BEVERLY HILLS, California — As we learned from and during their "Talladega Nights" period, speaking with the improv masters isn't so much an interview as it is an Olympic event. Toss out a topic, and it's like a starter pistol — all you can do is step back and watch them race to the too-funny finish line.
With that in mind, we came prepared for the surreal Judd Apatow-produced comedy that reunites the actors this weekend for what might just be the dumbest movie ever made — and we mean that in the best way possible. Below are our supremely stupid questions inspired by the film about two grown men battling each other like spoiled kids — and their twisted takes on airline security, Prince and the cooling sensation of carefully placed cottage cheese (warning: the guys get a bit graphic with the dairy product).
MTV: What's the most childish thing that you guys do on a regular basis?
John C. Reilly: Besides wetting the bed?
Will Ferrell: You still wet the bed, don't you?
Reilly: I live a pretty childish life. I play make-believe for a living. That's what I do.
Ferrell: I like to sneak on commercial airplane flights without paying. That's something I used to do as a kid. I still do that.
MTV: Do the airlines get angry?
Ferrell: Livid. Yeah, especially with today's security concerns. "It's not a joke!" — I've been told that numerous times. It's a federal offense now, even more so than it used to be.
MTV: Anything else?
Ferrell: I also steal my own children's toys, just out of spite. I don't actually play with them, I just steal them.
MTV: What do you say when they ask where their toys went?
Ferrell: I say, "You know what? The toy fairy came and took them all away, because you were bad!"
MTV: In the movie, you both have a sleepwalking problem. What's the worst thing you've found yourself doing in real life while sleepwalking?
Reilly: I do this weird thing: I usually sleep in just a T-shirt and nothing else. But then I have these strange anxiety feelings in the middle of the night, and I'll get up and put on a pair of jeans and get back into bed and go back to sleep. And then I'll wake up and be like, "Why do I have jeans on?" I can't tell you how many times that's happened, for real. And then, I must have had trouble getting them on or something one time, because I found them perfectly folded on the nightstand next to the bed!
Ferrell: So you tried and then just gave up?
Reilly: Yeah, in case I need them. Because the feeling is like: I'm going to have to get up, and I'm half-naked, so I'd better be prepared.
Ferrell: Well, I used to share an apartment with my brother in New York. And I remember waking up thinking that he was my girlfriend — now wife, but girlfriend at the time — in the other futon. I got up to crawl into bed with my brother and then woke myself up halfway through, before I tried to make love to him. Close call.
MTV: You almost had a moment.
Ferrell: Yeah, he woke up, I woke up, and he was like, "What are you doing?" and I'm like, "Um, nothing."
MTV: If you could have anyone in the world as your stepbrother, who would it be?
Reilly: [He looks at Will.] Bingo!
Ferrell: [He doesn't look at John.] Prince.
Reilly: Whoa. I pointed to you. I said "bingo," and you said "Prince"!
MTV: Why Prince?
Ferrell: Just because I think Prince would be neat and orderly ... he would have his little suits and stuff.
Reilly: You'd be eating lollipops together and talking about metaphysical things.
Ferrell: And wearing top hats. I think we'd have a good time.
MTV: There's also a great scene in the movie where you get into a fistfight with a bunch of little kids. What advice can you give to other adults who might find themselves similarly plagued by youth violence?
Reilly: Just try to keep moving, because you don't want to get swarmed. Once three or four of them get their hands on you, the weight becomes a problem. You can't get away. And watch out for their little claws — they have really sharp fingernails.
Ferrell: Keep a lot of treats on you. Bite-sized candies [to toss], so that you can get them away. That will sometimes distract them.
Reilly: But sometimes, when they get angry, they're not even interested in food.
Ferrell: No, they just want to rip your head off.
MTV: In the film, you guys place your privates on things to mark your territory. In real life, where's the worst place that you've ever found yourself depositing your genitalia?
Reilly: What's your channel?
Reilly: OK, I can say this on MTV: Sometimes, when making a number two on the toilet, there will be a bit of a backsplash, and that water is not where I want my berries to be.
Ferrell: So you'll protect them with a protective shield?
Reilly: I don't necessarily lower them into the water, but sometimes you get a backsplash. And it's like, "Wait a minute. I just got toilet water on my junk!"
Ferrell: So what will you do to prevent that?
Reilly: There's nothing to be done, Will. It happens. It depends on the power of the discharge.
Ferrell: Oh, OK. I thought you were going to say, "I've developed a special pouch that I place them in prior."
Reilly: Well, you could tuck up. But then, what if you have to pee? It just gets graphic from here on. Where's the worst place you've placed your junk?
Ferrell: Probably in a container of cottage cheese. I just laid them in there, just to see what the imprint looked like. And then I just put it back in the fridge.
Reilly: A nice, cooling kind of thing. ... I always try to keep as much cottage cheese near the groin area as possible.
Ferrell: I have cartons of cottage cheese around my bed, because I'll sleepwalk and just make an indentation, an imprint. And I'll write it down, and then log it in my book. I have a big journal.
MTV: Will, you're also credited as a writer on "Step Brothers." I've interviewed some screenwriters over the years who prefer to write in a quiet place, while others prefer a loud environment. What's your preference?
Ferrell: I like the airport. Yeah, I'll go to a terminal and just be with the people. I like the din of a mass of people. Maybe a sporting event sometimes or a concert.
MTV: So you'll go to the airport, write a screenplay, and then just sneak onto an airplane for kicks?
Ferrell: Yeah. It's a two-for-one that way.
Check out everything we've got on "Step Brothers."
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