Interview : Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly

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If there’s anything Will Ferrell’s latest movies have lacked, it’s balls.

In ‘’Step Brothers”, a new comedy in which Ferrell reunites with is ‘’Talladega Nights” co-star John C. Reilly (“It was so much fun that we thought we’d like to do another one,” smiles Ferrell), there’s balls a plenty – albeit prosthetic ones.

In a sequence in the film, which tells of two newly slapped together siblings who constantly try to one up each other, Ferrell’s character decides to aggravate his new brother by rubbing his testicles on top of the latter’s treasured drum kit.

“People have stood up in screenings and cheered,” claims Ferrell. “They’re saying ‘That nutsack’s really happening!’”

“You can smell the texture,” adds Reilly.

Fooled them they did – according to Ferrell, the “nutsuck” is a $25,000 fake.

It goes without saying that Ferrell and Reilly aren’t exactly acting their age – what’s new hey!? – in the new film.

“They’re between eight and 13,” Reilly says of their maturity. “Their obsession with chicken nuggets is them at around eight years old. And they rocket up to 13 when they talk about women.”

In real life, Ferrell and Reilly are obviously a lot smarter – Ferrell, an actor and producer behind some of today’s most successful comedies (including “Elf”, “Old School” and “Anchorman”) and Reilly, a dramatic actor whose since shown his flair for comedy, actually garnered an Oscar nomination for his performance in Rob Marshall’s ‘’Chicago” a few years back. Reilly also receives a screenwriting credit for his work on the Step Brothers script.

“It [was] really fun, and I felt really appreciated by these guys that they cared enough to let me be part of putting the movie together,” Reilly, whose film credits include “Boogie Nights”, “Year of the Dog” and “Walk Hard” says. “I’ve collaborated on movies in the past, and added a lot, but it’s never really been recognised in this way – that I’m part of the team. My approach was just telling stories while Will took notes. I didn’t actually have to put my hands on a computer keyboard.”

“Which is good, because you’re incredibly germ-phobic,” says Ferrell.

“Yeah, plus I can’t read,” adds Reilly.

Initially, the boys didn’t know what they wanted to work on together after ‘’Talladega Nights” – just that they wanted to work on something else together. With that film’s director, Adam McKay, they started to brainstorm.

“So Adam and John and I sat around and pitched a bunch of ideas around, wrote ‘em all down, and it was great: we had four or five ideas that really made us laugh. And then Adam came to us the next day and said ‘Oh, I’ve got one other thing’ and he pitched us this Step Brothers premise. John and I instantly knew that this was the thing to do,” Ferrell says.

“It’s obviously fertile ground for a comedy but at the same time it speaks to what’s going on in America right now. There’s a whole generation of people who don’t want to work to get anywhere. There was a time when these people become billionaires by seemingly creating Internet companies out of nothing and every kid in college instantly went ‘I want to do that’. You know, they simply won’t work as an assistant or something. It’s led to this generation of entitlement, which these guys personify.”

Next, Ferrell will be seen in the big-screen take on the classic TV series ‘’Land of the Lost” (which Ferrell says audiences will appreciate because it doesn’t use an overabundance of CGI – most of the sets are practical), while talk continues that he and McKay may be working on a sequel to the surprise comedy ‘’Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgundy”.

And will John be joining Will in the sequel? “He should be so lucky,” the latter scoffs.

“Why are you asking him?” retorts Reilly. “Don’t I have a say in this?”

Granted Ferrell’s never been that big of a fan of sequels – he says there’s an idea or two for a “Stepbrothers” sequel, one that might see the boys becoming fathers, but he’s unsure of whether that’ll happen – but admits he’s changed his tune of late (Unfortunately he still won’t commit to doing another ‘’A Night at the Roxbury” – His least favourite film). That’s good news for us, the fans.

- CLINT MORRIS