Farrelly Brothers Talk 'Dumb and Dumber To,' Jennifer Lawrence's Missing Scene, Jim Carrey's Big Payday
Bobby and Peter Farrelly tell the funny stories behind their $1.3 billion comedies
Did Jennifer Lawrence secretly film a cameo in Dumb and Dumber To, which she then asked to be cut from the movie? Writer-directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly categorically shot down those reports Nov. 5, speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television, despite sources insisting Lawrence did indeed shoot a scene that she later chose to have removed, per her contractual rights.
"There was a rumor about that, because when we were shooting Dumb and Dumber To they were also shooting The Hunger Games down in Atlanta," said Bobby Farrelly. "She was a big Dumb and Dumber fan, so one night we all went out to dinner. And by the way, she’s a very good kisser. I saw her making out with her boyfriend. She knows what she’s doing. She really does."
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The Farrelly Bros. addressed some of the difficulties of getting a sequel to their 1994 comedy classic Dumb and Dumber off the ground, five years after one of its stars, Jim Carrey, suggested that they should join forces on the movie. (The Farrellys did not make the 2003 "prequel," Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd). "We had no interest in making a Dumb and Dumber story without Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels," said Bobby Farrelly. "We probably would have done this a number of times over the last 20 years just because we love the first one, we love working with those guys, we have such respect for those two actors and we love the characters, but it was just a matter of getting everyone in line at the right time. And finally, after 20 years, it just seemed to have taken place. It was actually about five years ago, right? Jim called [Peter]." Added Peter Farrelly, "Jim was in a hotel and he watched [Dumb and Dumber], it was on TV, and he flipped the tube on, watched it straight through and he thought we got to do another one. And it was the only ne that we ever thought would be a good sequel. We didn’t want to do a sequel to any of our other movies but this one."
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The brothers also recalled how Carrey would have been paid some $350,000 for the original Dumb and Dumber, if a deal had been locked in quickly; however, because the out-of-nowhere hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective opened after negotiations began, he was able to keep raising the ceiling.
The Farrellys were guests in the second season of The Hollywood Masters, the interview series moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's executive features editor Stephen Galloway. The series of 90-minute interviews, to be televised later, also will feature Hilary Swank (Nov. 12). Other guests this season have included Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Mann, James L. Brooks, Hans Zimmer, and Charles Roven.
A full transcript follows:
GALLOWAY: Hi, everyone, I’m Stephen Galloway and welcome to the Hollywood Masters filmed on the campus of Loyola Marymount University. I’m really thrilled to have our guests today because there are very few film makers who’ve really mastered the art of comedy and stamped their personalities on it as much as any director’s done in any film. They’ve made films that have become comedy classics, Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself and Irene, Hall Pass and they’ll soon be coming to theaters with Dumb and Dumber To, T-O, and at the end of this interview we’re going to show a pretty long clip from that film that nobody’s seen. Well, they’ve seen it, but nobody else. I’m really delighted to welcome Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly. [APPLAUSE]
GALLOWAY: So you grew up in Rhode Island, not quite the comedy capital of the world -- or was it?
BOBBY FARRELLY: It’s not recognized as the comedy capital of the world, but it probably should be just because of how many funny people live there. And we get a lot of the material for our movies from the people that we grew up with.
PETER FARRELLY: And I did go to the same high school as Seth McFarland so it’s not that bad. But he’s 15 years younger than me.
GALLOWAY: When you were growing up what was the comedy that influenced you?
PETER FARRELLY: Probably television more than anything. We didn’t have a movie theater in our town growing up, except for about two years in high school. So we went to one movie or two a year, you know, we’d go into Providence for the big movies, but mostly it was just TV. And the one, you know, The Three Stooges and Andy Griffith Show was a big, big influence. That was something we really loved. We liked the style. We always laughed at it, but we also liked the heartfelt parts of it.
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GALLOWAY: And what else? Did you both have the same taste in comedy?
PETER FARRELLY: We did, yeah. I remember there was a movie that we’d see on the late movie and any time it came on it was like beep, beep. Cat Ballou’s on.
PETER FARRELLY: We loved that one. Yeah. Because it had all the elements of what we like in that it was a story, I don’t know how familiar you are with it, but it was as story that was based in reality, you know, it was a western, but I mean there was a lot of like non-comedy parts to it, but then it was very comedic in other parts and then it actually had some music in there, too, and we borrowed the traveling minstrels.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, that we did in There’s Something About Mary where Jonathan Richman would sing the song and sort of update you on what’s happening in the story. We took that from…
PETER FARRELLY: Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye in Cat Ballou, which was the old Greek chorus, you know. But we really enjoyed the way they did it and we thought we’d call it back in There’s Something About Mary.
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GALLOWAY: Are you historians of comedy? Do you look back at the Greeks or whatever or is looking back basically the 1970’s?
PETER FARRELLY: We don’t go far back actually at all. And, in fact, most of my film education started after we started making movies in some ways. Like people would say, “Did you like Citizen Kane?” and I never saw it. So right, never saw Citizen Kane so I went and saw that and tons of movies like that. We really did not see a lot of movies growing up. We were more street kind of kids in the sense that we got most of our comedy from our friends and the people around us.
GALLOWAY: Did not knowing help? I think Woody Allen said that when he started ignorance helped.
PETER FARRELLY: Absolutely, in a lot of ways. I’ll tell you this, one of the things I’m grateful for is I was an accounting major in college.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Geology major.
PETER FARRELLY: And the reason I was is because we didn’t have any goals in life until we were in our mid 20’s and then all of a sudden we had to figure something out because we weren’t doing well. But when I started college I had no clue what I wanted to do and I remember my advisor said, “So what’s your major going to be?” “I don’t know.” He said, “Well, you have pretty good math scores. How about accounting?” I said, “Okay.” Accounting, four years. But I always think, you know, so when I did start writing in my mid 20’s I wrote by myself for a couple years and I wrote a lot. I wrote like three, 400 pages and then I applied to grad school for creative writing, but I always think, well what if when I’d started writing, like maybe I’d done it in college, I might have gotten my ass kicked so much that I would have just, I’m no good. It really was a blessing to wait and sort of, you know, you could get it knocked out of you and it never was with us.
GALLOWAY: You wrote three or 400 pages of what?
PETER FARRELLY: I was working on a book, which turned into my book, Outside Providence. When I started writing I just picked up a pen and wrote long hand and went and went and went. I wrote three, four, maybe 500 pages and of that probably 180 or 200 of them lasted, ended up in the book, but yeah, I just dove in pretty head first.
GALLOWAY: Were you rebels as kids? I think your father was a doctor and he sent both of you away to boarding school. Different boarding schools. You went to Andover.
BOBBY FARRELLY Right.
GALLOWAY: You went to Kent.
PETER FARRELLY: Yes.
GALLOWAY: Is that because you were troubled?
PETER FARRELLY: Troubled?
