AICN Double-Teams Will Ferrell - Quint's turn! Pearl! A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES and PG-13 vs R-Rated comedy!!!
Published at: Feb. 29, 2008, 5:05 p.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. You’ve read Capone’s piece above by now I’m sure… if you haven’t click here to read AICN vs. Will Ferrell Part 1 – Capone's First Assault.
Now we have my piece, which is infinitely better because I have audio and video… and I can say that because Capone is a thousand miles away, so I’m not within swinging distance. I kid. Capone’s interview was great and I hope mine melds with his without being too bumpy.
I tried to cram in as much as I could in my short 10 minutes with man, even asking about what happened to A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES at the end of the interview. Hope you enjoy!!!
Will Ferrell: You must be involved with tonight’s festivities…
Quint: Harry’s the driving force for the screening. I would be there with bells on, but I just had a last minute trip pop up, so I’m leaving directly from this interview to London, so it should be fun.
Will Ferrell: Oh that’s cool!
Quint: Now you just talked to Capone, right?
Will Ferrell: I did!
Quint: How did that go? Was he forceful and rude?
Will Ferrell: (Exhales loudly) It was rough… No, he was great. There was another guy with him from another site or something.
Quint: He had a twofer?
Will Ferrell: Yeah, like a tag-team interview, but yeah he’s very cool.
Quint: He spoke well of you, so I had to make sure I wasn’t doubling up on stuff.
Will Ferrell: Yeah, right. Cover the same stuff, right.
Quint: I have to start off, because I know there’s a lot of buzz about it and I heard a lot of press people talking about it… everybody wants to know when Pearl is coming out of retirement.
Will Ferrell: [Laughs] Unfortunately never.
Will Ferrell: Until she comes of age…
Quint: To make the decisions?
Will Ferrell: Exactly. It got a little crazy actually, Adam [McKay] had to… She got a movie offer and they wanted her to come on THE ELLEN SHOW and all of this stuff and it’s like “Damn, she’s just a little kid…” and she had an older sister who was like “why is she getting all of this attention?”
Quint: “Thanks Dad, why couldn’t you thought about this when I was younger…”
Will Ferrell: But who would have predicted that that would have worked the way it did? It’s kind of insane.
Will Ferrell: The guys that were tracking it for us, the venture capitol group that funds the site, they were like, “It was one of the fastest viral things in the history of the internet.” And we just laugh about it every time we hear it, because we almost said no to the entire idea, because McKay and I were like “Why is this going to work? Other comedy websites have never worked, so why is this one going to work?” It’s working and it makes us laugh.
Quint: It’s just funny. The line that got me and made me the biggest fan was the interrogation one were she’s like “Hi Hell, I have someone for you…” I was like “okay…”
Will Ferrell: The crazy thing is hearing Adam feed her the lines off camera, “Nope, say it again ‘Hi Hell, I have someone for you.’” [He repeats with an impression of Pearl].
Quint: We should probably talk about the movie before they kick us out.
Will Ferrell: Yeah, if you want. It doesn’t matter. We don’t have to.
Quint: Yeah, because you haven’t been doing that all day…
Will Ferrell: Right right.
Quint: One of my favorite aspects of the movie was that it was actually set in the seventies, where it’s like… I think ANCHORMAN had a period feel to it too, but I don’t think, if I remember correctly, they don’t really specify.
Will Ferrell: No, we make a joke at the beginning… We put a little placard there that says “This is a semi-true story and takes place anywhere from 1969 to 76” or something like that, because we had mixed so many styles and things like that, we didn’t want to put a date on it, but yeah I love the era, too. It’s funny though, I keep getting the “So what’s with you and the seventies, man? You just love the seventies…” I’m like “OK, well ANCHORMAN and SEMI-Pro…”
Quint: Well, that’s two.
Will Ferrell: And if you want to throw in DICK, which a movie no one saw, but… that was Watergate…
Quint: I.. well, I was going to say I loved DICK...
Will Ferrell: I do to.
Quint: … but that wouldn’t come across too well. (laughs)
Will Ferrell: (laughs) Yeah, that’ll look weird in print, but yeah, it’s funny because I’ve been asked like “Why are you obsessed with it?” and I’m like “I really like the seventies and I think it’s a great era, but I’m not obsessed with it.” This was more of a function in the fact that the ABA took place at that time.
Quint: You needed that for the story.
