How good an actor is Will Ferrell

US actor Will Ferrell admits: "I was the class clown"

Mr. Ferrell, you run an illegal basement casino at Casino Undercover to get your movie daughter through college. How did you finance your studies yourself?

Like most Americans, I mostly studied on credit. And then worked on the side in the audio and video department of the humanities faculty. I checked out the tapes my fellow students borrowed. However, there was hardly more than $ 50 left per month. At best, that was enough to pay the interest on my college loan. It wasn't until many years later, when I started on Saturday Night Live, that I was really able to pay off all of my debts.

When did you first notice that you were being funny?


And seriously?

Phew, you know, actually I'm still surprised every day that there's an audience out there who seem to find me funny. I still remember too well the times when I stood on the comedy stage for the first time in the evening and somehow tried to push my way through this area. Having to find out every day which of the gags in my head actually resonated with other people was such a tough school that I never take a single laugh for granted.

However, you still haven't answered the question.

Right, you wanted to know when that started with me and the gags. You can probably say that it was very classic in school. I was a bit of the class clown. But only to a certain extent. Because my mother was a teacher herself - and behaving too badly or neglecting school, that would have been out of the question. Making the others laugh was good. But I couldn't get too cheeky. That's why I'm doing that today!

You are known for your improvisational skills. Is that how you make any comedy a little better?

Oh no, not automatically. Many factors come together that have to be right. And let's not kid ourselves: not every one of my improvisations comes out with a joke that is suitable for the cinema. Not even close. Still, it never hurts to try. Maybe at least if the scene is in the can in the original version. Because if something good comes out of improvisation, it is often particularly good!

Many of your colleagues complain that political correctness stands in the way of good comedy. Do you agree?

Political correctness often makes sense, but in fact one can overdo it. It's definitely interesting how the climate has changed when it comes to comedy, which also has a lot to do with the omnipresence of social media.

You mentioned "Saturday Night Live" at the beginning, the great comedian forge on US television. Do you miss your time there?

Not a bit. Of course, those were fantastic years for which I am very grateful. “Saturday Night Live” is one of the best and toughest jobs in our industry. You work like a high-performance athlete, you are constantly energized and never think for a moment about all the time you invest in this job. Producing a live show full of hilarious skits every week is absolutely amazing. But once you're out of there, you suddenly can't imagine being under this pressure. Every time I return to the show as a guest host, I'm reminded of this crazy pace of work - and make three crosses that I'm out of there.

But Donald Trump as president must be a gold mine for comedians?

I'm not so sure about that. If you were to suggest all the things that Trump does and say and tweet for skits, half of the time you would hear that it is way too exaggerated and unrealistic. So how can you top someone like him comedically?

Beyond your comedies, you are rarely seen on screen. Wouldn't you like to take on more serious roles?

Every now and then I play some. “Stranger Than Fiction”, for example, was a wonderful film that I loved to make. And I wouldn't mind playing roles like this more often. But that is easier said than done. Because no matter how successful you are, you will always be pigeonholed in Hollywood. Bringing yourself into play for projects that don't match them is a tedious affair. But it shouldn't fail because of me.

To person

Will Ferrell (49) is one of the most successful comedians in the USA. After his breakthrough with the legendary TV show "Saturday Night Live", he repeatedly attracted millions of viewers to the cinemas with films such as "Buddy - The Christmas Elf", "Anchorman" and "Zoolander". Now the father of three sons, who will celebrate his 50th birthday on July 16, 2017, can once again be seen on German screens with “Casino Undercover” - the cinema starts on July 6, 2017.

The trailer for the film "Casino Undercover":

Published in the People section