Will Ferrell Interview: The Campaign


The big challenge when interrogating a funny guy like Will Ferrell – whose strength lies in taking things lightly – is to get him to stop clowning around for a change and come clean about the more serious side of dirty politics and how that just happens to manifest itself between the goofy punchlines of the Jay Roach election satire, The Campaign.  Ferrell was fairly adamant about certain particulars concerning the elusive conman candidate he plays, while engaged in butting heads with meek opponent, Zach Galifianakis.

1. What was your favorite ridiculous thing about US politics in this movie?

I enjoyed making fun of the attack ads that are out there. And in terms of the character I got to play, it was really kinda fun debating and giving speeches that literally, when you walk away after listening to them, they mean nothing! But that game was so much fun. Because it’s really fun to spend as much time as you can, talking about nothing. And seeing how much time you can waste. Which I think they do. A lot of!

2. Now about your hairdo for The Campaign, did you base your look on any particular politician?

Yeah, I literally wanted John Edwards’ hair. You know, that ‘I Feel Pretty’ video, where he’s combing his hair over. Incessantly! I mean, just the image of the politician with the perfect hair. And those nine hundred dollar haircuts, and things like that. It was kind of inspirational to me!

3. How do two such funny guys like you and Zach work together, without the temptation to upstage one another?

We did want to make sure one of us didn’t feel overused, compared to the other. But I think in most comedies, the actors probably have the sensibility of four year old children. Which is important!

4. What would your candidate have done to capture the Latino vote in South Carolina, which is now an increasing part of that population there?

Cam Brady would probably have a horrible idea, like passing out sombreros to the Latino community. Something like that. Yeah.

5. Have you ever been involved in politics?

Yes. I was president of the Ross Perot fan club in high school. It was just a fan club, it wasn’t really helping him run for office. So yes, I have been active! The Campaign spouts so much about freedom, eagles, Jesus, guns, all that stuff.

6. What does this movie mean to you, about the state of politics in America today? And more importantly, what can be done about it?

I think comedy is a great tool to kind of point things out satirically. And I think one of the things that we’re trying to point out a little, is that the system is so insane. And is it attracting the best people to run for office, you know? You have to jump through so many hoops, and your life has to be exposed on such a level. And you have to participate in such tactics, so is it becoming attractive to people who could actually help us govern? You know, I think a lot of talented people probably just say, that’s okay, it’s not for me. No!

7. What’s the point of a movie blasting US politics?

To congratulate Congress. On their eleven percent approval rating!