Will Ferrell: The story of the league is what made us laugh, not so much the time and the time period added to that, but the story of this insane league, which I don’t know if you have read anything on it…
Quint: Not much.
Will Ferrell: The stuff that we do in the movie is actually not as crazy as the stuff that went on. They had the weirdest promotions and just crazy characters and guys who brought guns with them to the locker room and just the most outlandish stuff.
Quint: And you can have afros.
Will Ferrell: Yeah! That was fun. It was fun to grow out the afro.
Quint: I also love the music of the era too, so it’s such a great excuse to have such a good soundtrack.
Will Ferrell: Yeah totally, I’m with you big time… plus my shorts were not trying to be funny, they were historically accurate!
Quint: Including that angle from the end of the movie?
Will Ferrell: Yeah, I didn’t really realize that that would become such a comedic shot. I thought it was more for dramatic effect and then I saw the playback and was like “This pretty funny… we’re going to keep rolling on it.”
Quint: One of the more pleasant surprises for me on this movie was how it was unapologetically R-rated. It’s weird how that comes in waves, were then you will have nothing but tame watered down studio comedies and then they will just kind of let loose with this stuff. What are your thoughts on R rated versus PG-13?
Will Ferrell: I’m right there with you. I mean I hope the trend continues and I hope as long as people keep going to see the R rated ones, they’ll still keep making them, but obviously the big argument used to be if you make an R rated film, you cut into your box office, so they were reticent to do that and 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN kind of cracked that open and then WEDDING CRASHERS came along and then all of these other ones, so it’s…
Quint: And SUPERBAD…
Will Ferrell: Yeah and I hope it continues, because yeah you just have so much more freedom. I mean I kind of have a theory that independent theater operators are just like “Go. Sell the tickets and don’t check ID,” because they can sense that… I hope that the experience of going to cinema doesn’t totally go away, but every year you hear how…
Quint: Home theaters…
Will Ferrell: About how home theaters will be the thing and online and all the stuff like that, but thank you. It’s just so much fun to make back to back R rated movies with the STEP BROTHERS, too.
Quint: Yeah, I can’t wait for that one. It sounds great and then you are jumping into LAND OF THE LOST, right?
Will Ferrell: Yeah.
Quint: That won’t be R rated.
Will Ferrell: That will be PG-13, which I understand why that is and yet we still want…
Quint: It can still have edge.
Will Ferrell: And it does. It’s right up to an R and we are going to pull that line with the studio, because I already had an experience with KICKING AND SCREAMING. KICKING AND SCREAMING was supposed to be more of a BAD NEWS BEARS type comedy and they kind of…
Quint: Which was PG by the way, but back in the day.
Will Ferrell: Yeah, right. Which you can’t… How did that all change?
Quint: I guess TEMPLE OF DOOM and GREMLINS somehow... adding PG-13 made it such a bigger divide, I think.
Will Ferrell: Yeah, that movie wouldn’t get made now.
Quint: Well I have a friend that’s working on that. He’s a photographer named Ralph. He did all of the set photography for all of the original STAR WARS movies…
Will Ferrell: Oh wow.
Quint: …so on the set….
Will Ferrell: Is he going to be the still photographer?
Quint: Yes. You need to ask him about Anthony Daniels and tell him that you met somebody that told you about how he and C3P0 had this back and forth thing where they were fucking with each other and he was like taping up the eyeholes, so he couldn’t see his stuff, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Will Ferrell: I wonder if Brad Silberling uses him, because that’s the director.
Quint: I met him on THE MIST, but before we leave I really want to bring up A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES. Is that completely gone?
Will Ferrell: As far as I know it’s gone.
Quint: Do you know what happened to that?
Will Ferrell: It’s a mystery. For some reason that’s a very scary project for people to take on and I don’t know why, but yeah I have no idea.
Quint: The script and everything was good… I mean, obviously you signed on, so you must have liked it.
Will Ferrell: The script… I loved it. We did a reading of it at the Nantucket Film Festival and people sat through a three hour reading with no break and loved every second of it and it was so cool to do. I think that’s such a big piece to tackle, that I think for a script, they didn’t have every single scene in the book, but it was a really nice effort, but I don’t know what to tell you.
And that was my time with the dude. I had a lot of fun and I hope you guys dug the chat.
That’s the first of a half-dozen interviews I’ll have for you this week. Keep an eye out for the rest!