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INT: Will Ferrell!


I’ll be honest, I would’ve never thought that I’d see Will Ferrell, Sleestaks and dinosaurs in a movie together. And after a ton of comedies including the recent SEMI-PRO and STEP BROTHERS, Will is returning to laughs, but on a much grander scale with the big screen adaptation of the 1970’s television series, LAND OF THE LOST. While on the set with Will, a lucky group of journalists got to chat with him about why he did the film and of course, how he played Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly in JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. So here is Mr. Ferrell talking about all things Sleestaks and the possibility of another ANCHORMAN.

Will Ferrell

So you’ve been attached to this for about three years?

I don’t know… I don’t know how long. I mean, I was attached initially and then I wasn’t going to be able to do it. And Universal really wanted to make it but they were going to make it with other people then that disappeared so… I forget the chronology of it.

Do you think your character in JAY AND SILENT BOB STIKE BACK was some sort of cosmic foreshadowing of this?

It must’ve been. Yeah, in fact we owe a great deal of credit to Kevin Smith for all of us sitting in this lovely tent right now… with Japanese lanterns.

Well Sid and Marty [Krofft] didn’t even know that you played a character…

Well that doesn’t surprise me [Laughing]. But I’m sure Marty would say, if he could see that movie, he’d be like, ‘Yep, I knew it. It was a sign.’

Well your rocking the khaki [and yes, that means wearing a khaki outfit]…

Yeah, khaki’s good. I like it. I’m trying to think… not since ELF have I just been able to wear the same clothes every single day. Which is nice, you don’t have to think about things, you don’t have those awkward wardrobe moments where you tried on a different t-shirt that you thought was really cool, and it’s not the same one the next day, and you’re like, ‘What happened?’, ‘Oh, the director didn’t like it.’. So it’s good. It never changes, I like it.

So how hard is it, you have this big movie, with big effects, and you are trying to hit your marks staring at invisible dinosaurs and still be funny?

Well, yeah, it’s a whole different animal in a way. You know, in some ways, you actually don’t have to be funny all the time which is what I like about it. And a lot of ways, you can play these adventure moments completely straight that they come off funny. So you don’t have to work at it too much. On the flip side of it, we’re in precarious situations with such a great backdrop to actually throw out these lines that are commenting on the fact that we are about to be eaten. That’s what I love, I love Rick Marshall who is like, obviously scared for his life, but at the same time this scientific mind is always working and he has a great appreciation of this creature that is about to eat him. So it’s a great combination for a comedy.

For the people who don’t know about the film, can you talk about who your character is?

Yeah. I am slightly different from the T.V. show… was it ever established whether Rick Marshall was just a guy who liked to explore with his children?

He was a park ranger.

Okay… so that’s where it is different. Rick Marshall in the movie is a quantum paleontologist… slightly failed. There was a moment in time that we kind of see at the beginning of the movie where he was one of the stars of the scientific community. But then he wrote this book on how he thought there were holes in time and space and everyone thought he was crazy and he ended up potentially, punching Matt Lauer… we haven’t shot it yet [Laughing]. And that led to his fall from grace and we kind of pick him up working at the La Brea Tar Pits trying to teach children who aren’t listening to him. So yeah, it is slightly different in that he had developed this theory about places like “Land of the Lost” and it wasn’t until Holly showed up, who had studied some of his findings and kind of reinvigorated him to get back in the field and that led them on this adventure.

Did you watch the show? We’re you a fan?

Yeah I was. My brother and I loved “Land of the Lost”. You know, for those of us who watched it, it was such a unique thing on Saturday morning… I just loved that it wasn’t a silly cartoon. It actually seemed so real at the time, you know, and how did they make this show with dinosaurs and Sleestak creatures. How did they think of it… it looked so real and I wish I was Will. I always thought it was the coolest premise. And the fact that it didn’t talk down to the kids, it seemed like a real adventure show. I loved it.

Who’s idea was it to work in the original theme song?

I don’t know. I think it was just a given that we kind of had to reference that, obviously. I think it was just Brad Silberling working with the writers, Chris [Henchy] and Dennis [McNicholas]. You know, just trying to think of a moment where we could just kind of incorporate that. So we found a pretty funny moment to do that.