GALLOWAY: Or did that come later?
PETER FARRELLY: We were not kids that didn’t find a little bit of trouble, that’s for sure, but no, it wasn’t really because of that, because we weren’t allowed to get in too much trouble. My dad was pretty strict. We lived in a small town and he had a family doctor practice there and so he kind of knew everyone in town and everyone knew him. So we weren’t allowed to goof off too much because there’d be none of that.
BOBBY FARRELLY: But it was the grades problem.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We were [never] do wells. I mean our grades were very below average. Average to below average.
PETER FARRELLY: Our father made a big mistake when we were kids, I don’t know why he did this, but I remember when I started high school, my father, he was straight A’s all through high school, all through college, never got a B until he was accepted to medical school, he slacked off, got a B plus. And freshman year, I remember getting my first grades, he said, “Well, let’s compare, Pete”, and he took out—he kept his report card. Looney. He said, “I got all A’s here, what do you got? You have a B, a C, a B, a B minus.” And finally, okay, you can’t win that one. So the battle was over and then we just said the heck with it, might as well get C’s and D’s. And that’s kind of how it went?
GALLOWAY: Was he funny?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yes, very funny.
PETER FARRELLY: He had a dark sense of humor. Very dark.
GALLOWAY: Does he find your films funny?
PETER FARRELLY: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. He’d been very happy.
GALLOWAY: That was the poorest thing.
PETER FARRELLY: He’s no longer with us.
BOBBY FARRELLY: He just passed away this year, yes.
PETER FARRELLY: Funny now? You happy? No, he was hysterical, but he did have a very dark sense of humor. He was rough. He was always like, he swore, I remember at like six years old, and this was actually a good lesson, I told my wife this and she was, “Aww, poor thing”, but you know, it was really good. He was so harsh that you knew where you stood with him. And I remember when I was about six or seven I wanted a horse really bad, but we lived out in the suburbs, and every day I was like, “Dad, can I get a horse?” “No, you can’t get a horse.” And I said, “What if I take out the trash every day?” “You can’t get a horse.” I said, “What if I get straight A’s in school.” “You cannot get a horse.” I said, “What if I did this, what if I did that?” And finally, he said, “Peter, look at me. You’re not getting a f---in’ horse. You are never getting a f---ng horse. We live in a community where there are no barns. Forget the f---ing horse.” And I remembered that moment, right then I thought, “Okay, what if I get a go-cart?” And I knew I wasn’t getting a horse, I never, ever thought of a horse again in my entire life, honestly. And I told my wife that and she said, “Oh that’s so, you poor thing.” I said, “No, it was the best thing he could have done for me. I got over it.”
BOBBY FARRELLY: You’d still be asking him for the horse.
PETER FARRELLY: I would.
PETER FARRELLY: They called [him] Dr. Dirty Mouth, by the way.
GALLOWAY: Oh they did?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah. Yeah, he could swear.
GALLOWAY: So you both went to college, both in Rhode Island.
BOBBY FARRELLY: No.
PETER FARRELLY: No. He went in Rhode Island, I went in Upstate New York.
GALLOWAY: Okay. And majored in what?
BOBBY FARRELLY: I majored in geology.
GALLOWAY: Wow, really?
PETER FARRELLY: I was an accounting major.
GALLOWAY: Yes. I got that. And then you came out and you went your various ways. You got a job as a shipping salesman.
PETER FARRELLY: Right.
GALLOWAY: Were you selling ships or what?
PETER FARRELLY: No, I was working for, you know, basically, I got out of college, didn’t have a job and somehow got a job, and this is good advice for you, by the way, when you get out in the real world, it took me about six months to get a job because I had terrible grades and every time you’d do an interview they’d say, “Well, why should we hire you?” And you know, I couldn’t get hired. And then one day I was desperate and I walked in, it was a sales job and there were two guys there and I said, “Look guys, before you ask me any questions, what’s my experience, none. I just got out of college. Do I know what I’m doing in your kind of thing? No, not really. But I’ll tell you this, nobody wants this job more than me and if you don’t hire me you’re making a big mistake.” And then one of the guys looked at the other guy and said, “I’ll hire him.”
GALLOWAY: Well. [LAUGHS] That’s true, if you hire people, enthusiasm carries you so far.
PETER FARRELLY: Well, that’s what you do in sales, you ask for the business. And I put them on the spot and they were like, “Okay.” So I got a job in sales and I was in the European export division, which was a terrible sale for this company. I’m going to try to sum this up really quickly. But all the other ships went, I was going to Polaroid and to Ocean Spray and stuff like that, I was trying to get them to use our ships when shipping to Europe, but all the other ships went from Boston where I was straight over to Europe, ours went from Europe to Boston, then down the coast, all the way down the sea coast, like ten stops…
BOBBY FARRELLY: Eastern Seaboard.
PETER FARRELLY: …to Miami and then over to Europe. So it took us a month longer to get there. We were more expensive, our ships were more likely to break down, everything about it was a bad sale. So they put all the young guys in the European export division and just gave us big expense accounts and basically we were supposed to get them drunk and then ask for one percent of their business. So it was a rough sale, to say the least. And finally, I just…
BOBBY FARRELLY: One percent doesn’t sound like you were asking for too much though.
GALLOWAY: Right. Were you a good salesman?
PETER FARRELLY: No.
GALLOWAY: Why not?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, he was a good salesman.
GALLOWAY: He was?
PETER FARRELLY: Not really. I am now.
GALLOWAY: What makes you a good salesman?
PETER FARRELLY: Well, if I believe in what I’m selling then there’s no stopping me, but I didn’t believe in that. And also, when you get drunk with guys, I’d take them out and I’d say, “Hey, more champagne. Here’s a drink, a martini,” you start to like them. You’re hanging out, you become pals.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Well, they gave you like tickets to the Celtics games and Red Sox and things like that.
PETER FARRELLY: Oh yeah, Red Sox.
GALLOWAY: Does this apply in Hollywood? Can you take these guys out, get them drunk and then say, “Yeah, sign here,” and suddenly Jim Carrey’s doing your next film?
PETER FARRELLY: I’ve never met a studio exec who even drinks.
GALLOWAY: Oh wow.
PETER FARRELLY: They don’t. I think that’s the old days.
GALLOWAY: They’re all doing cocaine.
PETER FARRELLY: That’s the ‘70s and ‘80s, yeah.
GALLOWAY: So you were a salesman, you’re a year and a half older than Bobby, I think.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah.
GALLOWAY: I don’t know if it’s rude for me to mention that.
PETER FARRELLY: No, okay.
GALLOWAY: Good. So you move, in the mid ‘80s you move to LA.
