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

August 07, 2012|Matt Pais | RedEye movie critic

Like what? Something you’ve turned down?
ZG: They always want comics these days to take their clothes [off]. Will actually started it all. And bravely did. But when you’re the first to do it, you don’t want to be the second or third to do it or the fifth or sixth. I don’t know; they always want you to take your clothes off. [Laughs.]
WF: I’ve never done it—and this is going to sound crazy—I’ve never done it to get a laugh. It’s always been in the context of what the character … like in “Old School,” he went streaking because he got so drunk and he thought he was back in college and it was a thing you did in college. It always makes sense.

Zach, you spent two weeks as a writer at “SNL.” Were you there at that time, Will?
WF: I was, actually.

What interaction do you remember having in that short time you were there, Zach?
ZG: I didn’t have any interaction with anybody except my tears. Those table reads can be pretty brutal for everybody, but when you don’t really know anyone, and when they read your—I wrote a sketch for him.
WF: Did we read it at the table?
ZG: Yeah.
ZG: Britney Spears was the host, and I wrote a sketch for you to play. In my mind you were going to be shrunken down and you were going to be the security guard to her bellybutton.
WF: [Laughs hysterically.]
ZG: You didn’t have that attitude at the table read. [Laughs.]

You don’t remember this?
WF: Did I—
ZG: You read it, you read it. I’m like this [puts his head in his hand]. I would imagine for someone that’s been on the cast for a while, a new person comes in, you’re like, “Who’s this guy?” I totally get that. Not that you did that at all. We didn’t have really any interaction.
WF: Even though I did ask Zach, “Has anyone told you what you’re supposed to do?” He’s like, “Not really.”
ZG: Yeah, I thought I was cast. I flew there, I thought I was going to be in a sketch or two. They’re like, “No. No! There’s your office, go in there …”

Will, you don’t remember Zach pitching sketches to you?
ZG: I don’t think it was that … it was just I wrote what I thought was good.

And it didn’t work out.
ZG: If you told 25—how many people in that room, 40?
WF: Like 40 to 50.
ZG: If you told them to be quiet for four minutes, they couldn’t have been any quieter. I heard a pin drop and it was a carpet.
WF: [Laughs.] You heard a pin drop and the echo was so loud, some people lost their hearing. That’s how loud it was.
ZG: You get a tough skin doing comedy.
WF: You know what, that’s commonplace. Sketches fail all the time, you just get used to it. You just keep plowing through.

Since we’re on video, I was wondering if you’d be up for answering a question in your characters from “The Campaign.”
WF: I would love to. Zach is extremely uncomfortable with doing that, so I can’t … we’re a team, and I can’t—

I would do a character too, though, so we’ll all be in character.
ZG: Why don’t you just do one?

By myself? That seems like it could get awkward.
WF: And then we’ll see if …
ZG: We want to join in.

OK. I’ll ask the question to Marty and Cam as Batman.
ZG: Ooh. Do you have a good Batman?

(growling as Batman) Why should the people elect you?
ZG: (as Marty) That was pretty good, Batman.
WF: [Laughs.]
ZG: (as Marty) There’s a lot of reasons. I’m good with people. I can work the Internet. I’ve got a great family and I can drive a stick-shift.
WF: (as Cam) Batman, that’s a great question, and I want to thank you for being here. You’re one of my favorite superheroes, if not the most favorite. You’re a favorite of my family’s and everyone we know. There’s not one person that doesn’t like Batman.
ZG: Have you been working on that Batman? That’s pretty good.

For a few weeks.
WF: Was it bad that your camera guy left the room when that happened?

He usually leaves whenever I do that impression.
WF: Oh, OK.
ZG: He’d say, “Oh, God, here comes Batman again.” He jumps off the [balcony]. “Ahhhh!”

Where does comedy go from here now that you’ve worked together on the big screen?
WF: [Laughs.] Where does comedy go?
ZG: Was it here?
WF: Down the shitter.
ZG: Was it here?
WF: Yeah, was it in the room?

It was here.
ZG: Where does comedy go from here? That’s an odd but intriguing question. It seems like it takes a long answer. I think we’re at the pinnacle of shocking, unless people start doing things unlawfully.

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