Forgive the bad pun, but nowadays, Will Ferrell is as close to a slam dunk as you can get when it comes to big-screen comedies. In 2006, he made race cars cooler than they’ve been since Tom Cruise played a guy named Cole Trickle (what was up that name, by the way?). Last year, he conquered the ice with “Blades of Glory” and now, with “Semi-Pro,” Ferrell is once again bringing his absurd comedy stylings to the sports world.
Ferrell talked about his latest film and found time to muse about what career advice he’d give co-star André Benjamin, whether we’ll ever see a “Zoolander 2,” and why Bill O’Reilly arguing about a video of his made him feel like he’d made it.
MTV: Look at the “Semi-Pro” poster [featuring Ferrell, Benjamin and Woody Harrelson] and tell me what runs through your head.
Will Ferrell: Well, first of all, a lot of sexual tension, right? Three beautiful, handsome guys. I don’t know why there’s a car in the way. I couldn’t figure that out. Just New Line marketing, they just kept putting a car in there. I think it says basketball, it says funny, and it says light coming out of girls and a hoop.
MTV: I’ve been talking to your co-stars trying to find out who the best player is among all of you.
Ferrell: Well what are you ascertaining so far?
MTV: I’d like to hold my findings until you respond, if you don’t mind.
Ferrell: Everyone says Woody is the best, and it’s just not true. Maybe he’s a little flashier. Maybe he’s got a little trick move up his sleeve. But if you want the most fundamentally sound player, it’s me. OK?
MTV: I’m sold. I believe you.
Ferrell: Don’t give me that look.
MTV: Here’s what else I’m hearing: In terms of all around athleticism, I’m hearing you bring it all. All the fac …
Ferrell: Bring all the fat, did you say?
Ferrell: Oh, factors. Yeah, I do bring all the fat — P-H-A-T.
MTV: Having now worked with André Benjamin, do you think he has the chops as an actor?
Ferrell: He’s one of the pleasant surprises in the movie, how charismatic he is and what a believable, good actor he is. He’s a super-talented guy.
MTV: Do you have any recommendations for him for where he should go with his acting career?
Ferrell: I think with the music, and the acting, there’s only one place to go, and that’s dinner theater. I mean, wouldn’t you like to see Andre 3000 at the Trenton dinner theater?
MTV: Where’s Big Boi in that scenario?
Ferrell: Big Boi comes in for special guest appearances. Not every night.
MTV: There’s been a lot of sequel talk about many of your films. The one I want to see is “Zoolander 2.” Has there been any talk?
Ferrell: Yeah, there was a little talk, and I brought it up to Ben really five years after the fact. Just for whatever reasons, it’s just not crystallizing.
MTV: Would that character still want to kill the Malaysian prime minister?
Ferrell: That’s the other thing. I mean, Mugatu, what do you do with that guy? Would he still be obsessed with that?
MTV: Would the hair still be the same?
Ferrell: Yeah, I don’t know. All questions that are too big for me, for my small brain to figure out.
MTV: I would think with the huge success of the Funny or Die video “The Landlord,” a lot of people asked you to expand that story.
Ferrell: There’s been tons of offers and, and, you know, we did do somewhat of a sequel with “Good Cop, Baby Cop.” But she was only 2, and she was ready to retire.
MTV: Didn’t Bill O’Reilly give you guys hell over it?
Ferrell: Yeah, it was great. It was fantastic. Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera debated the validity of that little video, which was fantastic, with Geraldo taking our side. That’s when we knew we’d made it, when Bill O’Reilly … when it made him upset.
MTV: You are shooting “Land of the Lost” next, I assume?
Ferrell: Start on Monday, yeah.
MTV: [“Land of the Lost” producers] Sid and Marty Kroft are still around, aren’t they?
Ferrell: They are. They will be there every day, believe me. [He laughs.]
MTV: They have a big investment in this one. Have you talked with them much?
Ferrell: I haven’t had so much interaction with them. I just started to see them recently. They’ve been really wide open to the ideas we’ve had. We’ve got all the main features from the show, and yet it’s been all kind of turned on its ear. So they’ve been great. They’re just really excited that it’s being committed to a major motion picture.
MTV: You could do “Small Wonder: The Movie” next.
Ferrell: Oh my gosh, “Small Wonder: The Movie”! “Mr. Belvedere: The Movie.” That would be nice. We could do it.
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