PETER FARRELLY: First of all, when I quit my job I started writing, I applied to U. Mass Amherst, I submitted 35 pages I’d written, luckily got in. While at U Mass I was in the writing department, I was working on a book, and we all were, and I remember the first week asking my teacher, I said, “So how many of the guys that graduated last year got their books published?” He said, “Last years?” I said, “Yeah.” He goes, “None.” I was like, “None?” He says, “No, we had a guy like seven years ago got a book published.” I was like, “You’re kidding?” I was under the impression you went there, you got your books published. He goes, “It’s really hard to get a book published.” So I immediately transferred to Columbia. I swear. I looked at it and I thought, okay, I got to get out of here and the best programs were Iowa and Columbia, so I reapplied, to Columbia, got in there luckily. And by the way, there were 20 kids in my class, 15 had their books published within five years of graduation.
PETER FARRELLY: It was impressive. But in any case…
GALLOWAY: Are any of them well known writers now?
PETER FARRELLY: Well, Rick Moody who did The Ice Storm was in my class and Tama Janowitz who did Slaves of New York and she was around for a long time. There were a few.
GALLOWAY: Was there a prejudice against comedy writers?
PETER FARRELLY: You mean in grad school?
PETER FARRELLY: A little. I mean I never thought of it that way, but the people weren’t writing a lot of comedy. That was probably looked down upon. People were writing like shorts, you know, New Yorker type short stories and the way we used to describe it is a New Yorker story was, you know, writing about watching a fly walk across a table and somehow understanding. It was shit.
GALLOWAY: But isn’t that Metamorphosis by Kafka?
PETER FARRELLY: That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t know Kafka. But no, it was a very severe style of writing that most of the people were doing and mine was all over the place and more, you know, it was more of a story than others.
GALLOWAY: So but you didn’t stay in Columbia, you dropped out.
PETER FARRELLY: No, I finished there, but while there I wrote a screenplay and sold it, my buddy and I, Bennett Yellin, wrote a screenplay and we sold it to Eddie Murphy Productions, they flew us out and Columbia, I couldn’t believe, I was at Columbia a year and a half and I had six months to go and I told them, “I have an opportunity, they’re buying this script, they want me to go.” They said, “We’ll graduate you, just go.” It was amazing. It really was.
GALLOWAY: How did you get the script to Eddie Murphy?
PETER FARRELLY: Okay. I feel like I’m hogging the conversation.
BOBBY FARRELLY: That’s all right. It’s a good story.
PETER FARRELLY: Don’t worry, his time will come.
PETER FARRELLY: It was a great story actually. You want to get a Coke or something? And what happened was, we had written this script and I was on a date with this girl and it was the only date I ever had with her, I’ve never seen her since this night, but we were out and I told her I had written a screenplay, she’s, “Oh my, God, you got to give it to me.” Eddie Murphy just moved in next to her parents in Alpine, New Jersey and she was needing an excuse to meet him so she said, “Give me your script, I’ll run over and give it to him because I want to meet him.” I said, “Great.” So I gave it to her that night and I remember the next day she called me, she said, “I gave it to him.” I said, “Really?” She said, “Yeah, I saw him come out, I ran over and handed it to him.” I said, “Awesome. That’s fantastic.” But I figured he’s going to go in the house and just dump it. And then about two to three weeks later I’m sitting in my little dumpy apartment in New York and I’m watching Letterman and Eddie Murphy’s on and Letterman’s, “So what’s this script that your neighbor gave you that you want to do?” And I’m sitting there and sure enough it’s my script. It was called Dust to Dust. “Yeah, my neighbor gave me this script, Dust to Dust, I want to make.” I was sitting there by myself, I hadn’t even had the brains to write my phone number on the script and her family had gone to Europe on a vacation so he didn’t know how to reach her and long story short, I called Eddie Murphy Productions the next day, figured it out and they said, “Yeah, yeah, we’re looking for you.” They flew us out and never left.
GALLOWAY: So here you are, you’re now in LA.
PETER FARRELLY: It sounds like you made that up. I know. [LAUGHS] Well, I mean I was there, that’s true. I made up the Letterman part.
GALLOWAY: So Bobby Farrelly, on the like zero to ten scale, how accurate is that story?
BOBBY FARRELLY: It’s 100 percent accurate.
GALLOWAY: Is it?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Out of ten? Eight. [LAUGHS]
PETER FARRELLY: And that woman, she doesn’t know this happened, by the way. I’ve never spoken to her.
GALLOWAY: When she sees this on TV she’ll ask. So you were working for some financial services company.
BOBBY FARRELLY: I got out of school with a geology degree and there were no geology jobs in Rhode Island to speak of. And so I hooked down with a local company that was selling life insurance, you know, picking up the phone and cold calling people to see if they wanted to buy life insurance. And I did that for about a year or two and I wasn’t very good at it and I didn’t enjoy it. And so during that time, a buddy of mine and I, we went down to the beach one day, skipped out of work and we were down there and we were watching the people and they kind of got up and repositioned their towel as the sun was moving across the sky and thought, how come they never made a big round towel that you could just kind of move on instead of? We thought, that’s it. That’s it! Eureka! You know. We’re going to get rich. And so we, the two of us quit our job and we moved to California.
GALLOWAY: I wanted to ask this, how many of you would buy a round towel? Please raise your hands. Oh wow, quite a lot.
BOBBY FARRELLY: See.
GALLOWAY: Hey! What went wrong?
BOBBY FARRELLY: We weren’t very good businessmen. We didn’t know how to [LAUGHS].
GALLOWAY: If you’d come here you would have sold 20 towels right there.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, I know. I know. It was just we didn’t have the money to run a big, you know, business like that and we weren’t very I guess, you know, making a big round towel there’s a lot of waste involved and so.
PETER FARRELLY: Cut around the edges.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah. And so they were expensive because it took more towel to make that towel. And so there was a little too high a price point and we came out, we worked it hard for about two years, two or three years out here, but eventually it sort of just fizzled away and we realized basically that people didn’t mind getting up and moving their towel when the sun moved across the sky.
PETER FARRELLY: And by the way, they tried to get the patent for the round beach towel and I remember the quote the judge said, he said, “So let me get this straight, you’re trying to patent the circle?” [LAUGHS] He said, “So if I give you this do you own Frisbee, do you own Earth, do you own every plate ever made?” Well, other than that little technicality.
GALLOWAY: So you’re out here, you’re starting to write with Bennett.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah.
GALLOWAY: You’re getting hired to do Dragnet, Dragnet II, and Bobby, you become like their script editor, but at some point that changes and you start writing, too. How do you write together? Do you sit in a room together and do dialogue? Do you email each other? What’s the writing process?
PETER FARRELLY: No, we do it in the same room.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We’d get together. Yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: The way it started was when I first got out here, excuse me, I would always write, when I wrote a script I would send it to Bobby because I knew he was funny and he’d read it and he’d say this is good, this stinks, cut this, change that and he’d really give it a good pass. And he did that for a couple scripts and then finally we felt like he’s doing this for nothing because he’s my brother, so I said, “Why don’t you write one with us?” And he came in and that was our best script, that was Dragnet II. It never got made, but it got a lot of talk around town. People were buzzing about it. But Tom Hanks didn’t want to do another Dragnet so it just fell apart. But from that point forth, that was, you know, late ‘80s, he was in and we’ve been writing together ever since. We do it in the room together. Somebody’s at the keyboard, the other guy is walking back and forth. Usually, we have a third guy with us, mix it up. It’s like a band. It’s just like writing a song.
