Anchorman: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Steve Carell


Anchorman: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Steve Carell

THE ANCHORPEOPLE TRY TALKING TO THE PRESS BUT NOTHING SERIOUS TO BE FOUND.

ANCHORMAN/Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd & Director Adam McKay INTERVIEWS BY PAUL FISCHER IN Los Angeles.

When one is asked to attend an online press conference for Anchorman, the irreverent 70s-set comedy with Will Ferrell and Christina Apllegate, one hopes that one acquires some serious responses. But now, that would be asking too much. So our man in LA, Paul Fischer, was there, asked all the right questions, but may not have acquired the answers he was looking for. And that says it all, as we try and catch up with: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd & Director Adam McKay. Enjoy the lunacy!

(The cast introduces themselves from left to right.)
McKay: So, once again, I'm Adam McKay, the director.
Rudd: Well.I'm Paul Rudd. I'm also the director.
Ferrell: I'm Jan-Michael Vincent. I'm also the director.
Applegate: Christina Applegate; craft services.
Koechner: Uh, Dave Koechner; staff medic.
Carell: And Steve Carell.
McKay: Who are you?
Ferrell: He did not serve a function on the film. He's just a good buddy of ours who wanted to be around. He's a great guy.
Carell: Thank you so much for the gifts. It was really nice. [Surveying our recorders]
McKay: So, um, yeah. Who's got some questions for us? Anyone want to start off?

Q: This is for Will and Christina. Did you base your characters on any specific Anchors from the 70s, or was it an amalgamation of a lot of people?
Ferrell: I know Christina based her character on you.So, it's a compliment. I based my character on an imaginary figure by the name of Walter Pinbrook. And Walter Pinbrook was a lieutenant in the French Navy during the 1800s. Not a lot of literature on Walter Pinbrook.No.I didn't base it on anyone. I didn't really watch that much tape, either.

Q: Then where does this guy come from?
Ferrell: Just from Adam and I, we'd get together, we'd get a case of Gin, sit down, and go to our mountain retreat.
McKay: We'd go into a haze not unlike Martin Sheen in the beginning of Apocalypse Now, in the hotel room.
Ferrell: And it gets ugly.
McKay: For a while it gets ugly. We'd punch mirrors, and we'd explore our darker selves. No, it's just an amalgam of all Newscasters that we grew up with. Sort of like before there was cable, when these guys were gods.

Q: Was there a lot of improv going on during the production of the movie?
Koechner: We were fined if we didn't follow the script. There was a five-dollar fine meaded out if you did not pronounce every word of the script and take notes on punctuation. Even now I'm not suppose to speak.
McKay: We are scripted for this today. I hope you don't mind, but there are cue cards behind all of you right here. No. There was tons of improv on this. A lot of it did show up.
Applegate: Throw-ins. Make-em ups.
Koechner: Off-the-cuffies.
Carell: Quipsters.
Ferrell: Quipsters. Sure. Silly beans.
Applegate: Oh, God. Sill beans.
Ferrell: The Dark Hand of Thor. It was weird when that one hit.
McKay: Well, they can't all sound like that. So, we came up with a new one. Spontaneity-ettes.

Q: Are they going to do more than one DVD release?
McKay: I think they're going to do one kinda straight-ahead release. Where it's just a movie with some outtakes. And then they're going to do a second release. It's like a two DVD release with a second movie on it.

Q: I want to ask you guys about the big fight scene, and then ask Christina about her fight scene with Will.
Ferrell: We'd rather you didn't. Let's move on.
Koechner: May I also mention that buried within this new hour and forty minute movie is an adult film. It's buried in there, too.
Ferrell: An Adult film?
Koechner: Yes. And we all participated. Just because you see a blacked out line across certain people's eyes, you'll know who's in the orgy.
McKay: So, did you guys actually have a question?

