Will Ferrell en Español
Friday, March 09, 2012
Will Ferrell can make just about anything funny: playing the flute, negotiating with a toddler, just standing around in his underpants. After seven years on Saturday Night Live, he took his impersonation of George W. Bush to Broadway in a one-man show.
For his latest movie, he joined a cast of Mexican actors for a role performed entirely in Spanish. Casa de mi Padre is the big-screen version of a shoddy telenovela, with a cast led by Diego Luna. Ferrell plays a sincere doofus whose father is a rich landowner, his brother a drug lord. “I had to work tirelessly with a translator to help enhance my three years of high school Spanish,” he says.
It’s the kind of film, Kurt Andersen suggests, that might be best enjoyed under the influence with its slow-motion fight scenes and muddled surrealism. Ferrell says he was excited to take on an unconventional project that would surprise the audience. “We saw this wonderful opportunity to make an anti-movie movie, in a way,” he explains. “And at the same time be a little satirical of perceptions that the US has of Mexico and vice versa. We said, ‘This is going to be a grab bag of all these things — no one seems to be watching, so let’s just shoot it.’”
Ferrell tells Kurt that he never aspired to be a comedian. As the son of a working musician who lived gig to gig, he was well aware of the difficulties of a performing life. Humor was in his heart, but a career in journalism seemed stable. "In college, when I was studying journalism, I thought I might be a sportscaster," Ferrell says. But after graduation, "I saw that getting a job in broadcasting is just as much a crapshoot as trying [comedy], so I might as well try."
Ferrell just wrapped filming for The Campaign — co-starring Zach Galifianakis, it’s about two candidates in a small congressional race in North Carolina. The movie comes out in August, shortly before the political conventions, which Ferrell concedes have their own comic potential. “Hopefully we won’t seem too tame [compared to] what is really going on.”
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