GALLOWAY: But do you talk structure or do you just say well here’s a character [interest me?], what’s the genesis of an idea?
PETER FARRELLY: We don’t think of gags first. People say we need to sit around and think what’s a big gag. No, we don’t. We really focus on the characters and we try to create characters that are so likeable that we can hang our gags on. And once we’ve done that, and we go way out of our way to do that, we make them likeable. Once you’ve done that then the joke’s come relatively easy if you love the characters. You can get away with murder if you love the characters. And if you don’t, it’s a lot harder.
GALLOWAY: So what makes a character loveable? I mean some of the characters, you know, Jack Black in Shallow Hal in the beginning, he’s pretty obnoxious in his views of women, but yet we like him. Isn’t that just the casting or is it something in the script?
PETER FARRELLY: No, I think that we took measures in the script to make sure that you understood where he was coming from and why he was flawed. All of our characters are flawed, but when you understand why and basically that they’re coming from a good place it makes all the difference in the world. Jack, in the story of Shallow Hal, his dad had passed away in front of him when he was a little kid and he was all jacked up on the wrong meds and gave him terrible advice is what happened. And that’s why he became very shallow as a result of that. So I mean that was the chances of that.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, but we go like, you know, in Something About Mary, you know, Ben Stiller sticks up for the intellectually challenged kid. Before he knows it’s Mary’s brother, he steps up and fights the bully or gets beat up by the bully. And then even later on, like has Matt Dillon track her down and Matt Dillon falls in love with her and he reports back and says she’s been married five times, she’s an elephant, she’s got a bunch of kids, she’s on welfare and Ben thinks about it and says, “Yeah, well give me the number.” He says, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “Well, I still feel something. I can’t turn it off.” Well, that’s why he deserves her because he’s not in love with Cameron Diaz at that point, I mean he’s really in love with this person. And once you do that, when you let people earn that kind of thing, the gags are easy. And if you don’t do that you’re in trouble.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, in the original Dumb and Dumber there’s a moment early on when Jim Carrey, Lloyd, and Harry are in their apartment and Lloyd’s trying to get Harry to go to Aspen with him and, you know, Harry would say, “No, no, no, I don’t want to go, I want to stay here and save up for the worm farm,” and all that kind of stuff. And then Lloyd gets to the window and it kind of gets real serious for a moment, it’s not a gag moment, and he talks about how he doesn’t have anything in life and he needs to try something, he doesn’t want to be a no one his whole life, he needs a good adventure. And it’s one of those moments where the studio came to us and said, “What are you guys doing? Why would you put that in this goofy comedy? Is doesn’t make any sense. You got to cut it out immediately.” And we thought, well, you know, in the next scene these guys are selling a dead bird to a blind kid in a wheelchair. It’s like if you don’t like them at that point we’re in big trouble. And so it just took a moment there to show that they’re vulnerable and that they’re innocent. And it made all the difference because after that, when they do their crazy antics, it’s like the audience goes with them. But if you take out that stuff, those little pieces that make them human and particularly vulnerable and innocent it’s a big mistake. It would be for us.
GALLOWAY: How much do you discuss structure and how much of this is sort of more free form scenes?
PETER FARRELLY: We write in a way where we really focus on the first act. Like who are they, what’s their problem, what’s the situation they’re getting into, what are they setting out for? And we really stick with that for weeks and weeks, getting that right. And then once we write, once we’ve done that, we don’t plan ahead. You know, a lot of people put up the index cards. We don’t do that. We do that for the first act. But then we get in the position where we just let it go and let things unfold because we don’t want to lock ourselves into something that we planned. Like well we got to get to here so we have an idea, we can’t go there or we won’t get here. No, we’ll always got there. We’ll let it go any direction we want. And it’s like, this is a great example, in Something About Mary, we got on page 50 of Something About Mary writing it, we rewrote that from a script by Ed Decker and John Strauss.
GALLOWAY: We’ll come to that. Yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. And when we got to page 50 we were stumped. We were like it’s so clear what’s going to happen. She’s going to end up with Ted. How could you go on? Everybody knows what’s happening here. And I remember having about a week where we didn’t know what to do. And then I saw the movie, Bottle Rocket, and I don’t know if you’ve seen that, its’Wes Anderson’s first movie with Owen Wilson and everyone. And that movie starts off where they have like a five year plan where they’re going to break into mom and pop shops and then steal this, steal banks, save up all this money. And on the first night, they stop at a motel, one of the guys’ falls in love with the chamber maid and they just go in that direction. Now it’s about a love affair with this chamber maid. And it was an eye opener. I called him, I said, “You got to see this.” I said, “The point is she doesn’t have to end up with Ted. Why are we writing it that she has to end up with Ted?” So from that point forward, we wrote it trying to be fair to all the characters and they’re like let her end up with the one it should be. And it wasn’t until after Brett Favre had gotten to her when it was clear he was the one and that was how we were writing it that we thought, hey let’s give her to Ted. And we went back and that’s the way we do it.
GALLOWAY: Interesting. Before I get to the first film, you had an interesting roommate at that time. Did he contribute to your work? Who was that?
PETER FARRELLY: You mean Woody?
GALLOWAY: Woody Harrelson.
PETER FARRELLY: Woody Harrelson was my roommate when I moved out here and…
GALLOWAY: Did you guys know that or not?
PETER FARRELLY: A little fun fact.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Woody had no success out here when you first started rooming together actually.
PETER FARRELLY: No, he was actually doing a movie called Wildcats where he played a quarterback on a football team that was being coached by Goldie Hawn and we had a mutual friend and we all started hanging out then. And a lot of people don’t know this, but Woody loved pot. [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: Nobody knows that.
PETER FARRELLY: No, and I remember when I met Woody I thought, poor guy, he’ll never work. He’s I mean a quarterback on a football team, I see that, but what else? And then all of a sudden he got Cheers and, you know, just took off.
GALLOWAY: Did he talk to you about your scripts?
PETER FARRELLY: No, not really. He was busy doing Cheers and doing his thing and, you know, he read a few, you know, we’d show him scripts, but he wasn’t really into it at the time.
BOBBY FARRELLY: No, Woody sees himself as an actor, as a performer, and we see ourselves on the other side of the cameras, writers.
GALLOWAY: So you start working as writers, and here’s the bad news for everybody here, it took you nine years to get your first film off the ground.
PETER FARRELLY: Right.
GALLOWAY: And I want to talk about what led to that. Let’s take a look at a clip from Dumb and Dumber. This is an easy scene. You’ll all recognize it.
