Deauville: Will Ferrell Career Honor Centers on Comedy, But He Hopes for More Dramatic Roles
He thanked the crowd for honoring the funny stuff but called it "an uphill battle" to get dramatic roles in Hollywood
Will Ferrell was nominated for a Tony for his play You're Welcome America, and Tuesday night he was thanking France for his career honor at the Deauville Film Festival.
"I want to thank the film festival not only for honoring me, but for honoring comedy, which doesn't happen all that often. I don't think comedy gets the credit it deserves for being the art form that it is," he told the audience, which was delighted after he wandered through many aisles to get to the stage, where he did a long routine in simple French.
After being praised by Oscar-winner Claude Lelouch, Ferrell asked the crowd for directions to the train station and Eiffel Tower, declared that he likes both red and white wine and signaled for the check s'il vous plait. He then led the audience in a rousing sing-along of French children's songs.
Though he told a press conference earlier in the day that his Spanish-language character in Casa de Mi Padre is one of his favorite roles, he said he has no plans to film in French.
However, he might don his fashion frocks again soon for Ben Stiller's planned follow-up to 2001's Zoolander. "We are actually supposed to do a read-through of a sequel script soon, and Mugatu is a part of it."
Despite being honored for his comedy — which Lelouch compared to French favorite Jerry Lewis — the Tony-nominee noted his turn as a straight-laced actuary in Stranger Than Fiction as one of the works he is most proud of.
"The work I've done with dramatic films has been very satisfying, and it is a very exciting departure when I get to do that kind of stuff. I do look to do more of that; however, Hollywood still puts me in the category of comedy only. It's still an uphill battle for me to try to get those parts — despite my incredible good looks," he joked.
When asked if he could produce his own dramatic films under his Gary Sanchez banner, he downplayed the idea. "We could develop dramatic projects through Adam McKay's and my production company, and there are a couple of pans in the fire so to speak, but it is just a slower road to get financing."
As for television, after guest-starring stints on comedies such as The Office and 30 Rock, he would consider doing an ensemble show: "I think television is now in this amazing era for comedy, with all the different cable networks really pushing the envelope, and I have thought it would be interesting to commit to a series. I don't know if I would want to commit to the standard 22 episodes a year, but maybe something smaller where you do a BBC model where you commit to six or eight shows. If there is something that fits character-wise, that would be something interesting for me because I haven't done it yet."
Though he appreciates the immediacy of being able to track popular and viral videos from Funny or Die, Ferrell himself shies away from social media. He says it's pretty clear he's not associated with the popular Not Will Ferrell Twitter account that has amassed 1.76 million followers, adding: "I don't have time for Twitter. I've got better things to do."