'Daddy's Home' Star Mark Wahlberg on Will Ferrell: 'He's a Nasty, Nasty Man'

Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg Daddy's Home movie

Five years after their hilarious pairing as mismatched cops in The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have teamed up once again!

Daddy’s Home centers on a good natured radio executive striving to provide the best environment for his stepchildren. His life is turned upside down when their freeloading real father (Mark Wahlberg) arrives. The two are soon swept up in an outrageously funny competition to earn the adoration of their children.

During a recent press conference for the flick, the cast discussed taking on the comedy and how it stands out from other family films.

Q: Did you guys have to flip a coin to figure out who was gonna play which role?  

WILL FERRELL: We arm wrestled.  And-- I beat Mark, like, nine outta ten times. And even though Mark looks so physically fit, he's super weak.  And I think you have Epstein-Barr, right?  You're super tired, too.  Yeah.  So he would-- I'd literally-- he'd fall asleep while I arm wrestle him.  And I thought, "Oh, that's perfect for Brad."  

Q: Linda, considering that these guys have worked together and they already had a rhythm, how was it fitting in with these two?

LINDA CARDELLINI: It was great for me.  I mean, who wouldn't wanna be in the middle of th-- these two?  And I was a fan from watching them together in The Other Guys.   And just the-- you know, the idea of being in the middle of that chemistry and getting to be the object of affection in the middle of that is-- it's just sort of a no-brainer.  And they're great, you know?  Everything you want them to be and more.

Q:  Hannibal, how did you get involved? 

HANNIBAL BURESS: I got involved initially 'cause I think Craig Robinson wasn't available.  You always gotta have a backup plan. And I was-- ready and-- and waitin'.  And so they-- they hit me up.  And I was-- I was excited to do it.  It was-- it was very fun.  

WillFerrell Daddys Home

Q: Will and Mark, how was this different from making The Other Guys?

WILL: Well, you know, It was a nice change of pace because it was-- it was fun to kind of approach this-- while albeit, you know, hopefully being just as funny, It was nice to kinda get back into kind of a family movie.  Something that- explored, you know, this idea of the blended family, which is becoming more and more common, rather than uncommon.  And the fact that we could be funny but also have a nice message with it, too.  So this was a nice segue for us to kinda have-- a second film together.

MARK WAHLBERG: Yeah, we just kinda picked up right where we left off, you know?  It was great.  Having not done comedy before working with Will, he always made me feel very comfortable and creates a very safe environment so you can risk looking ridiculous and know that you'll still be protected.  And-- always encouraging me to try things and open up.  And I think he regrets that now.  

WILL: He does.

MARK: Yeah.  He hasn't been able to stop me. But it's great.  Yeah,  we kinda picked up right where we left off.

Q: Mark, can you talk about how you analyzed the character?

MARK: When I originally read it, I was like,  "Okay, I could just play this guy like a prick."  You know, take the obvious choice.  But then Sean was like, "Well, we want him to be much more interesting than that."  And you want Dusty to also be likeable. There is a great arc there. With Will, you know, there is that tendency to want to mess with him.  That's, like, the-- the go-to card, right?  But no, we wanted to make him more interesting and more well rounded. They both really complement one another.  They really learn a lot from each other.  And then they're finally able to become mature enough to put their own differences aside and do the right thing for the children.  

Q: The film is filled with a lotta funny one-liners.  And I'm wondering about sticking to the script versus improv.  

WILL: Let's see.  I think Monday, Wednesday, Friday 37% improv.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on what we had for lunch ranged anywhere from 70 to 80% improv.However, if it rained, then we'd just go script. That's kinda the-- the portion.  No. I mean, it kinda goes through so many steps. It starts with a read through where we're able to get as much of the cast as we could just to hear it out loud. And then you sit down.  You rehearse the scenes.  And between the scripted scene and then ideas we had on the day, we always had a slew of alt lines that we throw out.  And so between all of those steps you kind of have a bunch of different choices in the edit room to where you can dial a scene up or down. If you want something to play a little more straight, a little more emotional, then you can go to those lines. Or if we're like, "Oh, it feels like this is just a little too stiff here.  We could use a laugh here," we can add-- a joke.  And so you can kind of calibrate scenes that way as long as you go through that process and have all those options.

Q: Both of you are pretty raunchy guys. I was wondering how you deal as fathers in real life with your children and, "Do as I say and not as I do."  

MARK: I try to lead by example with my children. My job does-- at times entail me doing some things that would be deemed inappropriate for children.  That's just part of my job. But I am-- a devout Catholic, committed husband and father.  Will is the raunchy fucker. He's a nasty, nasty man.

WILL: Yeah, I have a beautiful, multi-million-dollar home in the Hollywood Hills, but I live in a trailer next to it.  'Cause I'm so raunchy. In fact, in the hotel here, I refuse to use the bathroom. I just urinate in a bucket.  

Q: How do you deal with clichés to make comedy?  

WILL: This is kinda why when Brian came to pitch this story to us, it really resonated with us.  Because I think it's for the first time you get to tell the story of the step dad. And he's not evil.  We have the evil stepparent. This is a step parent who's really in earnest trying to do the best job he can and comes up against the feelings of insecurity when the real dad shows up in the picture and kind of reverses all the good work he's done.

Q: Could you say that this is also about forgiveness and redemption?

WILL: I think for sure.  Yeah. Also trying to make the best out of a uncomfortable situation for the benefit of the family and the kids.  And working together.  We spend a good part of the movie acting so childish. And then we finally decide to be adults and do the right thing.  That's a big message part of the movie.  

MARK: I've been-- very fortunate to be forgiven many, many times. So I figured Will was best to answer that question.  I've already had my share over and over.

WILL: Hannibal's character is constantly the voice of reason in the movie.  


Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in DADDY'S HOME

Q; When did you know Mark could be a funny guy? Most people don't really associate Mark with being funny.  And Mark, how did you practice your dance moves for the finale?  I mean, we hadn't seen you dance in a long time.

MARK: You've been waiting', huh? Wow.  And it was worth the wait, huh?  Yep.

WILL: Yeah.  Adam McKay and I had been fans of Mark's dramatic work for a very long time.  And we noticed in some of the movies, he was also just very funny being so incredibly earnest and committed to his characters.  And-- and we just toyed around.

You know, Adam came up with the premise of The Other Guys. We toyed around with the idea of, "Gosh, could that be applied to a commercial comedy?  Would Mark even be interested in that?"  We've had some success in some of the other films we've done where we've plucked more dramatic actors, and thrown them in kind of comedic circumstances, and it's worked great.  And we just sat down with Mark and-- and pitched him the idea.  And luckily for us, he was-- he was on board right from the beginning.

MARK: As far as the dancing stuff, I was absolutely dreading it.  And Sean-- continued to ask me-- "You workin' on your moves?"  Like, "Yeah, I'm workin' on my moves."  And I wasn't.  Then I said, "I might need a choreographer," And he'd come to the trailer and, like, "Hey, let's work on your moves." I'm like, "Man, get the fuck-- will you leave me alone? I'm not working on the moves."  And I waited basically until the last second.  And-- you know, it’s 7:00 in the morning. There is, you  know, a crew of a couple hundred people and then a couple hundred extras and they're like, "Alright.  Bust a move." I'm like, "Oh God."  But thankfully, Will jumped right in there. And he made everybody else feel comfortable.  But-- my least favorite thing to do next to singing.  And, of course, I had to do both in the movie.  But-- but people seem to love those moments. 


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'Daddy's Home' Poster and Trailer


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