Staff Review

A Brief History of Will Ferrell


Picturehouse office manager Frances Taylor takes a closer look at Will Ferrell’s career… 

They say that Christmas only truly begins when you’ve seen ELF on the telly, and with ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES currently on release, it seems that Will Ferrell is fast becoming the King of Christmas. To carry on the festive mood, we cast our eye back across our favourite Will Ferrell moments.

Sketch comedy aficionados first met Ferrell back in 1995 when he hit the mainstream in Saturday Night Live, going on to appear in a staggering 139 episodes.

But for many of us, vintage Ferrell means ZOOLANDER (2001). His turn as outlandish fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu set the stage for many a comedy role. Charged with running the hottest fashion house in the world while also trying to brainwash a model into becoming an assassin, Mugatu got to yelp such nuggets as, Todd! Are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?” Someone get him a flat white, stat!

MV5BMTM2OTc4NjU1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjc1MTkxNA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_Ferrell’s other courageous fashion statements have ranged from the famous yellow tights in ELF (2003) – possibly the most feel-good film we’ve ever seen – to the bejewelled spandex onesies of BLADES OF GLORY (2007), in which he and Jon Heder overcome their differences and get back on their skates for sporting success.

But that’s not to say that he just plays for laughs. STRANGER THAN FICTION (2006) is a quietly humorous but altogether more poignant affair. Ferrell is Harold Crick, a distinctly average IRS auditor whose world suddenly changes when he hears someone narrating his life and realises that he is going to die. He presents his bakery-owning love interest Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal) with a bunch of flours, setting the bar for boyfriends everywhere and living the kind of life that would make a good story without turning into a cloying ‘live your dreams’ morality tale.

The similarly touching EVERYTHING MUST GO (2010) follows a man with alcohol problems who loses both his wife and his job on the same the day after an unspecified ‘Denver incident’. Ferrell’s dialled-down performance for Woody Allen in MELINDA AND MELINDA (2004) also showcases his acting talent (and helps us to forget less-loved efforts such as 2008’s SEMI-PRO).

Will+Ferrell+the+officeNonetheless, a cameo appearance in The Office: An American Workplace cemented his place as a perennial favourite who is guaranteed to bring a laugh to every set he graces.

And lo, let us not forget the glory that it is ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY (2004), a goofball comedy that left us in a glass cage of emotion. It touched on all the big issues: dealing with women in the workplace, finding yourself outside of your comfort zone (or in a bear pit), hitting rock bottom, and winning redemption with the help of your friends. With gags aplenty and quotes that have endured almost a decade, it’s little wonder that Ferrell and director Adam McKay have teamed up again to delight audiences around the globe with their hijinks.

Stay classy, Picturehouse-goers, and we’ll see you in the screen!


Listen to the Picturehouse Podcast’s Anchorman 2 interview with Judd Apatow, Adam McKay and David Koechner here.


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