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Film

Will Ferrell names his favourite role of all time

Will Ferrell might be the single most influential comedic figure in the whole of 21st-century cinema, responsible for turning countless Hollywood movies into international hits, including Step Brothers, Blades of Glory and Elf. Holding a significant role in evolving modern American comedy, Ferrell is often at the very forefront of such a movement, having had a chokehold on popular culture since the start of the new millennium.

Sparking his career in the mid-1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live, the actor was a popular figure on the programme from 1995-2002 before he made the shift over to Hollywood cinema. Ignoring the dismal 1997 release Men Seeking Women, in the very same year Ferrell entered the world stage by appearing in the first Austin Powers movie, International Man of Mystery.

At the time Ferrell was considered to be a member of the ‘Frat Pack’, a generation of leading comedy actors who emerged at the turn of the 2000s, with other such names in the unofficial group including Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn and Paul Rudd. 

Finding further success with Zoolander, Old School and Elf, Ferrell’s first leading break was in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a comedy classic that remains one of the finest modern movies of the genre. Telling the story of a news anchor and his bumbling team, Ferrell was joined by a supporting cast that included David Koechner, Christina Applegate and Fred Armisen, as well as fellow ‘Frat Pack’ members Carell and Rudd. 

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As an important critical and commercial success for Ferrell, Anchorman would lead the actor to bigger and better things as he revealed in an interview with The New York Times.  

When asked about his favourite ever role, the actor takes little time to reply with his Anchorman lead, Ron Burgundy. “The film was such a struggle to get made and the character such a fun one to play,” the actor revealed to the publication, adding, “To have Anchorman go from this movie that no one wanted to make for three years, to have it go on to achieve comedy cult status, that’s the most satisfying thing”. 

His character from the 2004 comedy classic wasn’t the only role Ferrell was fond of, however, further revealing in the interview, “I also loved doing our characters in Step Brothers. Buddy the elf was also surreal because at the time, it felt like it could go either way. It could have been a career-ender, running around the streets of New York in elf tights. But it totally hit the bulls-eye with people”. 

Will Ferrell turned down a $29 million paycheck for the chance to do a sequel to the aforementioned Elf, believing that the story wasn’t strong enough for a sequel, whilst a successful follow-up film to Anchorman was made in 2013 to the delight of audiences worldwide.