[MOVIE CLIP] [APPLAUSE]
PETER FARRELLY: It makes more sense if you see the whole movie. [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: I promise you, every single person has probably seen it multiple times.
PETER FARRELLY: Okay. [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: Is there anybody who’s not seen Dumb and Dumber? Okay, I’m wrong. Well, you got a treat.
PETER FARRELLY: They probably won’t now.
GALLOWAY: Right. Did you have like a soundtrack going during that or was the sound added purely based on his performance?
BOBBY FARRELLY: We just added it later.
PETER FARRELLY: It was added later, yeah.
BOBBY FARRELLY: There’s specialists who do that and they brought it with the sound. By the way, that was the first day our parents were ever on set. Swear to God. And I remember it had been nine years, we hadn’t gotten a movie made, finally we are and they flew out and that’s the first thing that we’re shooting and they were kind of holding on to each other like this isn’t good.
GALLOWAY: So this script went way back to Dust to Dust, one of your first screenplays, and then it became Go West and then it had a different title.
BOBBY FARRELLY: A Power Tool is Not a Toy. [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: What changed in that period in the script?
PETER FARRELLY: We changed the titles because we couldn’t get agents to deliver a script called Dumb and Dumber to their clients because they thought this guy might fire me.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We actually had them like I’m not giving them a script called Dumb and Dumber to my client. I’m not doing it.
PETER FARRELLY: Dumb and Dumber didn’t have any meaning in the world at that point.
BOBBY FARRELLY: It didn’t sound good.
PETER FARRELLY: No, it didn’t sound good at all. And then we named it A Power Tool is Not a Toy, which sounded hip, and they started reading it. It actually worked. And then we went back to Dumb and Dumber.
GALLOWAY: A lot of people turned this down. How many actors?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Hundreds.
PETER FARRELLY: A hundred, 150. Everyone. Everybody that was anyone. But as you find out over the years, because occasionally we’ll bump into somebody who will say like, “Hey, how come you never offered me a role?” “I offered you Dumb and Dumber.” And but they never got them. You know, you thought you were being turned down by all the actors, but it’s really the agents just saying, “No, he can’t do it, he’s unavailable.” It’s rare that they actually give it to them. So hard to tell how many actually passed, but we were told 100.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, we were trying to cast it for at least a year or two.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. Four years. We wrote it four years before it got made.
GALLOWAY: But I think your agent, Richard Lovett, gave you a very good piece of advice that tipped your careers.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. Yeah, he had a great note, which was we had been sending it out to actors saying, look we’re trying to get this movie made, you know, why don’t you look at it, and he said, “Stop telling people you’re trying to get the movie made. Tell them you’re making the movie.” I said, “Well, what does that mean?” He goes, “You’re making the movie.” I said, “But I’m not making the movie.” He says, “How much money you have?” I said, “Seven grand.” He says, “Then you’re making it for seven grand. Just tell them you’re making the movie because people don’t want to miss a train that’s going. If it’s going they think, ah, okay, I better take a look just in case this turns into a big hit. As opposed to trying to get it made, we need you, they’re like if you need me to get it made it’s not happening.” And that did change it. People started looking at it because they thought, well it’s going to get made, we better look into it a little.
GALLOWAY: And how did Jim Carrey come on board?
PETER FARRELLY: One of our producers, you know, just got him the script, sent it to him. We didn’t know much about Jim at the time. He was the guy in In Living Color and he was funny. We knew of him, but he didn’t have any movies out yet and so he certainly wasn’t the well-known superstar comedian that he is now. But he read the script and totally responded to it in a way that we hoped somebody would one day. And so when we met with him he was like, he got it exactly like we got it, and so we thought this guy would be perfect for it.
GALLOWAY: But then you almost lost him. There’s a whole issue with how much he was paid. How much did you offer him and how much did he want?
PETER FARRELLY: Well, you know, the numbers themselves are a little foggy, but Steve Stabler, who’s here somewhere, is one of the producers who got this movie made and the way they did it was, this is what happened, as I recall it went something like this, they offered him $350,000 to do the movie and he passed. He wanted like 400,000. And they held off. And then Ace Ventura came out, which was his first movie and it was number one. So the studio said…
BOBBY FARRELLY: It was a surprise number one, too. I think nobody knew that he was going to be as funny as he was in that.
PETER FARRELLY: So then, you know, they said, “Okay, we’ll give you the 400.” He said, “No, I want 500.” And then they said, “No, you’re not getting 500.” And another week passed, Ace was number one again. And they said, “We’ll give you five.” “No, I want 750.” Long story short, it got up to seven million and that’s what he got paid. The whole budget was 16 million and Jim got seven, which was the most ever for any comedic actor.
BOBBY FARRELLY: So your 7,000 went to 16 million. [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: And you could have had him for 350 at the beginning.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, the studio, you know, we don’t care. We always want the actors to get as much as they can. We’re rooting for them to get it.
GALLOWAY: They didn’t want Jeff Daniels for the part.
BOBBY FARRELLY: They did not. Jeff Daniels was not the obvious choice because he hadn’t done any, you know, out and out comedies before that. He was always comedic in his roles. But we were huge fans of his and Pete in particular loved him in…
PETER FARRELLY: Something Wild.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah. Saw him in Something Wild and I thought…
GALLOWAY: I love that film. Have you seen it?
BOBBY FARRELLY: It’s a great movie.
GALLOWAY: It’s such a wonderful film.
BOBBY FARRELLY: That movie kind of inspired me in more ways than just him. The music in that movie is some of the best music ever in a movie. And I like the look, I like everything about that movie. But yeah, we fought for him, and then when Jim read with him, they read together, Jim realized that he was pushing, Jeff was pushing him in places that no other actors were pushing him. Jeff’s real. He plays things straight and he reacts to whatever you’re doing. He has no plan. Jeff gets up there and he does not know what he’s going to do until he sees what you’re doing and then he plays off that. He’s a genius at doing that. And Jim understood. He was elevating him so he fought for him. And then the studio didn’t want him, they said, “Please, anyone but him. Get a comedic actor.” So they offered him, if I recall, 50 grand, which was, you know, Jim’s getting seven mil, they offered him 50 figuring he’ll say, “No, I’m not taking that”, but he took it. Yeah.
GALLOWAY: Hopefully got a bit more for the sequels. When you’re directing comedy, you don’t have an audience, how do you know it’s funny?
PETER FARRELLY: I mean we know it’s funny because we’re laughing, you know. That’s the first litmus test for us is we do what we think is funny. We don’t know for sure if it’s going to work in the movie until later on we’ll show it to, you know, we’ll test it in front of an audience, but the first people we have to please is ourselves so we do what we think’s going to be funny.
GALLOWAY: Do you do multiple takes or not?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Sometimes, you know. We’re not like crazy amount of takes, but generally three, four, five. Although, you remember it a little more than that.