Q: Yes, the fight scene.
Ferrell: Yeah. The fight scene. It happened. You know what. It was an amazing feat that Adam pulled off. I think there was something like sixty set-ups in one day. I believe. With two camera units working simultaneously. We were setting people on fire. And tridents.
McKay: There are rumors that we used a lot of actual dead bodies for the background, which of course is not true.
Ferrell: It's so not true.
McKay: We did what we needed to do to get it done. If people got hurt, then so be it. You know? That's what. Never mind.
Ferrell: Oh, and then our fight scene together.
Applegate: Oh, yeah.
Ferrell: It was.
Applegate: Very violent.
Ferrell: That actually took three camera crews.
Applegate: That did take two or three days.
Ferrell: That took two or three weeks. That took most of the shooting schedule.
Applegate: God, we were there for seventeen or eighteen hours. Right? Remember?
Ferrell: At the least.
Applegate: Because Adam was very particular about the part where I had the TV antenna. I guess I wasn't doing it right. So we had to do that.
McKay: It's not that you weren't doing it right. You were doing it wrong. That's the same way to express two thoughts .But, yeah. We met before this movie for six months, much like the Matrix. They worked out with Martial Arts instructors. We were in Hong Kong for two months working on the wire-fu techniques. Another four months, we all went to Madagascar, and they all became Balinese Mask Makers. That had nothing to do with the movie. I just wanted them all to have that experience. And, then, Steve and Dave actually went to the Brewer's Fantasy camp. And got to play with the players. Again, nothing to do with the movie. It's just a neat little side story.
Carell: It was really fun.
McKay: There was a lot of effort. We started shooting this in 89. With an entirely different cast. It was originally Harvey Keitel who was playing Will's role. It just didn't work out. We had to re-shoot the whole beginning. At one point, the Philippine government had an insurgency, and they had to take back all our helicopters. So we lost them in the middle of the shoot. Then Martin had the heart attack. And then, remember when Brando showed up three hundred pounds overweight?
Ferrell: I saw that coming.
McKay: That happens to me sometimes.

Q: Did anything funny happen on the set?
Applegate: No.
Ferrell: There was one. It wasn't really funny. Paul got into a sticky situation with Border Police down in San Diego. He was at the dog track in Tijuana.
Rudd: It was tough, too. I was in wardrobe, and I didn't have my passport on me.
Ferrell: You know the dog track in Tijuana, right?
Rudd: Anyway, apparently I'd made this bet. I knew I'd made the bet, and they refused to pay me, even though my dog came in. Because I'd lost my ticket. You have to hold on to your ticket. So I went up there and said, "I'd like my money." And they said, "Well, where's your ticket?" And I told them, "I don't have it, you stupid assholes." They wanted to see my passport, and I just started swinging.
Ferrell: Along with having a suitcase full of cocaine.
McKay: There are several scenes in the movie that are sorta shot like Game of Death, with Bruce Lee. Where we had to actually transpose a face over a stand-in to have Paul be in it. We hope you can't tell. But people have told us that you absolutely can tell. It ruins the movie. But we had to get it done. We had to finish. There's an old expression, "The show's got to go near the on."
Ferrell: Yeah. That's not an expression at all.
McKay: It's close. The show must go to the on. You've got to turn the show on, right? Is that it?
Rudd: I knew it before you actually started saying it.
McKay: The show must go, go, go.
Koechner: That's it. Yeah.

Q: Will, Entertainment Weekly quotes you as the hardest working man in show business, with eight projects in production. How many of those projects are actually going to get made?
Ferrell: Literally, none of those movies are happening. You know? Sometimes, this is a town based on rumors, and those things just get away from you.

Q: What's the biggest rumor?
Ferrell: That I'm not gay. And that pisses me off. Because I work hard with my partner Roger, and I..you know.Enough said.

