INTERVIEW: “Other Guys” Ferrell and Wahlberg on blending comedy with action

By Sean O’Connell We’re finally able to spill the beans on our exclusive coverage of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s cop comedy “The Other Guys” which opens in theaters this Friday.

Last month, we were able to attend a press conference with the “Guys,” as well as director Adam McKay and co-stars Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton. We’ll bring you exclusive content from our interviews all week long, leading up to a full review of “The Other Guys” on opening day.

One of the first questions directed at McKay asked how he balanced the requisite cop-drama elements with the script’s intended comedy.

“You know there are certain beats that you have to hit,” McKay told the gathered journalists. “(Steve Coogan) has to be taken from them in the car, because that’s what’s happening to them in the scene. And then you know also know when there are scenes where you can just go off. If it’s Mark saying a monologue or Will chewing out Mark, you know you’ve got room there. We sort of identify the areas where you can get sort of fuzzy and crazy, like when Michael (Keaton) was talking to the Bed, Bath and Beyond employees. We improvised about a half-hour worth of material out of just that, where it just went on and on.”

“This, probably, is the most plot-driven movie we’ve done,” Ferrell added.

When asked if he contributed knowledge of action-movie mechanics, thanks to his extensive experience shooting pictures like “Max Payne,” “Shooter,” “The Departed” or “The Italian Job,” Wahlberg admitted, “I obviously had a lot of fun making this movie. I certainly felt very comfortable when it came to anything cop-ish or action (related). But with all of the other (comedic) stuff, I just basically wanted to follow their lead.”

“It was funny, we’d be shooting a big, giant action scene, and Will and I would be like, ‘Wow, look at this. We’re breaking a window!’” said McKay. “And Mark would come over, almost yawning, and be like, ‘Yeah, we did this one time except I was being shot out of a cannon and I was on fire.’ And we’d be like, ‘You know what, Mark, let us have our fun. Please.’”

We’ll have more coverage of “The Other Guys” as the week progresses, including additional quotes from Ferrell, Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton.

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