, "Why not? Why can't we have fun too? They got to make three 'Oceans 11' C'mon!""