Q: How hard was it to get all the cameos together, and did you have to pay them a lot of money? What was involved in that?
Koechner: I think I can field that. It was up to me. They didn't give me any phone numbers. I had to pay them out of my own pocket. And most of them refused to talk to me the day they were on the set. But they said, "You go do this, or we will cut out every part of the film that you are in." So I managed to track down all of the stars, and I got them in there.
McKay: Well, originally, Dave came to us with a different list of cameos that wasn't quite as exciting. Uh, it was the guy that played Schneider on One Day at a Time.
Ferrell: Pat Harrington.
McKay: He got us the original girl from Happy Days with the slicked-back hair. What was her name?
Koechner: Again, I didn't know her name. I just saw her on the street and said, "Hey!"
Ferrell: Pinky Tuskadaro, I guess.
McKay: We got her. And then we got Steve Garvey. Those were our original three cameos. We went and shot it, and were like, "This isn't exciting at all." We didn't recognize these people, it made no sense.
Ferrell: We had to do lower thirds, "Here comes Steve Garvey."
McKay: Then Dave says, "I got a surprise for you!" He'd gotten the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans. I was just like, "That's fucking crazy." We couldn't use that at all. Then Judd Apatow, our producer, got on the phone and immediately got Tim Robbins, Vince Vaughn. Everyone just came down within five minutes. They showed up and saved our biscuits. Koechner: I think the cast I put together actually worked.
Applegate: Yeah.
McKay: We'll never really know.
Ferrell: Yeah. We'll know. It defiantly did not work.
McKay: But we don't want it to get ugly in front of all these people.
Koechner: Anyway.
McKay: But, how did we get the cameos? They just came.

Q: How do you feel about being referred to as the Frat Pack?
Ferrell: Well, I love the name. It's fantastic. It's catchy. We've made over twenty-five thousand T-shirts that say, "Get on board, the Frat Pack train is leaving the station." We're going to work on the slogan. But it's catchy. It's fun. It's now.
McKay: Weren't you talking about how all you guys were going to get really pumped up and cut, then call yourselves the Lat-Pack?
Ferrell: Right. We might go with the Lat-Pack. We might become the News Pack.

Q: Christina, what was it like working with all these madmen?
Applegate: Well, as you can see, I just kind of kept myself quiet. And I laughed a lot. That's it. That's what I did everyday. I didn't say a word. In fact, I don't think we ever spoke (points to Steve Carell) through the whole shoot.
Carell: Off camera? No.
Applegate: But, it's great to meet you today. (Steve stands up and shakes her hand)
Carell: I'm Steve.
Applegate: You are very funny in the movie, by the way.
Carell: Thank you.
Applegate: It was amazing. I mean, look at it. This is what I got to do every day. Laugh this hard. And we did. This is how hard we laughed. People actually had accidents; that's how hard they laughed. But I won't mention who.
McKay: We did. We had some accidents. I'm not going to back off it. Three people were set on fire because of laughter. Another time, a bunch of Dobermans got out of a cage because of laughter.

Q: After playing members of the media, do you have a better understanding of what we do? And are there any favorite questions that you are asked by people like us?
McKay: No It's always just fun to say. I'm sorry.
Applegate: He doesn't know.
Ferrell: Do you have any sympathy for the media?
McKay: The one thing that we noticed was, we were looking back at the old anchors before cable, and assuming that they would be more doddering, and simple. But a lot of the guys we interviewed were actually pretty smart. They were more connected to the Edward R. Marrow tradition. You know. The people now, as far as the anchormen go, are more bent on presentation. And that surprised us. We didn't expect that.

Q: Do you have a favorite junket question?
Ferrell: Well, we're just starting. You're only the second thing that we've done.
Applegate: Every question, I'd say, has been pretty stupid.
McKay: What does make us laugh is that people keep asking Paul Rudd if he's Chinese, which is odd.
Rudd; And the thing that is odd; I've never even gotten that question before. But now, it's been, like, four times.
McKay: What's it like being of Chinese decent.
Carell: If I hear, "What is your cup size?" One more time.
McKay: A lot of people ask Will, "What did you make last year? Before taxes? After taxes?"
Ferrell: And I love that question.
McKay: He'll answer it right away.
Ferrell: .Seventy-eight million dollars.

Q: Before or after?
Ferrell: After.

