Adam McKay details ‘terrifying’ near accident with Will Ferrell

Accidents do happen.

Adam McKay got candid about a “near accident” involving his (now ex-) friend Will Ferrell on the set of their 2013 comedy film, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

The “Don’t Look Up” director, 53, explained to the Hollywood Reporter in a profile about his career and was asked about his thoughts on “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ untimely death in October. Hutchins was accidentally fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on set of the film using a prop gun.

McKay said the tragedy was his “greatest single fear as a producer and a director,” and then went into his own story of a “really scary” accident on set of “Anchorman 2.”

“It was a scene where Ron Burgundy [played by Farrell] was going to hang himself. It was a silly joke,” the “Vice” filmmaker said. “For a half a second, the rig didn’t operate properly and there was actual tension on the rope, but then it gave way and Will was OK. Thank God no one was hurt. We were sick about it for two days. We said, ‘All right, let’s stop. Let’s have a meeting.’”

He then described a separate incident on the set of the first “Anchorman” flick that used a live bear in a scene. McKay explained, “The bear did a hint of a bluff charge for a second. From that moment on, I said, ‘I will never put a live animal in a shot with an actor ever again.’ So every time I do it, it’s a composite shot because it’s not worth it.”

The pair collaborated together for 13 years on several projects including “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and the comedy video site “Funny or Die.”
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McKay also recently revealed that he and Ferrell, 54, parted ways in 2019 in a Vanity Fair interview. The two were longtime collaborators who created the comedy site Funny or Die and founded the company Gary Sanchez Productions. 

“The two of us will always work together creatively and always be friends. And we recognize we are lucky as hell to end this venture as such,” they said in a statement at the time.

Telling VF last month, McKay revealed, “I’ve learned some lessons. It’s always hard feelings.”

The pair discussed just before their separation that they both wanted to dissolve their production company. When McKay decided to recast the role of LA Lakers’ former team owner Jerry Buss for an HBO series, that’s when Ferrell got a little miffed. The “Step Brothers” screenwriter decided to cast John C. Reilly, Ferrell’s frequent co-star in the part.

Adam McKay and Will Ferrell
Ferrell and McKay dissolved their partnership in 2019.
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“The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic. And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, ‘We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.’ It was a bit of a hard discussion,” McKay told the outlet.

McKay added that he hasn’t spoken with the “Holmes & Watson” actor since the phone call when they decided to split.

“I said, ‘Well, I mean, we’re splitting up the company,’ and he basically was like, ‘Yeah we are,’ and basically was like, ‘Have a good life.’ And I’m like, ‘F – – k, Ferrell’s never going to talk to me again.’ So it ended not well,” McKay said.


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