PETER FARRELLY: Well, you know, we do as many as we feel like we need. The trick when you’re out making a movie, particularly your first movie, it’s Dumb and Dumber, is that you have to make the day. You have to shoot that day what you planned on shooting that day. And so you can’t just get it one scene and start doing, you know, 30, 40 takes because it’s like you’ll never accomplish what you’re supposed to accomplish that afternoon. So that was one of the things that we learned early on is once we felt like we had it, and it’s great having your brother then, too, because you feel good, yeah, I feel good, you feel good, yeah, good. We move on. And that’s just always been a pretty good policy for us. We always want the actor or actress to make sure that they don’t feel like they’re leaving something on the table. So we ask them, you know, we’ll tell them we’re ready to move on, how do they feel. If they want to do a couple more we’ll do it, otherwise, we just keep moving.
GALLOWAY: Do you rehearse with them?
PETER FARRELLY: Very little. We have in the past, once or twice we rehearsed and what we found is you sit around a table or you do rehearsals and people kind of nail it and then when you get on the set and you’re doing it again they’re trying something different, you’re like what are you doing? What about what you did in the room? They tire of what they did in the room. People want to try it differently all the time. So we realize let them find it on the day. You know, we’ll do a read through just to make sure the words are coming off the tongue right and if it’s clunky we can do a quick rewrite.
GALLOWAY: Do you ever recall saying, okay, this is kind of how broad I want you to go or not or do you just play, okay, let me see what you have?
PETER FARRELLY: We let them certainly do like a take or two of their own to see where they’re starting and, of course, we’ll direct them from there, we’ll say tone it down a little, more energy, that sort of thing. But we’ll, you know, we’ll kind of let them see where they start.
GALLOWAY: I mean, for instance, Jim Carrey in Me, Myself and Irene, when he is the Hank character, he speaks in a kind of Clint Eastwood voice, did you discuss with him, okay, how are you going to play this, beforehand?
PETER FARRELLY: That one we did because it was a role where he had to play two characters. And so it was, you know, we definitely were curious to see what choices he would make. But you know I think he was eager to show us, hey, I’d like to go this way with that guy and this, you know, this way with the other guy. And we liked what he did. And generally, when you’re working with actors, you’ve read them, most of them, unless it’s the lead and then you’re picking them based on their talent and ability. So you kind of have to trust them to a certain extent. You don’t push them in a direction, you just find what they’re doing and then work with that.
GALLOWAY: With Dumb and Dumber, did the studio try to limit how scatological it was?
PETER FARRELLY: No, not really, but they never did get it. They didn’t understand the movie. I mean we were clearly pushing the envelope. That was unprecedented that somebody sat on a toilet and we stuck with it because up to that point in human history, whenever somebody got on a toilet in a movie the door would shut and that’s that. And that was the fun of it, more so then than now, because people are like, what are they doing? No. What? You know, they were coming out of their seats shocked.
BOBBY FARRELLY: That scene actually went further. Remember at one point.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, he was trying to dump the toilet water out the window. Yeah. He had to get rid of the evidence.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We did trim it a little.
GALLOWAY: Because you wanted to or the studio wanted you to?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Because we did.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, that was our decision, yeah. But yeah, we were pushing it, but they didn’t get it and I remember at the premiere, Bob Shay, who was the head of the studio, gave a toast or a speech up front and he said, “By the way, this isn’t why I got into the movie business.” I swear, he pointed at the screen, he goes, “I went to Columbia University, I just want everybody to know that.” And it was supposed to be a joke. It was supposed to be a joke, but nobody laughed. Particularly, not our father. Yeah, our father who’s now dead. He was like, “I’m going to get this mother fucker.” He goes, “No, this fucking mother,” I said, “Calm down.” I said, “He’s the only guy that let us make a movie. Would you just appreciate that?” He was so angry at that.
GALLOWAY: But I don’t think they liked the end of the movie, did they?
PETER FARRELLY: The studio?
PETER FARRELLY: There was a debate over the end with us.
GALLOWAY: My people, not his.
PETER FARRELLY: We had an original ending that was like unsatisfying to the movie. It was the very original ending that we had shot.
GALLOWAY: Which was what?
PETER FARRELLY: The guys, it was a completely different ending than anyone’s ever saw where Harry and Lloyd are, you know, they are offered a job to stay at the hotel and the guy who, the concierge at the hotel took a liking to them and he offers them a job and he says, “You guys can stay here for free and, you know, providing you don’t mind working say a couple of hours a week every now and again.” And they’re like, “Eh, we’ll try out luck down the road, pal.” You know, that was the general idea. And it was amusing, but it wasn’t good enough. The ending was not good enough. So we thought long and hard about a way to have a more powerful ending and we came up with the idea about the Swedish bikini team that comes along and they need oil boys and, of course, the two guys, Harry and Lloyd, they’re a little too dumb to get on the bus.
PETER FARRELLY: Anyway, the studio, when we went out to shoot it, the studio said, “We think that the guys should get on the bus. I think that everybody in the audience is going to want that sort of happy ending.” And our feeling was that, well, they’re Dumb and Dumber, you know. They’re not dumb, dumber and then they get smart at the end. They’re Dumb and Dumber and that’s who they are. They’re too dumb to get on the bus. And we felt like we were going to be comfortable with that ending. And the studio wanted, they said, “How about we do this? How about you shoot it both ways?” And we kind of suspected that if we did shoot it both ways that the studio would make us use the other one and we really didn’t want to use that ending, like the traditional happy Hollywood ending where they go driving off and everyone’s happy. And so we did not ever shoot that. We went out there and we told Jim Carrey, too, we said, “Jim, well they’re also asking us to have a scene where you guys get on the bus.” And he basically said, “I am not stepping foot on that bus. I won’t do it.” And we’re like, “Okay, well we agree.” So we never did shoot it the other one, we went back and told the studio we ran out of daylight and we couldn’t do it.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Oh I think we said Jim wouldn’t do it. [LAUGHS] He absolutely refused.
GALLOWAY: That movie really put you on the map. And then you went from that to Kingpin, you went from that to There’s Something About Mary. I think David Geffen, huge mogul, had said to you, “You can do anything you want for us,” and then did [it quietly?].
PETER FARRELLY: Well, that was after Kingpin. Kingpin didn’t open well. It didn’t do very well when it came out. But then it became big on video. But when it opened he called me sometime later and said that he had seen the movie, he said, “If I had walked in and pitched Kingpin,” which if you haven’t seen it it’s a bowling movie, he said, “If I’d pitched Kingpin he would have absolutely passed.” He said, “He never would have done it.” Yet he loved it. He said, “So whatever you want to do next, it doesn’t matter, we’re going it.” I said, “Awesome.” So the next movie was Something About Mary and once we got going on that we called him and told him about it and he passed. [LAUGHS] That’s Hollywood in a nutshell.
