We caught up with the ANCHORMAN 2 cast on their recent trip to Dublin…
By the Hammer of Thor! We caught up with funny men Steve Carell and Paul Rudd on their recent visit to Dublin to find out more about ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES. What we didn’t expect was to learn that Steve Carell has a sweet falsetto…
How did you feel when you got the call to say ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES was actually happening?
Steve Carell: Excited. I was in a bit of disbelief because I had resigned myself to the fact that it was never going to happen. There had been a few false starts along the way and Will doesn’t make sequels; it’s just not something that he has ever really wanted to do, but this was the one character, the one movie that he felt inclined to do that with. We all wanted to jump on and be a part of it.
Paul Rudd: Over the years, we all noticed individually that no matter what we were promoting, or wherever we were – particularly in Ireland and in England and Australia – they would always as us whether there was going to be an ANCHORMAN 2. Those questions started happening with more and more frequency because I think it was a bit of a slow burn.
SC: I think it crept up on people…
We you always up for doing a sequel?
PR: I think the reason we were always all in was because we loved playing the parts and all of that stuff, but I think we really had a blast working with one another on the first one. It was just really fun.
You mentioned the fan reaction to the first film; did you feel you had to stay true to the legacy of ANCHORMAN because of how much fans love it?
PR: I think Will and Adam’s take on it was, we want to acknowledge the original one in the right way; maybe have a couple of specific call backs, where it wasn’t a replication, but more of an acknowledgement of something that was prominent in the first one. They were very conscious of doing something different and trying to keep the spirit of the first one, which was just absurdity and really taking big swings and going for something different and crazy. We didn’t just want to make a carbon copy of the first one.
Do you get fans shouting ANCHORMAN quotes at you? Do you get sick of it?
SC: I don’t get sick of it. If it’s giving people enjoyment… Really more than anything, I marvel at the fact that this movie has brought people so much joy. It did fairly well when it first came out, but over the years it grew somehow. I think it’s great. I’m really proud of the fact that people quote it and love it and have taken it as their own.
PR: It’s cool to be a part of something like that. It feels like you’re not spittin’ in the wind [laughs]
Is there any particular quote you get shouted at you the most?
SC: I love lamp. Yeah…
PR: It’s kind of a perfect one also, it’s hilarious but it’s concise and short. I’d say I get ‘60% of the time, it works every time’, but that takes a while to get out, so I probably get it the least.
How did you go about getting back into your characters after such a long break?
PR: We all kind of slipped right back into it. There were things about that that were great; it was like ‘Aw man, this doesn’t feel like any time has passed’, but there was another side to it too in that time has passed and we’ve all seen the movie I certainly had moments early on in the movie where I was thinking ‘Am I doing this right? Am I playing at this character, rather than being this character?’. In the first one, I didn’t really think about it all that much. I’d say getting back into it wasn’t too tricky or strange. There were little things too that kind of weirdly help, that are all external. Something about having a moustache and having long hair… Or wearing bracelets and rings on my fingers… Those kinds of things, it works on some kind of subconscious level where you just start to slip back into it, because it just feels like the character.
SC: They’re not the most layered characters!
PR: Steve makes a good point! [laughs] It’s not like we’re playing Lincoln!
SC: I didn’t have to do a lot of research to play Brick! [laughs] A lot of it just came back by being with everyone else and watching what they were doing. I would watch Will; he is so good at playing Ron Burgundy that you could throw any sort of scenario at him – as is witnessed, he did this worldwide press tour as Ron Burgundy – and he’s been improvising a lot. He’s been doing press conferences; he’s been going out in public and just playing it on his feet. It’s remarkable to watch how in the character he is, and the fact that he has the voice in his head, and really possesses the soul of this guy.
PR: To be able to answer questions that he’s asked, in the way that he has – I have watched some of the things that he’s done online – and that guy is a genius.
How much do you actually improvise on set?
SC: It’s hard to determine, in the final product, what’s been improvised and what’s scripted…
PR: At a certain point, I don’t really remember.
SC: We always did it as scripted, and the script was hilarious, and then Adam would encourage us to go off script and try other things. Sometimes it came right back to the scripted line, that ended up being the funniest and sometimes it didn’t. Percentage-wise it’s really hard to tell.
Do you break down laughing a lot on set?
PR: Oh yeah, and it happens in different degrees; there are some where we’ll have moments and then we’ll get over it, but it feels like in this one and the first one, there were one or two scenes that really slowed us down shooting for the day, because we couldn’t get through it, and it just started an inferno. A match was lit and we were toast.
SC: We were just gone.
Is there any particular scene you laughed your way through?
SC: The scene in the lighthouse, that was a very long and very fun day. It was one of the last scenes that the four of us shot together. That was almost impossible to get through. Will was on fire that day. He was killing us. It was pretty special.
Steve, is there anything in particular you do to prepare for Brick’s laugh?
PR: Manufacturing a laugh is really hard to do, and I have never met anybody better at it than Steve Carell. He can just do every level of laugh. He’s great at laughing, and he has a sweet falsetto! [laughs] Barry Gibb, eat your heart out!
ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES is released in Irish cinemas on December 18th
Words: Brogen Hayes