Q: Will you be starting on Bewitched next?
Ferrell: We won't be starting until September 21st. And we're kind of working with Nora Ephron on the script a little bit.

Q: What do you think you can teach Nicole Kidman about comedy?
Ferrell: Uh.You know. I'm not really familiar with Nicole Kidman as an actress. I've heard that she's done some great stuff. And I hear that she's got a cute little rear end on her. But, aside from that, I'm not really familiar with her.

Q: Steve, you've done a lot of newsman roles.
Carell: Yes, I have.

Q: Is there any talk about you heading up your own project?
Carell: Weatherman! Weatherman is in post-production right now. It's the continuing saga of Brick Tamland. Yeah, there are a few things. And they're all going to be fantastic. Probably better than everything I've done, combined. But I'd like to write some of my own stuff. Because some of the stuff I'm given now is pretty lame. I'd like to put my own vent on something. And watch out.

Q: What is this next project?
Carell: I have to figure that out. I know it will be hysterical. I really want to direct. And do drama. That's right. I don't want to do comedy anymore. I just want to do really straight roles. And do choreography. I'd like a cooking show.

Q: Was that your actual voices singing Afternoon Delight? And do you guys have any recording plans?
Ferrell: Those were our voices. And, unfortunately, what happened.
McKay: They haven't done Afternoon Delight in a while. They've been working on We Built This City. I don't want to put them on the spot, but I do know they've been meeting for five hours everyday, for the past month, working on We Built This City. Do you guys want to give it a go?
Ferrell: We might as well.
Koechner: Yeah.
Applegate: Ah 1, Ah 2.Ah 1, 2, 3, 4. (Ferrell, Rudd, Koechner, & Carell harmonizing in high falsetto: We built this city. We built this city on rock and roll. Do, do, do.)
McKay: Stop. Stop. They weren't ready.
Rudd: It's early. Maybe after lunch, or something.
McKay: That was bad. That was really bad.
Rudd: The problem was, the first three times we all got together we all argued over who was going to sing the Grace Slick part.
McKay: Oh, okay. Well, to answer your question. Yes, there are several music projects in the works.

Q: Steve, you stole a lot of laughs in this film. Where did you find the inspiration to play Brick?
Carell: Do you watch Spongebob Squarepants? Well, the character of the starfish? We're essentially the same person. Patrick. Thank you. No. I think the inspiration was the script itself. It was such a funny character. And to joke about doing this character for an entire movie would be the worst idea ever. Because it's the kind of character where very small doses are very funny. But anymore than that would be pretty obnoxious. I was pretty lucky. This script was so funny.

Q: This is for everybody, and be honest. Who kept their wardrobe?
Koechner: Those were my clothes to begin with.
Rudd: I don't think anybody did, really. We all kept our rings. Our Channel Four rings.
Ferrell: I kept a camera. Yeah, I kept one of the catering tents that you eat under.
McKay: Halfway through the shoot you took that. That was a real problem. Ferrell: Was it?
McKay: Oh, you know what I kept as a souvenir? I kept a hundred and eighty thousand dollars out of the lock box. And they caught me, I was like, "It's just a keep sake!"
Ferrell: You wanted a souvenir from the movie.
McKay: I wanted a souvenir from the movie. Yeah. A keepsake.

Q: This is directed at Christina. How did you relate to this character, because I remember you played a babe on a TV show for a long time?
Applegate: It was really difficult because I'm really just limited to that. Anything outside that is like, "Whoa!" Uh. No, I'm kidding. No. I'm serious. No, I'm kidding. I loved playing Veronica. Having watched a lot of footage from that time in the 70s, and watching women as newscasters, I got to have this tape that was behind the scenes. I got to see the dynamic between the men and the women. I loved the idea that these women were just. They were in Hell. I love playing a character that has to overcompensate playing with the boys. That's a very colloquial answer to that.

Q: Did you ever experience anything like that?
Applegate: No.No.No.

Q: You've never experienced sexism?
continued........ Anchorman

- Paul Fischer




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