GALLOWAY: So how did that come to you? Because as you know, I was in a UCLA extension class in the ‘80s with a writer named Ed Decter, a very nice guy, and Ed was telling me about this story about these two friends who were talking about the girl that got away and one sort of says, “Well, why don’t you hire this detective?” And I said, “Oh that sounds pretty good.” He said, “It’s been in development here, it’s been in development there.” Nobody’s making it. And suddenly, I hear the Farrelly Brothers are doing it. How did it come your way and what did you change from the original script?
PETER FARRELLY: Well, we knew of that script for ten years because we were good friends with Ed and John, Decter and Strauss.
GALLOWAY: His partner, his writing partner.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. And we had known, and we love what you love, which was it was guy who hires a private eye to find his old high school girlfriend and the private eye falls in love with the girl and they start sabotaging each other trying to get her. And we had been talking about it a long time. So after Kingpin we thought, what ever happened to that script? So we called Ed and the script could have been driven into development hell, it was just now unrecognizable from what they started with, and what we did is is we took it and we thought the biggest problem was that the whole movie as written by them, they were looking for Mary, this woman he was in love with, but we didn’t know who she was. We never seen her before. So it’s hard to get excited about something that you don’t even know who she is. So we wrote the first act of who she is, the high school situation, and then cut to the opening that they had, which was…
GALLOWAY: So you essentially added a whole act to the movie.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. Yeah.
GALLOWAY: Let’s take a quick look at a clip from the film and then we’ll talk about it in a bit of detail. This is There’s Something About Mary. This is quite a long clip, but it’s a scene I really love. By the way, this dog, as you probably know, is like a litmus test who dislikes people. So Matt Dillon, a detective, is on the alert for him.
[MOVIE CLIP] [APPLAUSE]
GALLOWAY: I think that scene is so brilliant, you know. And so much I love. I like, for instance, there’s no pretense that it’s a real dog, you know, it is a stuffed dog.
BOBBY FARRELLY: You could tell? [LAUGHS]
GALLOWAY: What was the origin of that scene and what changed as you developed it?
PETER FARRELLY: I’ll tell you one thing about that scene that I remember is that when we were shooting it it was one of those scenes that was done like with a lot of different angles and it wasn’t definitely not one of those days where we were just, you know, howling and laughing, right, because…
BOBBY FARRELLY: No, it was a lot of work.
PETER FARRELLY: It was all like sort of came together in post-production when we edited it and laid the music in and that sort of thing. And we cut it a number of times where we’d show it to people and it didn’t have any humor in it at all. It was always like we had to keep tweaking it and tweaking it and tweaking it.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, it was too long for a while.
PETER FARRELLY: Then all of a sudden, it popped.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah.
GALLOWAY: So was that scene in the original script or did you add it?
PETER FARRELLY: You know, I actually do remember where that came from. Now we do a thing where when we’re about to shoot a movie we always do a round table and we’ll get together with like five of our favorite comedy friends and give them the script and say, you know, let’s go through it, and some of the guys are writers for Family Guy, and we’ll just go through it for a few nights just looking for more jokes. And there was a guy named John Trozak who, he came up with that thing, and he deserves credit.
GALLOWAY: And he said what?
PETER FARRELLY: He said, “What if he had to do CPR on the dog?” And then we backed it up and from that then we decided to—we had something different and then that made us think, okay, how does that work? Why do you have to do CPR on the dog? What if the dog died or, you know? And then you back it up and you find, we do that a lot where we’ll back things and looking, you find something that could be funny, but you have to set it up so you go back and, you know.
GALLOWAY: The music worked so well in the scene. Did you try different music?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: We tried a lot of different music. Yeah, and that was part of many of the things that weren’t working with it. But eventually, that music, it’s so fun that it took the curse off the fact that he has a dead dog in his arm and he’s lighting him on fire and all. And also, the fact that you could tell in spots that it was obviously like not a real dog allowed people to laugh at it rather than worry.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, but it’s funny, sometimes like the snowball scene in Dumb and Dumber where he hits her in the face, that was another one that when we were filming that there’s nothing funny about it. He’s throwing a snowball past her head and then you’re saying, okay, put snow in your face and you’re doing all this stuff and the crew’s standing there, “What are you doing?” It was like, “It’s a joke. We’re going to cut it together later.” “Well, why would he do this, you know?” You think you know what you’re doing, but it’s not funny as you’re doing it. And it wasn’t until we put the sound effect in for that movie and we tried many sound effects for the snowball and they weren’t getting laughs and then we found one that killed people. Just a specific sound effect.
PETER FARRELLY: It was Hank Aaron hitting a home run. Baseball.
BOBBY FARRELLY: I think it was his 750…
PETER FARRELLY: Fifteenth.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Seven hundred fifteenth homerun. Yeah.
GALLOWAY: Do you preview the films a lot? Do you test them with audiences?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Lots of previews.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, because they laugh or they don’t laugh. It’s a comedy. So we like to see them three, four times. It’s painful. It’s painful to preview. In some ways, I wish you didn’t have to, but it’s worth it because you’ll know that’s funny or that’s not funny. And if it’s not funny, you can try to recut it to make it funny or you can just give up on it after a while.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, and you learn a whole lot about the length of the movie and where it’s playing real well or where it’s not. Sometimes you just kind of feel like, mmm, a little uncomfortable in spots and it’s a part of the movie that you probably want to speed up or, you know, you just you learn a lot by watching the audience.
PETER FARRELLY: We’re just confusing things. Like people will say, “Whatever happened to that briefcase? It was there in the beginning and then it was there at the end?” We’re like, “Well, no, it was there,” and they didn’t see it so then you shoot a close up of a briefcase and now they understand. It helps at a lot of levels.
GALLOWAY: How supportive was Twentieth Century Fox of There’s Something About Mary? I think they didn’t want, it seems hard to believe now, they didn’t want Matt Dillon to play the detective.
PETER FARRELLY: You always have to fight for your, you know, the cast that we see. A lot of times, it’s not the obvious choice and Matt, I think, was like that, too, and it fell into that school that, well Matt’s not a comedian, and we just thought, you know, he’s a great actor and we’re not relying on him to write it, we’re just relying on him to bring life to what we’ve written and we believed he could do that. And by the way, a little fun fact, the three finalists for the Ben Stiller role was Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, who had just done Bottle Rocket, and Jon Stewart.
GALLOWAY: How did you choose between the three of them?
PETER FARRELLY: It was close. I don’t know. You know, Ben was pretty good in it. So we got the right guy.
GALLOWAY: Did they audition for you?
PETER FARRELLY: Oh yeah, they all auditioned.
PETER FARRELLY: And I always think, thank God, Jon Stewart didn’t get it because his whole career might have gone a different direction. I like what he’s doing.
GALLOWAY: And what about Cameron Diaz? Because I though the studio had not wanted her?
