For Will Ferrell, picking 'Megamind' was a no-brainer
The DreamWorks animated comedy was the right opportunity for the actor. Costars Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and David Cross speak their mind too.It seemed the perfect fit: Will Ferrell's comedic antics set within the lighthearted world of animated film. But after working on 2006's "Curious George," he thought maybe he'd stick to live-action movies.
"It wasn't the end-of-the-world experience, but it wasn't so much fun that I said to myself, 'I have to do this again,'" Ferrell recalled. "But my manager and I … said if we had the opportunity to work with someone like a DreamWorks, who tends to make good, funny ones, then that would be something we would listen to."
So when the company behind such hits as " Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" did come calling, Ferrell was all ears. He was offered the lead in "Megamind" (opening Friday), which centers on the rivalry between a scrawny, evil genius with a bulbous head (Ferrell) and a suave, muscular do-gooder named Metro Man ( Brad Pitt). With his trusty sidekick Minion ( David Cross) by his side, Megamind goes head to head with Metro Man as the two vie for the affections of a local television reporter ( Tina Fey), who has also turned the head of her doughy cameraman ( Jonah Hill).
This time around, Ferrell had a lot more fun.
"I felt like it was a pretty unique story — it's a 'careful what you wish for' scenario," he said. "And everyone really was kind of trusting of what I thought would be funny. It's not too heavy-duty."
We caught up with some of the cast to get their take on good guys versus bad guys and the most coveted super powers.
Are there times that you wish you had a wristwatch like Megamind, which allows him to become invisible?
Oh, yeah, that'd be a nifty little power. When you're sometimes at an airport and someone has cornered you, and you realize a crowd is about to gather. Those are the moments where I'd go.
Do you have a lifelong best friend like Minion, who always sticks by Megamind?
I have kind of had a core group of friends since like the sixth and seventh grade. They would come see me when I was doing stand-up for free down at the Cannery in Newport Beach.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
If I had a power to make cellphones and cameras not work, that would be good for when you're sitting next to the people at the airport who are being loud.
Is there a figure of good who we look up to in our society, like Metro Man?
Metro Man is Megamind's antagonist, but he's also the one who gives Megamind his drive — do you have someone like that in your life?
Daniel Day-Lewis. We are constantly competing for roles, being catty toward one another, and yet, at the same time, being each other's greatest inspiration.
You've worked on animated films before, like "How to Train Your Dragon." How was this experience different?
I will say "Megamind" was more of a challenge than "How to Train Your Dragon," because I do have quite a bit of actual dragon-training experience, whereas I do not have any super powers.
Were you ever teased as a kid, like Megamind was?
I grew up in the '70s and '80s in suburban Georgia, and I was a Jew from New York, so I was constantly teased. My hair was different, and I was also very poor with big, thick, nerdy glasses. I was an awkward-looking kid. A bit precocious. I read books. I didn't believe in Jesus.