On Dec. 20, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the big screen, bigger than ever with “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” “Anchorman” Director Adam McKay talked to EXTRA during his press tour in Chicago about the process behind making the movie.
EXTRA: Tell us about “Anchorman 2.” Why did you decide to go both with drama and comedy at the same time?
Adam McKay: You have to have lighter and darker moments because if it’s all just silly funny, it gets less funny. We were always trying to find a balance between carrying the story and a sad part happening that makes the funny parts funnier. Hopefully, during the sad parts there is funnier stuff too. You want a little bit of drama there with any comedy.
How different did you want to make the second movie from the first? What did you want to put in the second one that you felt was missing in the first one?
I was very happy with the first one. I loved the way it turned out. But we felt like we had to continue the story. The big idea for us was the 24 hours news, CNN/Fox hybrid that we created. That was a new idea. It actually happened and once we had this idea we knew we had a sequel. That was the key to it.
I loved the scene where all the news teams get together to battle. Was this something you planned or it just happened?
It kind of came out from the idea once you start looking at news on cable. You realize that’s when news changes. When there is more news, everyone is fighting for ratings and when everyone is fighting for news ratings, news get violent. With the news rumble, it was a great chance to show all the different kinds of news that came out of this period. For us, it’s a great chance to make this point. Ultimately, we are trying to make people laugh.
How was working with Will Ferrell? Can you share a funny behind the scene story from making the movie?
Will is the best. He is just crazy. One of the craziest scenes we shot was when he was with that shark in the water. We had a rescue driver and a thousand people on the shore trying to get pictures of him and then all of a sudden we see these waters had sharks in them. God bless Will Ferrell. He was in nasty waters with huge sharks and tons of people, and he gets out and has a smile on his face. “Can you believe we just did that?” he said. He wasn’t too happy when he found out there were actually sharks in that water.
What made you open your eyes to comedy?
I always loved comedy since I was in first grade. My mom was pretty funny too. She used to read us bed time stories and change what the stories were and make us laugh. I just always was the kid getting in trouble in class and told to go to the back of the room. I always loved laughing, writing and performing.
What is your stand on what is going on in the movie industry in Hollywood?
The last 15 years have been amazing for comedy. We couldn’t be working in a better time.
What is in the future for you?
We are looking at directing a movie with Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Plenty of stuff is going on but mainly [we want] to get this movie out. That is what we are excited about.