Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Clearly, the message in Old School, is that men never grow
up, that we are boys forever?
A: Well, we kind of pride ourselves on the fact that this
isn't a message movie. Obviously, it's a broad comedy, but, I
guess, it's one of those ideas, that men don't want to grow up,
or that they are forced to grow up by society, to kind of start
making a living.
So I guess that's the basic premise of the movie, is that you
have these guys going for one last gasp before they have to throw
in the towel and live an adult life.
Q. Do you long for the kind of freedom for fraternity days?
Or were you a wild bunch yourselves?
A: For me, it's like, I've never really had to make that decision,
where it's kind of like I've had to buckle down and live an adult
life. When you're an actor, a part of it is that you have to be
open to the idea that you're going to be, for lack of a better
word, pretending a lot, so I never really had to choose a path
of going to do something that I didn't really want to do, or say
to myself, 'ok, it's time to grow up'.
Q. And, Will, I suppose coming from Saturday Night Live (SNL),
after seven years, that was kind of a frat-house in itself?
Will Ferrell: Yeah, that was definitely a fun, sometimes wild,
experience. I've had a lot of opportunities to continue my sustained
adolescence, and that will continue tonight at The Sun party.
Q. You were a track star when you were young, so was there
any chance that you could have got involved in some of the physical
stuff at the end of the movie? In fact, from what I read about
you, there are a number of records that you hold?
A: [Laughs] In High School, I ran track and played football
and, yeah, I still hold a few track running records. But no, I
didn't do the athletic challenge at the end of the movie; Will
and Vince had that handled, although I wish I could have had something
Q. What are the best and worst parties you've ever been to?
A: I don't know. I have friends who ask, you know, 'how are
the parties in Los Angeles, they must be crazy'? But they're really
not, they can be kind of boring for the most part.
I suppose, maybe, Hugh Hefner will have a party occasionally,
at the Playboy Mansion, which seem like they are out of the Seventies
or something, with guys like James Caan walking around, and a
grotto, and shag carpet, and Playmates (not forgetting them).
But I wouldn't describe that as the best party, but maybe more
Q. We all admire the intensity and commitment you brought
to the choreographed scene. Are you a natural dancer, as well
as a good athlete?
A: It's one of those things where it's much more fun when
you read it in the script, as opposed to finishing a day of work
and they say, 'ok, now guys, we have a two-hour dance class after
work'. So that wasn't so fun, and I was terrible at it. The guys
that played the pledges are in their early 20s and are much more
hip-hop orientated than I was, so I was having trouble with it.
Vince Vaughn was good, though.
Q. Is that why they stuck you at the back?
A: Yeah. I mean, the choreographer was like, maybe you should
change places. But I knew what she was doing and actually kind
of appreciated it, in a way. But it was a demotion.
Q. There's a running gag in the movie about unwanted presents.
So I was just wondering what the worst present and the best present
you've ever given or received is?
A: Worst present? I had a Christmas as a kid where I got four
pairs of pyjamas and ended that Christmas in tears. And then there
was a time where I had a girlfriend, when I was growing up, who
told me that if I ever got her a CD again as a gift, she was going
to murder me. And Best of... you know, the best of the Eagles,
or The Rolling Stones.
Q. Which do you find more satisfying, writing or directing?
A. Well, I'm not a writer, like the brother [laughs]. No,
I'm kidding, that's a line from True West.
Owen's really the published writer but I have just finished a
script that I'm going to work on, called The End of the Summer,
but writing is obviously much more tough, because you have to
make the time, sit down and do it.
For me, it's just one of those things where you can make the mistake
of saying, 'I don't feel inspired' or have any ideas, so if I
sit down I'm not going to do anything, when usually I find that
when I sit down I get at least a little work done.
I have a lot of fun acting too, and something like Old School
is much more fun work than maybe like a more serious role, which
is more satisfying too.
Q. Old School was a big hit in the States, and with sequels
to both Charlie's Angels and Legally Blonde coming out this year,
do films like that give you the sort of profile to be able to
take on projects you might not otherwise be able to get made?
A: Yeah, definitely. That's how I think about it. I have fun
on those movies, too, and I like getting to work with Reece, she's
real smart, and the same with Cameron. I mean, it's interesting
for me to work with someone like her, she's a real bona fide movie
star, so I feel that I kind of have to focus in a different sort
of way. And to work on a huge budget movie, with a crew of hundreds,
like Charlie's Angels, is cool for me, and I learn something on
every movie that I do.
But, yeah, if you do more commercial stuff like that, it can help
you get something maybe that's not as mainstream made. But I would
never do something just for the money, because that's no fun.
Q. Does your success and Owen's success serve as an inspiration
to each other, and are you going to do Around the World in 80
A: Thank you, for wording the question like that. Honestly,
I get asked so much whether there is a competition between me
and Owen. But yeah, for me, it's a tough business, not unlike
others, but I wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for Owen and
I've always looked up to him as a writer.
I think he's a different guy onscreen and offscreen, so I really
admire him and look up to him, and we're real supportive of each
other. And it's great to be able to work with family and friends,
and people you're close to in Los Angeles.
As for the Around the World in 80 Days thing, that's one of those
things, I think, where Owen kind of told me I was doing it. Someone
mentioned to me, 'remember, you have the Wright Brothers thing
to do in that movie in June'.
Q. What actually makes you who laugh and who were your comic
influences when growing up?
A: For me, it was always like, my Dad was a pretty funny guy,
so whatever appealed to him. He was a huge Saturday Night Live
fan and he really loved people like Bill Murray and John Belushi,
and it was through him that I learned about people like Mel Brooks,
and that kind of thing.
I always loved Richard Pryor; good stand-up, to me, is unbelievable
and seems really tough to do...
Will Ferrell: I pretty much share a lot of the same influences.
I, too, thought Luke's dad was really funny... In addition to
the names he mentioned, I was also a big viewer of The Tonight
Show, Johnny Carson, and before cable, I remember always being
really excited when there was a comedian going to be a guest that
I can remember early Jerry Seinfeld, and Garry Shandling, and
Steve Martin, he was a big influence. Today, David Letterman.