'Anchorman 2': Will Ferrell gives 'Rake's' Greg Kinnear 'a big thrill'

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It's hard to compete with Ron Burgundy, but Greg Kinnear is giving it a try.

The former "Later" and "Talk Soup" host turned Oscar-nominated actor (for 1997's "As Good as It Gets") plays the news anchor's ( Will Ferrell) romantic rival for Veronica Corningstone ( Christina Applegate) -- now married to, and a co-parent with, the career-preoccupied Ron -- in the new movie-comedy sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues."

"I just worked a few days on it, but it was really fun, a big thrill," Kinnear tells Zap2it. "I got a call from (director and co-writer) Adam McKay when he was starting it up, and he said, 'Hey, ya wanna play this bizarre little shrink?' I said, 'Well, do I get to sit opposite Ron Burgundy? He said, 'Yup.' And I said, 'When do you need me?'

"If anything, I was paid to keep a straight face," adds Kinnear, "and quite frankly, they didn't pay me enough in retrospect. That was the hardest job I've ever had."

Kinnear returns to television on a regular basis as a lawyer whose personal life is in shambles in the FOX drama "Rake," premiering Thursday, Jan. 23. With what his character goes through on that series -- including being pummeled by a debt collector in the opening hour -- Kinnear is glad "Anchorman 2" put him on much more humorous territory beforehand.

"Any sense of irony just ruptures out of the balloon when you're staring face-to-face at the bushy mustache of Ron Burgundy," he muses. "It's so surreal when he comes out in that thing, especially if you're a fan of the original movie, as I really am.

"And all the other guys as well, Steve (Carell) and Paul (Rudd) and David (Koechner) -- it's just such a crazy, great high-wire act they do, it was a real honor to get to join them for a couple of days." 
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images/Paramount