Ferrell, Reilly ad-lib way through "Step Brothers"

Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:45pm EDT
 
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The script never got in the way of a good fight as comic actors Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly improvised their way through family warfare in the movie "Step Brothers," which opens on Friday.

In making the film, director Adam McKay served as ringmaster for ad-libbed scenes of sibling rivalry between Ferrell and Reilly, who play immature adults each living with a parent and forced to coexist when one's mother and the other's father get married.

McKay worked with Ferrell, 41, and Reilly, 43, on the 2006 hit comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" -- another heavily improvised film -- and teaming up again allowed the trio to reprise their impromptu comic style.

"We had so much fun working on 'Talladega Nights,' the three of us, and we really made a pact, a blood pact, to try to work on something else together," said Ferrell, a veteran of the NBC sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live" who also starred in the movies "Semi-Pro" and "Stranger Than Fiction."

Ferrell said McKay put improvisation ahead of the script, which the two co-wrote.

While other directors throw in the occasional ad-libbed take but stick to the script, "We invert it," Ferrell said, "and start exploring things that ..."

"Really shouldn't be explored," Reilly interjected.

McKay worked as a writer on "Saturday Night Live" when Ferrell was on that show. The two last year launched the website Funny Or Die, which posts videos from professional and amateur comedians. Cable TV channel HBO has invested in the site and plans to air content from it.   Continued...

 
<p>Actors John C. Reilly (L) and Will Ferrell are shown in a scene from their film "Step Brothers" in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters July 23, 2008. In making the film, director Adam McKay served as ringmaster for ad-libbed scenes of sibling rivalry between Ferrell and Reilly, who play immature adults each living with a parent and forced to coexist when one's mother and the other's father get married. REUTERS/Gemma La Mana/Columbia Tristar Marketing Group/Handout</p>