When Christina Applegate was asked to describe her Anchorman co-stars, she said: “They are the most fay-like men I’ve ever come across.”
“Fay?” asks Will Ferrell, pretending to be incredulous. Perhaps she meant that he, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner aren’t what one might call a testosterone club?
“Yes, we’re almost foppish. We wore silk undergarments. Every week was powdered wig Monday. We were perfumed,” says the funny man.
Ferrell, 46, might’ve made a name for himself playing the misguided and moustachioed news anchor Ron Burgundy in the first Anchorman film (The Legend Of Ron Burgundy) – but don’t let the on-screen buffoonery fool you.
Ferrell has razor sharp wit, which saw him quickly rise through the ranks from stand-up comedy workshops to esteemed LA improv group The Groundlings, where he was plucked for Saturday Night Live.
Rolling 24-hour news makes its appearance in Anchorman 2: “There’s a lot of conflict with the 24-hour news cycle. It’s hard to fill that time, so the goal was to make a movie that made you laugh really hard - but also stop you in your tracks and make you think, something you don’t find in a lot of studio comedies.”
The sequel begins with Ron and Veronica (Christina Applegate), who are now co-anchors on national network news, being called to the office of lead anchor Mark Tannen (Harrison Ford).
“The fact Harrison Ford’s inches away from your face is both thrilling and frightening,” says Ferrell. “If I stopped to consciously think what was happening, I probably would’ve left the room,” reveals Ferrell, who credits the legendary actor for his willingness “to go along with our crazy ways”.
“We can’t reiterate enough to people, ‘Don’t worry, you literally don’t have to be funny - just say whatever comes naturally and it’ll usually land on its feet.’ Once you get used to the process, it’s really freeing,” he adds.
“We’re all very creative in how we do stupid,” says Ferrell. “I think we’re all very excited and thrilled and we feel very good about the movie. We think it’s funny, poignant, satirical, all those good things.”
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is out now.