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Video/Q&A: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis of 'The Campaign'

(Lenny Gilmore / RedEye )
August 07, 2012|Matt Pais | RedEye movie critic

An interview with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis needs no introduction. The stars of “Anchorman” and “The Hangover” are, obviously, hilarious, and they’re even more hilarious together as warring congressional candidates in “The Campaign,” opening Aug. 10.

In a box at Wrigley Field, the 45-year-old Ferrell (whose answer to what he wants to do in Chicago is “I would love to go to Cleveland”) and Galifianakis, 42, described their own hypothetical political agendas, the challenges of working together and answered a question as their “Campaign” characters Cam and Marty—as long as I got into character with them.

In the movie you both compete to come off as more patriotic. Which is more American: mom or apple pie?
Zach Galifianakis: Where’s the mother from?

It’s just a general mom.
Will Ferrell: Was she born in the U.S.?

She immigrated here.
WF: You know, it’s tough to go against a nice slice of apple pie. It’s pretty American.
ZG: I’m going to choose my mom. Will, you’re going to go with apple pie over your mother?
WF: I would say a mother slathered in apple pie.
ZG: That’s it.

What would your family say about that?
ZG: They do it.
WF: Yeah, we do it. Every Thanksgiving, we slather mom in apple pie and sing “God Bless America.”

How did that tradition get started?
WF: We were drinking a lot of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. Which I noticed there’s a Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum bar here at Wrigley.

The movie certainly shows politicians will do and say anything to get people to like them. What’s something real in the political world that you wouldn’t have believed if you hadn’t seen or heard it for yourself?
ZG: Some of the ads are pretty astonishing … in California there’s this really crazy one, and I can’t remember who … is her name Kahn? With the rapper.
WF: The rapper and … she just came out of jail or whatever.
ZG: Yeah, something strange. But also the day-to-day because these guys get followed around, there’s cameras everywhere. I think the public just waits for them to make a mistake. The “Macaca” thing a few years ago was pretty amazing. He got busted; I don’t know if you remember.

Remind me.
WF: The guy in Virginia.
ZG: I want to make sure we get the names right. He got busted for saying a racial slur. I guess that it was—I’d never heard that word before. You’re up on your racial slurs.
WF: Yeah, I got a whole list of ‘em.

What does it take to stay up on that sort of thing?
WF: [Laughs.] I’ve got some pamphlets I can give you.
ZG: Just hang out with any grandfather.
WF: [Laughs.] Anyone over 70.

One of Marty’s priorities is ending daylight savings time. What would your agendas be if you ran for office?
ZG: That would be one. Another one is being able to take a left on red.

Why does that bother you so much?
ZG: Wouldn’t you like to just be able to do it? I mean, it’s dangerous, it makes no sense. But a lot of policies don’t. They’re dangerous and make no sense.

I think just eliminating traffic lights completely.
ZG: Eliminating cars.
WF: I like that. That’s not a bad idea.
ZG: Will wants health care for …
WF: I want free health care. For people over 97.

You guys are so funny separately and together in this movie, which is not always a given when you combine two comedians. How do you think your comedy styles compare?
WF: Zach is a taker. He takes. He takes and he consumes and he just leaves a trail of carnage behind him. And I’m a giver. I’ll give until I can’t give no more. And I think that’s how it worked. And I’m not even criticizing him.
ZG: I wasn’t allowed to act with Will. So when you see me acting with Will, it’s a split-screen thing. Technology. What they did is they got a mannequin and they did a Will Ferrell mask with a mannequin. [It had] a lot of range!

Why weren’t you allowed to act with him?
ZG: Ask Will, I don’t know.
WF: They wouldn’t give me a copy of the schedule. They would never tell me the days Zach was working. I was happy to act with him …

Which did you prefer working with, the real thing or the mannequin?
ZG: Doing the press tour with him, I do miss the mannequin a little bit.
WF: The mannequin is ready to come back at any time.

It seems like you guys would and have done pretty much anything for a laugh. What’s something, if anything, you would not do for one?
ZG: [Laughs.] I don’t know, I feel like I’ve aged rapidly the last couple years.
WF: [Laughs.]
ZG: I’m like, “I don’t know … if I want to do that.”

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