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Thursday, 28 February 2013

He Really Is Kind of A Big Deal: Will Ferrell

When I first cooked up the idea for this humble blog, guest posts were at the center of it. I truly believe that everyone is a "film buff", whether they like it or not. Somewhere along the line, a film or an actor has made an impression and I wanted to get as many of those experiences expressed on this blog as possible. This next piece from Jessica Young is exactly what I had in mind when I dreamt up this little site. She's a hell of a writer and her passion for film is obvious for all to see. She also happens to be pretty awesome, follow her on twitter @goonersgirl008.


The chances of Will Ferrell winning an Oscar are slim. The chances of him being nominated are similarly small. However, he has managed to carve out a career in comedic film that many would envy. 

He’s not gonna land on the cover of People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” or a similar title in another publication, but I would argue that he is dead sexy in his own way, and his own level. Funny is sexy, and some Hollywood pretty boys need to get that memo.


From “Night at the Roxbury” to “Step Brothers” to “Talladega Nights” and “The Other Guys” to the anticipation of “Anchorman 2”, he’s come a very, very long way.

He’s not a method actor who loses himself in a role, but he has an innate timing. He got his start on Saturday Night Live and mastered many real-life personalities from George W. Bush to Alex Trebek to Janet Reno, and many original characters including Craig Buchanan (the Spartan cheerleader) and Steve Butabi from “Night At the Roxbury”.

He evolved from that SNL guy dabbling in movies to Frank The Tank in “Old School” and then “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”, which Ferrell co-wrote with Adam McKay (who directed). Those were the breakout performances that pushed him and his frequent collaborators, Judd Apatow (producing) and McKay to another level.


This isn’t a Will Ferrell biography, and I do not have the time to get into every one of his roles, but the point of this is that I can quote just about any Ferrell role, from Steve Butabi to Ron Burgundy to Allen Gamble. I love films, and I love to laugh, and Ferrell has made me spend an insane amount of time watching, re-watching and quoting his movies. He puts himself on the line, he makes himself the punchline, and that to me is insanely endearing. He doesn’t do it in a stupid way, he’s not doing “Jackass” like stunts (though I like “Jackass” and watched it from it’s inception) to make people laugh, he’s nodding his head to the side, streaking, getting shot in the neck by tranquilizers, and walking the beat downtown.

If you follow me on Twitter, you are guaranteed to see a few Ferrell quotes with “Anchorman” and “The Other Guys” racking up copious characters. And frankly, 140 is very restrictive with some classic lines. From the “big deal” line to “Baxter, I don’t speak Spanish”, it’s nearly impossible to not to crack a smile, or fall into a full-blown laugh fest. He plays pompous ass so well, but then is equally convincing as the sweet, Buddy the Elf in “Elf”. He is diverse, and he is willing to try different things. “Kicking and Screaming” and “Stranger Than Fiction” aren’t particularly memorable, and I haven’t done a repeat viewing of either, but I applaud him for not going for the easy gag every time. And kudos to him for “Casa De Mi Padre”, doing a Spanish language film and shaking things up even more. He’s not a 1-note guy, but he’s created many awesome and always memorable characters.


Aside from the big screen stuff, he’s also a co-founder of “Funny Or Die”, with comedic content on a viral stage. From his “baby” sketch to Patrick Stewart/Simon Pegg’s “Olympic Ticket Scalping” vid, it’s come a very long way over the course of the last 7 years. The Ferrell/McKay production company, “Gary Sanchez Productions” is pumping out “Funny Or Die” content, producing “Eastbound and Down” (with the insanely funny Danny McBride, and Ferrell in a recurring role as Ashley Schaffer), and multiple films like “Step Brothers”, “The Other Guys” and now “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

I can’t wait to see “Anchorman 2”… and I know that there’s a big amount of hype for it. Can it live up to the cult status of the original? I don’t really know, maybe or maybe not, but with “Step Brothers”, “Talledega Nights” and “The Other Guys” as any indication, he could top it.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to read this blog. It’s the first I’ve ever written, as Twitter rants don’t really count. And big thanks to Mr. Chocolate TeddyBear for the invitation. He, like Ron Burgundy, is kind of a big deal.

Stay Classy, people!!!