Will Ferrell en Español

Interview

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.”

    Music Playlist
  1. Me Gustas Tu
    Artist: Manu Chao
    Album: Proxima Estacion: Esperanza
    Label: Virgin France
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Bongo Bong
    Artist: Manu Chao
    Album: Clandestino
    Label: Ark 21
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Smooth Operator
    Artist: Senor Coconut
    Album: Fiest Songs
    Label: Nacional Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Una Ola
    Artist: Locura
    Album: Animas
    Label: CDBY
    Purchase: Amazon
  5. (Don't Fear) Th e Reaper
    Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
    Album: Best of Blue Oyster Cult
    Label: Camden International
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

Will Ferrell

Produced by:

Leital Molad and Michele Siegel

Comments [6]

Jenny from Studio 360

Hi Pete --

Here's all the music used in the segment:

- Manu Chao, "Me Gustas Tu" from the album "Proxima Estacion: Esperanza"
http://www.amazon.com/Proxima-Estaci%C3%B3n-Esperanza-Manu-Chao/dp/B00005BF9Z/

- Manu Chao, "Bongo Bong" from the album "Clandestino"
http://www.amazon.com/Clandestino-Esperando-La-Ultima-Ola/dp/B00000C2MI/

- Señor Coconut, "Smooth Operator" from the album "Fiest Songs"
http://www.amazon.com/Fiesta-Songs-Senor-Coconut/dp/B003GEDLQM/

Enjoy.

Mar. 11 2012 07:48 PM
pete from slc

What was the song at the end of the segment?

Mar. 11 2012 02:44 PM
barent

we can't joke about drug use, why ? is joke dialogue, the new gateway drug? oh please.........

Mar. 10 2012 12:28 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi David --

Kurt wasn't advocating seeing the movie under the influence -- rather, he was acknowledging the movie's place within a certain part of our popular culture. But I can see why it struck a nerve -- I appreciate you writing.

Mar. 10 2012 12:17 PM
David Heatwole from Martinsburg, WV

I have to say Kurt that advocating for people being under the influence to enjoy a movie is pathetic. Being under the influence doesn't require special effects. The brain is already warped by the drug of choice. Being an ex-user I think that to make a joke about it being a positive thing is sad and a poor example of being an artist, or an arts promoter.

Mar. 10 2012 10:11 AM
James M. Kilpatrick from KCK

I do my best to avoid Will Ferrell at all cost!

Mar. 08 2012 10:49 PM

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