Will Ferrell has made a successful career out of tickling people’s funny bones. From “Elf,” “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” “Blades of Glory” and “Old School,” the comedian has generated nearly $2 billion at the box office. Now, with his latest comedy “Daddy’s Home” and his memorable surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” as George W. Bush on Dec. 12, Ferrell says he still loves to make people laugh and will never tire of doing comedies.
“Getting to do comedy is such a unique thing, because I can work on something that has a positive impact on people’s lives,” Ferrell told Variety at the “Daddy’s Home” premiere at New York’s AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater on Sunday. “There are the movies that are immediately big hits, [which is] obviously nice, but even the ones that didn’t work initially at the box office still have a life for years beyond. I still get people coming up to me telling me about so many movies that I thought people have forgotten about. They say it’s their favorite movie or that it really helped them through a tough time, and so to be able to give that gift to people is what makes me addicted to comedy.”
Ferrell is also hooked on Mark Wahlberg. The two last collaborated together in the 2010 hit action comedy “the Other Guys,” and have been looking for an opportunity to reunite. They found the right roles in Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures’ “Daddy’s Home.” In the film, Ferrell struggles to be a good stepfather to the two children belonging to his wife (Linda Cardellini), but trouble results when their biological father (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the kids’ affection.
“Mark is really funny — he is entertaining and really charming and one of those actors who can do it all,” said Ferrell. “It’s nice that we have a shorthand with each other from ‘the Other Guys,’ so filming this movie was a lot of fun. Once again, I play the straight-laced guy and Mark is kind of the crazy one. We’re the perfect combination together.”
Wahlberg has been reveling in the comedy genre as well. With this summer’s “Ted 2” and a cameo in the “Entourage” movie, the Oscar-nominated actor says that showing off his comedy chops is a challenge, though his approach is the same.
“I approach comedy roles the same way I approach everything else, and the key is to make it as real as possible,” Wahlberg told Variety. “There’s no separate formula or preparation. I just try to make it real and stay committed to the situation, no matter how absurd it is, and hope people will enjoy it and believe it.”
Following the well-received screening, Ferrell — along with his wife Viveca and two of their three sons, Magnus and Mattias — joined co-stars Cardellini, Hannibal Buress, Alessandra Ambrosio, Owen Vaccaro and Scarlett Estevez at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for the after-party. Also at the celebration were Red Granite Pictures co-founders Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, director Sean Anders, producers Chris Henchy and John Morris and screenwriter Brian Burns. Guests enjoyed cocktails, steak and salmon dishes and a wealth of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.
“Daddy’s Home” opens in theaters on Christmas day.