Will Ferrell is a notorious funny man. Some would say outrageously goofy. Which is why his departure from comedy may come as a suprise. Well, maybe it’s not a complete departure.
In fact, his latest film “Everything Must Go” has been described as a “dramedy” standing somewhere between the drama and comedic genres.
The film is based on a short story by Raymond Carver and tells the story of an alcoholic who relapses and loses his wife and job. He holds a garage sale on his front lawn in an attempt to sell everything and start over, which is when he meets Kenny Loftus, played by Christopher Jordan Wallace (B.I.G‘s son). We won’t give the rest away, but this movie is one you need to see when it hits theaters this Friday, the 13th.
We sat down with Will Ferrell for an exclusive interview about the film and you can check it out below.
GlobalGrind: Did you wake up and go, I want to play something serious, get me Dan Rush’s script?
Will Ferrell: No, Dan Rush’s script just came to me. They didn’t not give it to me. They were like, you know what, we just read this really great script that was kind of in the vein of “Stranger Than Fiction” and back to something like that. Because that experience was so great, we’ve been looking to do something like that again. And I read it and I thought it was great. I met Dan and he seemed like a good guy. The only bad news for Dan was, I said I’d love to do this but I can’t do it for another year and half.
Did you find it easy to do this? Was it a simple role to slip into?
I don’t know if I found it easy. It was definitely challenging and at the same time, I think, because we talked about it so much, we talked about what the tone would be, every discussion from, is this guy a hard alcohol drinker, is he a beer drinker. Every sort of detail that we really discuss and had a game plan going in to where I felt as secure as I could feel going into something like this. I’ve always felt that even in the comedies that I’ve done, I’ve always tried to approach it ― regardless of how outlandish my character might be ― you still play it very real. So that isn’t any different from how I approached this movie.
This movie is a lot about de-cluttering your life. What effect did that have on you? If you had this giant garage sale, which items would you want to keep, which ones would be embarrassing?
I would definitely keep my helicopters … most of my helicopters.
Do you have a helicopter?
I have six helicopters, yes. I’ve never had a yard sale, ever, in my life. I don’t know if I ever thought about stuff I would get rid of.
You’ve never done a complete purging?
I’ve done one complete purging when I gave up my New York apartment after I did “Saturday Night Live” and I started to ship my stuff back to my apartment in Los Angeles. And then I just called the moving company and was like, ‘Do you want the futon or the IKEA dresser? Is there anything you can do with it?’ And they were like, ‘If you give us $50 more, we can do something with it.’
What would you say to your fans to prepare them for this movie?
I think it’s an opportunity to obviously see me in a different type of film. It’s a pretty unique performance. I don’t know if I’ve been able to express myself in a way that I get to in this movie. So if you like me, it’s just a fun thing to see me to.
You worked with Biggie’s son, CJ Wallace, did you offer Christopher any advice before you started filming?
I don’t know if we had to, he’s so gifted and natural in his delivery. We talked about, because of the constraints we just talked about, we really needed a young actor who could hit the ground running and there wasn’t going to be a lot of time for hand holding or extra rehearsal, and he was on top of it from the first go. I remember the first take he did of some scene on the front lawn and he gave this first take on the first scene, on his first day of work and it was so good. Dan came over to give a note to him and then we both looked at each other like, ‘He’s so good!’ And he’s sweet and thoughtful and well prepared. He was great.
Did you have some freedom to your shtick?
Dan was a task master, he would not allow me to stray. We improvised a little, you have to keep in mind it was a 23 day shooting schedule and so much of the movie was a day time exterior and we were keeping track of our film stock. Three or four takes was all we got, so that didn’t really lend itself to improvising. But I felt the material was so strong it didn’t really call for it in a way.
When you were on Broadway you were a natural, do you see yourself doing more plays?
I would love to if the opportunity presented itself in a way that was a nice fit for me.
You went back to television, by doing “The Office” and you also have this movie which is different than what we are used to from you. Are you consciously trying to shake things up in your career?
It was more like the perfect storm to do some different things. I thought it would be fun to do some different things. I was inspired by James Franco being on a soap opera (laughs). But that’s literally one of those things that you read and go, ‘That’s so funny, such a cool move.’ So in the vein of that, I think it’s fun to always keep people guessing.
Will Ferrell stars in “Everything Must Go.”
Will Ferrell stars in “Everything Must Go,” which opens in theaters this Friday.