On the Set of Anchorman
Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Christina Applegate and Chuck D talk about the legend that is Ron Burgundy.
Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay became friends in 2000 at 30 Rockefeller while working at Saturday Night Live. Just a few years later the two collaborated on their first major Hollywood production Anchorman and have been in cahoots ever since.
The Atlanta Set of Anchorman 2 and MoreView All 10 Photos
The first film was a box office disappointment but then developed a cult following and the rest is history. Catchphrases like, “I love lamp” and “Milk was a bad choice,” soon became part of the hipster vernacular that spilled over into the mainstream.
The two then made Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers, The Other Guys and finally, the much awaited sequel to Anchorman, which was filmed here in Atlanta. Set in primarily in New York, Peachtree Street was dressed up to look like Manhattan and area thrift stores were stripped of all things midcentury to decorate the offices and homes of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone, played by Christina Applegate.
From the set of Anchorman, McKay said that part-time Atlanta resident and legendary front man of Public Enemy Chuck D was set to make his feature film debut in the film’s original version, which had Ron and the gang taking down a militant political group called the Alarm Clock.
"Will and I wanted an outspoken basketball player or a rapper to play the role," said McKay. “Chuck D is a legend so naturally his name came up. Of course we never really thought he’d say yes.”
The outspoken rapper agreed and the scenes were filmed, but the entire premise was scrapped and the footage was cut.
“I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed,” said Chuck D.
Well, we’re in luck. Just in time for Christmas Paramount released Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (The Rich Mahogany Edition) with the footage restored. It’s basically a whole third movie for fans that just can’t get enough.
Ferrell admitted that not everything he and McKay touches turns to gold. When asked if they ever worked on a skit that just didn’t quite work, Ferrell was quick to answer.
“We did a skit called ‘The Cool Arsonist.’ It was about this Fonzi-type character who got his kicks by setting things on fire,” said Ferrell in an exclusive interview, though we’re fairly certain he was pulling our leg.
What you will see in The Legend Continues is a lot of improv. A lot.
“We do one take of Will doing the script as written and then do five or six spit takes where Will just goes off,” explained McKay.
This process was sometimes difficult for Applegate, who said that she was quite surprised she was tapped to do the role in the first place.
“I just felt so honored that these guys thought I was funny enough to pull it off,” said Applegate. “They were so patient with me because half the time I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to get my lines out.”
The entire cast enjoyed their stay while filming in Atlanta, hitting a lot of hot spots in Midtown like Mi Cocina, South City Kitchen and the Loews Atlanta. SCK and the Loews have become two of the default celeb-spotting locales on any given night.
Anchorman 2 opens December 18, 2013 in theaters nationwide.