Can you tell us about the Sleestak sex scene? Would you do one?

Would I do one? No. God no. Because they shed their skin in the process. I don’t know if you know that. Well, basically Holly has been abducted and we’re trying to find her and we’re in this crystal cave and we come across two Sleestak’s that are, that we think are on watch, and we hide, and it turns out that they start to make out. And of course being the scientist, I’m like, ‘No, no, it’s just an exchange of masticated nutrients.’ And Will keeps saying, ‘No, they’re making out.’ [Laughing]. ‘They are about to do it!’ [Laughing]. ‘What are you talking about?’ And of course, yeah, it happens. But you only see so much. It’s PG-13.

So you’ve known Danny and you presented him to America, but this is your first time working with him. So what is that like?

It’s really fun. Dare I say, I’ve become kind of good friends with him through this process and I’d love to keep trying to work with him. I might do a couple of little cameo parts in the series we’re producing. But he’s so much fun and he kind of likes to work the same way I do. You know, work hard but have fun while you’re making the movie… he’s just really open, a great improviser and really open with comedy. We’ve been lucky, the three of us, Anna and Danny, and Jorma too who plays Chaka… for four people who have had to spend a lot of time together we’ve had just a great time.

Can you sort of explain what the Danny McBride sort of appeal is for people who don‘t know?

Well if you spend any [time], you know, on a personal level, you spend any kind of time he’s just really a fun, gregarious personality. He’s someone that everyone wants to be around. And in terms of a performer, he’s kind of got that thing that he shows off in THE FOOT FIST WAY which is this attitude of someone who really doesn’t know that he is… you know, this slovenly guy, that kind of unabashed, undeserved self-confidence that is really funny to watch someone play with. And that kind of sums up a lot of the things that he does.

We’ve been hearing some rumors about ANCHORMAN 2? Is that a character you’d like to revisit?

I know, I heard Mr. Adam McKay already told the world [Laughing]. Yeah, definite interest. I mean, I think we now have to do it, which is good.

Would you take it back to the Seventies…?

I have no idea. We’ve talked about a couple of little premises, but I think Adam plans on directing another film that he wrote in the fall. So it’d probably be at least another year or so before we could even start.

Adam said that if they were to do ANCHORMAN, it would be like two years…

Yeah, probably.

And after the story came out, all the people started getting contacted that were in the movie, and they were all, ‘Yeah, just call me up, I want to do it!’…

Yeah, which is great to hear. I would definitely love to go back to it. Whether or not it happens remains to be seen. I think for myself and Steve [Carell]… all of us are a different places than we were when we first filmed it so we’d have to figure all that out. But we’ve never really been huge on the sequel thing in a way, and yet I was always kind of prodding Adam that if we did a sequel on anything, Anchorman would be the one to do it on. It seemed like it would be so much fun. So I think Adam kind of came around on that a little bit. Because when I started doing Ron Burgundy on the Funny or Die Comedy Tour, that kind of got everyone fired up again. So yeah, hopefully we can actually get this thing going.

How is it with you for picking future projects. Obviously you’ve done a lot of stuff and you can probably pick a project. What are your channels and how do projects come to you and how do you pick them?

You know it’s the usual, probably usual channels of agent and manager in terms of procuring scripts and that sort of thing. At the same time, working with a guy like Jerry Miller, we kind of have a lot of relationships with other writers. And we kind of have enough, like people and places where if we have ideas we can get them in development and get things going. So it’s kind of like this, fifty-fifty split of things that we’re developing things on our own so we don’t have to worry about waiting for a script to come along. And then, then the usual thing of, the script just came in and everyone’s talking about it, do you want to read it… that sort of thing.

Do you see Funny or Die creating other movie projects or anything like that?

Yeah, it could in a certain scenario, be a place where a movie is released eventually. We’ll have to see how far the internet is going to go. Is film going to totally go to that medium or is it going to be a mix, I think it is one of those things that… yeah, it’s very conflicting because that would be a neat thing to have happen, at the same time, I still love going to the movies.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to [email protected]



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