In the new comedy “The Campaign,” Will Ferrell stars as Cam Brady, a career politician forced to run against naive newcomer Marty Huggins, played by Zach Galifianakis. I had a chance to sit down with the comedic candidates in Dallas where we discussed political influences, bearded judges, and what junk foods appeal to white males.
We’re there any real politicians you drew on for Cam Brady and Marty Huggins?
Will Ferrell: Well I kind of stole Cam’s hair from John Edwards–
I was going to mention that, because it looks very Edwardian.
WF: Yeah, yes. I loved how perfect his hair was at all times and I wanted that to be kind of a signature thing about Cam. In general I’m kind of that, as we’ve seen from a lot of politicians, someone who’s philandering and doesn’t really care about the day to day part of governing as they do the endgame of what I aspire to be only, which is Vice-President.
I detect a little Rick Perry in there, too.
WF: (Laughs) Could be. Could be. We were watching the debates the whole time while we were filming this.
A lot of gaffes.
WF: We saw the historic–
It made me a proud Texan.
WF: Trying to think of the three things he would cut from the Cabinet.
Zach Galifianakis: That was really good.
WF: That was fantastic.
What about Marty?
ZG: No, I didn’t really draw from anyone in particular. He didn’t have to be a politician because he was plucked out of obscurity. So he was just Marty. But I’ve done this character before for many years, basically for my father, and I kind of kept it under wraps and then I started doing him on stage and stuff. He was a character called The Effeminate Racist and then he just kind of evolved into this character.
Is not having the beard important to The Effeminate Racist?
ZG: Yeah, yeah, because when I first started doing it I didn’t have a beard. I was just a kid.
You don’t really see the beard on politicians much these days.
ZG: No, they don’t–
WF: Yeah, you don’t, really. Yeah.
ZG: Well, uh…he wasn’t really a politician but he had the…Bork.
ZG: Not Bork. He was the judge guy. What was his name?
WF: Judge Bork?
ZG: Bork? Was that his name?
WF: Oh. You know, C. Everett Koop.
ZG: Koop was the guy I was thinking of!
WF: The Surgeon General.
Well he just had the beard. No mustache, right? He had sort of the Amish, Abe Lincoln–
WF: Abe Lincoln. Yeah.
ZG: Yeah. But who was Bork? Was that his name?
I think that’s an alien, isn’t it?
WF: He was being considered for the Supreme Court.
ZG: That’s not his name though.
ZG: Anyway, sorry.
You’re known for your–
WF: Björk? Maybe?
ZG: Yes, Björk, the Icelandic–
She gets confused with judges all the time.
Will, you’re known for your portrayal of George W. Bush. Was it nice to jump the aisle a play a horndog Democrat this time?
WF: Yeah, yeah. It was nice to do that and to try to hopefully make a distinction between the two, even though I’ve done Bush for so long that it was hard. Sometimes I’d do some takes and I’m like, “God, that sounded just like George Bush. I gotta try to swing it back to more North Carolina.”
Say I’m a potential voter. How do you appeal to me as a white male in my 30s?
ZG: You’re white?
Some would say, yeah. That’s what I fill out on the college applications.
ZG: Hmm. Okay.
WF: I would appeal to you in terms of–as a candidate?
WF: Yeah, um…I would offer you a world rich in frozen pizza.
I can take that.
WF: And sugary soft drinks.
You’re right in my wheelhouse there.
ZG: You’re basing that off the demographic of his–
WF: White male in his 30s.
And probably the way I look. Let’s be fair.
ZG: Man, that’s–God, you’re really good at that.
WF: Yeah. I am. That’s how observant I am.