‘The Other Guys’: Five Secrets Revealed

Find out more about the Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell comedy, including the reason behind its many TLC quotes.

On Friday, we revealed five secrets about Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s buddy cop flick “The Other Guys,” from the explanation for Paris Hilton’s missing cameo to how they managed to get such a curse-filled movie to be rated PG-13.

We got the inside scoop from co-writer/director Adam McKay, who called up MTV News shortly before the film opened and went on to reel in $35.6 million over the weekend . McKay also let slip a bunch of other secrets that were simply too spoilery to publish on Friday (August 9). Now, as “Other Guys” enjoys its place at the top of the box office, we’re pushing forward with five more secrets revealed (of course, beware of spoilers below!).

Why Jackson and Johnson Plunged Off a Roof to Their Deaths

This out-of-nowhere game-changer comes about 15 minutes into the
movie: the tough-guy cops played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson actually die after they miscalculate a roof jump and land with a crunch on the sidewalk. McKay told us that they entertained a number of funny and unexpected deaths before settling on the failed roof jump.

“The first thought we had was that they get a call for a chase, and they pull out to join it, and just get broadsided by a truck that had nothing to do with the chase,” he said. “Then we just played with the idea of a really ignominious death — autoerotic asphyxiation — but we knew there was no way we could get that into a PG-13 movie. Even though it makes me and you laugh, 80 percent of the audience would be flat-out horrified. The one we really liked — and we came close to doing it — was that they were in a shootout and they just got shot. If you have too many shootouts, you’re going to get shot. I think even the forensic guy was like, ‘They were in 90 shootouts. You’re gonna get shot eventually.’

“But the jump was just so much fun,” he continued. “Originally in the script, you didn’t see them hit the ground. But I thought, ‘You gotta shoot that.’ It could be either grisly or fantastic. Once the Foo Fighters’ song got in, we knew we had it. For a second, you think you’re watching the worst filmmaking ever. Are they really playing this song during a fake Hollywood jump? And then they die!”

How They Pulled Off the Motion-Capture Bar Scene

The film’s most visually stunning scene is one that even James Cameron might applaud. It’s a freeze-frame, continuous-shot bar scene in which Ferrell and Wahlberg are caught mid-action in a series of drunken incidents. The scene honestly defies easy explanation, which is why we waited until now to reveal how McKay captured it.

“My DP, Oliver Wood, and I had seen href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YFkcwtpGZo" target="_blank">this Phillips short film with cops fighting clowns,” he explained. “We loved it, but I think that cost $4 million to shoot. At first we were going to do digital camera stills, and I just thought that was boring and we kind of did that already on ‘Talladega Nights.’ Then Oliver said, ‘I think we can do the Phillips thing,’ and in four days we came up with the plan.

“We got this motion-capture camera that you program so the camera moves exactly the same every time,” he added. “It was similar to what they did in ‘The Matrix’ with the flying bullets. They weren’t wearing motion-capture suits. I wish I had thought of that. I would have made Will wear one for no reason. We just wrote joke scenarios of a night gone horribly wrong. We went to this bar on the Upper West Side [of Manhattan] and shot it in half a day. We cast stuntmen and women who could hold poses. Our special effects company, Evil Eye, added all these funny elements.”

Why Keaton Quotes TLC

Michael Keaton plays the NYPD precinct captain who’s always barking orders at Ferrell and Wahlberg. He also has a strange and hilarious habit of quoting TLC lyrics without seemingly having any idea who that group is. It’s a gem of a recurring bit, and it came about entirely by accident.

“We were trying to write phrases for the captain that were tough-guy euphemisms,” McKay said. “We had a draft where he said all this crazy stuff and out of that I started to say, ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls,’
and everyone started laughing. Then we called it back two more times, and then Keaton was doing them so well, we added more.”

“We came up with a whole backstory that he drove his son to college and his son played a TLC greatest-hits CD the whole time but the captain was never aware what he was listening to,” he added. “We knew at least 35 percent of the audience would have no idea who TLC is, but we were like, ‘Screw it! It’s too funny!’ ”

Why McKay Had Such a Weird Cameo

Last week, we revealed why Paris Hilton’s cameo was left on the cutting room floor. Now we turn our attention to McKay’s cameo as a demented homeless man who is the ringleader of a roving gay orgy gang.
Yes, it is all as bizarre as it sounds.

“We originally had it just as a reference about all the horrible stuff that happens to [Will's] car [after it gets stolen],” he said. “We did a table re-write and Andrew Steele, the head writer for Funny or Die, came up with this joke that the thieves left a thank you note. That made us laugh, and then we named the thieves Dirty Mike and the Boys.
Then we’re like, ‘We’ve got to see them.’ I always like to do something small in our movies, so I was like, ‘All right, it’s me!’

“So we shot this riverside scene and just did thirty minutes of the filthiest improv you’ve ever heard in your life, and had to cut everything except what you see in the movie,” he continued. “But the extended DVD has all the nastiness.”

A Sequel Just Might Happen

After the collapse of “Anchorman 2″ this spring, fans might be wondering if we’ll ever see a sequel from one of the four big-screen collaborations between McKay and Ferrell . McKay revealed that we just might see “The Other Guys 2″ down the road.

“We had fun shooting this and we talked about it,” he said. “There’s almost a novelty to doing a sequel at this point. The two we were talking about were ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Other Guys.’ We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. But I would be happy to go back into this world. I never got tired of seeing Will and Mark going back and forth.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Other Guys.”

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