The outdoor Australian premiere for Anchorman 2 also doubled as its world premiere filling seven cinemas at Fox Studios in Sydney. It was a gala event with no less than seven cast members and the director in attendance. While the red carpet was controlled chaos, I managed to speak with most of them before an impromptu live rendition of Afternoon Delight to an appreciative audience.
Shane A. Bassett – Hi Adam, who would have thought a sequel!
Director Adam McKay – Australia was one of the most demanding voices for a sequel and we gave in. We are treating you today, look at all these fans.
SAB – Did you think Paramount would allow a sequel way back when you made the original?
Adam – We were just hoping the first one was decent enough that no one yelled at us for making this crazy movie, so when we were invited back, it was a great surprise.
SAB – There is an Australian connection with Josh Lawson in a role and rumours Nicole Kidman is in it also.
Adam – We worked with Josh on The Campaign and really loved him so needed him on this one. Nicole worked with Will on Bewitched but cannot confirm or deny she makes an appearance.
SAB – There are over 20 deleted scenes on my Anchorman DVD. How many deleted scenes for this one?
Adam – Not as many deleted scenes but a lot of deleted lines. We are talking about releasing a DVD with all various jokes on it, taking the movie and replacing every single joke in it with a different one.
SAB – Do you change lines or what people may conceive as funny moments in the films you make for alternate countries?
Adam – Good question, yes! At times, but not often.
SAB – Having worked with Will so many times and being his business partner, what’s the worst thing you can tell me about him?
AM – He’s not kind to children and he litters a lot and does not have respect for the environment. You can use those quotes out of context (laughing).
David Koechner says hi as he waves to fans.
SAB – You’re the sports guy of Anchorman. Do you like sports yourself?
DK – Yes, I love the Kansas City Chiefs; they are doing very well this year.
SAB – Piranha 3DD or Anchorman 2 – which was the most fun set to be on?
DK – Anchorman of course, from start to finish everyone is laughing, these are all my friends. Everyone is a stone cold pro, nobody ruined their lines, everyone has been doing elite comedy for a long time.
SAB – Do you shake your character off when filming is finished or not?
DK – I haven’t said Whammy for a while now. Actually I have a new movie coming out called ‘Cheap Thrills’, it’s a sinister thriller. It’s going to be really good and different for me. Ethan Embry co-stars.
Next to come over is Paul Rudd.
SAB – Hi Paul, no moustache for your trip down under?
PR – No, I’m working on bringing it back. America and Australia working in unison for bring back the ‘Mo’.
SAB – I feel like I should be reciting some Shakespeare with you. What do you remember about the set of Romeo & Juliet with Baz Lurhmann?
PR – I remember it doesn’t have the happiest of endings (laughs). It was an amazing experience that at the time, I was very happy to be part of with Baz.
SAB – Your character in Anchorman is the man on the street, does Paul Rudd keep up to date with current events or news issues?
PR – You know what, No! Not even close and not only that I’m so bad, I’ve lived in New York City for 18 years and I don’t even know a good restaurant to eat at. I’m so out of the loop in every facet. What’s this rap music I keep hearing about? I’ve heard of the Beastie Boys! (laughs).
SAB – How does this sequel remain as funny but do something different?
PR – The boys get back together, a road trip, fun in New York, new characters and all the crazy fun from the original, it was a blast to make.
Next up is Steve Carell. As a habit, every time I interview him, I say Rachel Dratch says hello (she speaks very highly of Steve in her autobiography).
SC – Hello again Shane and Hello again Rachel (Laughing).
SAB – Was anything different on the set of the sequel as opposed to the original, which you have told me in the past is dear to your heart?
SC – It was basically the same in terms of the style we were shooting, the fun we were having, and the ridiculousness of the content. So I think we all felt very much the same, only ten years older.
SAB – And Brick (your character) falls in love.
SC – He does fall in love, it’s a very sweet thing, it’s a very real and odd thing to watch.
SAB – Do you think that your role in ‘The Way Way Back’ may garner you an award nomination in some capacity?
SC – Me, oh no, but I hope the movie is considered for something; also Sam Rockwell is fantastic in that movie he will be the one considered before me.
SAB – Do you like doing drama as opposed to comedy?
SC – I enjoy doing both, mixing it up, I particularly like that film script (Way Way Back), it was a good character to play.
SAB – I did not like you at all in it, very annoyed.
SC – That’s good, that was the idea I did my job, thanks Shane.
Ron Burgundy himself is then led over in my direction.
SAB – Look at the crowd you have managed to attract Will Ferrell.
WF – Australia is a great place and we didn’t even expect to be doing a sequel a few years back so to be here and see this reaction is humbling. They are very fun characters, we are all friends and enjoy playing these roles.
SAB – Having made a few sport themed films, what actual sports do you watch or follow?
WF – More college football than the NFL but I follow the Seattle Seahawks a little bit.
SAB – Anything you can tell me about your Aussie co-star Josh Lawson from the set of Anchorman 2?
WF – He is such a nice guy and so funny as outspoken Mr Kench Allenby, so get ready. If you enjoyed him in The Campaign, you will love him in this.
SAB – Ron got through the 70s and this film is set during the 80s. Will we see him in the 90s?
WF – Well we hope this is popular and will even attract new fans but a third film hasn’t been discussed. I am open for options; maybe we can send Brick to Australia and report the outback weather. I have no idea. You know all the other times I’ve been here I kept getting asked ‘where’s Anchorman 2’. Finally it is here.
Kristen Wiig and Kirsten Dunst appear in the movie but did not talk to journalists. They simply walked past having a few photos taken before entering inside. I did however speak to a passing Adam Garcia, star of Coyote Ugly and now judge on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars.
SAB – Any special memories of making Coyote Ugly?
AG – None whatsoever, it’s all a blur.
SAB – Too much drinking?
AG – No there wasn’t as Jerry Bruckheimer is really strict about what you do on set and how hard you train. My best memory, besides meeting the girls, I worked every second day and there was a basketball court outside the set, so there was a lot of basketball played.
SAB – You also made an impression in ‘Riding in Cars with Boys’, Drew Barrymore produced and starred in it. Did she handpick you for that role?
AG – She played a part in selection, she was there through all my auditions. Penny Marshall, the director, said ‘I want him’. I was like, Yes! Garry’s sister, an amazing director and really nice person.
Josh Lawson, the Australian man of the moment and star of House of Lies is all smiles.
SAB – Hi Josh, did you enjoy making this with comic royalty?
JL – Everyday was different. It was clear that these guys were having so much fun, it was hard to look away. The chemistry of those four people was brilliant. The sequel is better because we are seeing those guys together again; it takes them above and beyond where they have been before, leaving San Diego and entering New York. New challenges, surprises.
SAB – Does an Aussie get treated any differently when working in the USA?
JL – No not really, it was all-star American hospitality, anyway, I love working there. I auditioned for Jay Roach, director of The Campaign. Will loved my work and wanted me in this film, very honoured. Talk to you later mate, enjoy the night.
Shane A. Bassett