PETER FARRELLY: No, I don’t think there was any resistance on Cameron because she…
BOBBY FARRELLY: They didn’t pay her, I know that.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, they never do. No, she had come out and we had seen her in The Mask where she sort of made a name for herself and she was just great. I mean she was our first choice in that and we met with her and we just loved everything about her. We just wanted to make sure she was willing to do all the things that made [her famous].
GALLOWAY: How much, and this was pretty raunchy, it’s like all of your films, politically incorrect as you can get I think, how much fighting did you do with the studio? How much did they want you to change?
PETER FARRELLY: There was a lot they wanted us to change when we wrote the script. They thought the hair gel’s impossible to do in a—that’ll be an X rated movie. And we said, “No, no, no, no, because the definition by the MPAA’s rules said if it’s for titillation it’s X and if it’s for humor it’s R.” And they said, “Yeah, but you’ll never get this through.” And we said, “Well, let us try, you know.” And we actually, when we shot it, we shot around it in case we couldn’t get it approved or in case it wasn’t funny, which was a possibility. It could have grossed out half the audience and like, ah, you know. So we had an out. We planned an out. But once, I remember they fought and fought and fought and we had a great meeting once with all the execs at Fox and Bill Mechanic was the chairman of Fox at the time and I remember they were asking, “Cut this, cut that, cut this, cut that,” and finally, I said, “Bill how many movies you guys making this year?” I think he said 22. I said, “Well, how about this year you make 21 and let us make one?” Just cut us loose. And I remember he looked and he goes, “All right. Okay. All right.” You know, it wasn’t an expensive movie, it was a 23 million dollar movie, and he just said the hell with it and let them go. And they never bugged us again.
GALLOWAY: Was there any scene that was cut out that you wish had gone in?
BOBBY FARRELLY: I can’t think of any.
PETER FARRELLY: No. We fight hard if we think it should be in. In fact, one of the things that sucks is that when you buy a DVD with the extended thing, well that’s just, you know, they’re trying to give you more so people will go buy more DVD’s and so they’re asking us to put stuff that we did cut, and we do it, and then unfortunately occasionally you see that played on TV and you’re like, ah, you know. We didn’t want it in originally. There was a reason.
GALLOWAY: So you’ve reteamed with some of these actors in a lot of films, Jim Carrey, Me, Myself and Irene, Dumb and Dumber To, Ben Stiller, Heartbreak Kid. Carrey, I think, was going to do Stuck on You with Woody Allen.
PETER FARRELLY: We were going in a different direction with that one.
GALLOWAY: What happened? Why not? Why didn’t they do it?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Money.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, they didn’t want to pay Woody Allen, right?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, Woody Allen’s people asked for ten million dollars because at the time everybody was getting paid a lot of money and Woody’s movies are small and he was thinking this could be a good payday and I was hoping they would pay him, but in any case, it turned out great for us.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, the idea though in Stuck on You they were conjoined twins and you say how can Jim Carrey and Woody Allen be conjoined? Well, it’s because they were sharing one liver and Jim had it so Woody was aging a lot faster. And so it kind of brought everything to a head. That’s the direction we were going and we thought it would have been funny. We got two great actors, Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, for that and so we don’t like to look back and say, “Oh if only we did this, if only we did that.”
GALLOWAY: Did you meet with Woody Allen?
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We went to his office in New York.
GALLOWAY: What was that conversation like?
PETER FARRELLY: I remember he said, “I do that, I want to be in your movie, but one request, no toilets, please.” [LAUGHS] I swear to God, that was exactly what he said.
GALLOWAY: Is this because of the Dumb and Dumber? Did he actually watch Dumb and Dumber?
PETER FARRELLY: He just knew us. And that was the only request he had.
GALLOWAY: That in itself is kind of flattering, isn’t it?
PETER FARRELLY: Nice to meet him.
GALLOWAY: So of those films do you have a particular favorite? I know you’re fond of Stuck on You.
PETER FARRELLY: It’s a corny answer to say, “Oh we like them all”, but you do, you spend so much time with each one and you do give a piece of yourself to them and so sometimes you root a little bit more for the ones that didn’t have their heyday with box office hits or something like that. And the first one that didn’t do very well at the box office was Kingpin and we love that movie. So that’s one. The highest degree of difficulty of any movie we ever made was Three Stooges. And it turned out, I mean it wasn’t a huge hit, but it turned out as well as I could have imagined. Those three actors were so good that I’m very proud of that movie. Because it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy.
GALLOWAY: Well let’s take a look at Three Stooges and then we’ll talk about it.
PETER FARRELLY: All right.
GALLOWAY: And thank you for the very nice segue.
[MOVIE CLIP] [APPLAUSE]
GALLOWAY: I think I heard that you’ve been developing this script since the late ‘90s and the film came out in 2012.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah.
GALLOWAY: Why did it take so long?
BOBBY FARRELLY: It’s hard to get movies made. [LAUGHS] It really is. It’s always hard. I don’t know, you know, it’s just that they don’t make that many movies and they’re all a risky thing and the Three Stooges, they were wondering if enough people were…
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, those are iconic comic comedy characters, two of the three stooges. But we wanted to reintroduce them to a new generation of kids. And just now, it’s like two years later, we’re starting to hear a lot that like, “Oh my kids love the Three Stooges.” So we made it for kids that didn’t know the original stooges because we grew up laughing at them, but we just thought it was just so physical and funny that we’re hoping to redo them.
BOBBY FARRELLY: That’s the best casting, I’m telling you, we’ve ever done in our life. Those three guys are unbelievably good. My fear was always that two would be really good and one would be okay and it would just kind of stick out and they’re great.
GALLOWAY: But this was meant to be done with Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro and Jim Carrey.
PETER FARRELLY: Jim Carrey. Uh-huh.
GALLOWAY: What happened?
PETER FARRELLY: Again, money. A lot of times, like the studio, those three guys got together, they wanted to do it and it’s just the studio says, “Wait a second, that’s going to be a 70 million dollar movie if you have to pay all those guys,” and we did this for like 35 million or something like that. It’s all about the money a lot of times. Not always, but in this case it was.
GALLOWAY: What was the hardest part about making this work? You’re taking on some kind of comedy icons, you’re having to reproduce what they do and yet make it your own.
PETER FARRELLY: What was hard for us as film makers, we don’t typically do a lot of stunts in our movies and the Three Stooges we wanted to do it, we didn’t want to do it with CGI, computer effects and all that, we wanted, if they did a stunt we wanted them to actually do that stunt. And so we sort of had to shoot it in a different way than we typically do. But I was very happy that we did do it that way.
BOBBY FARRELLY: It was old fashioned. Because now with CGI it’s so easy just to fake everything, but I can’t stand that. I don’t like watching it. It just feels fake. And so we were doing things where, you know, it was like when that guy got hit by that bus we were yanking the guy with this big rubber band, like he flew like 150 feet through the air. It’s true. Not the actor, we had a stunt guy. And you can easily do that with CGI, but to me it doesn’t look at good and so.
GALLOWAY: What about the timing of that sequence, because that’s a pretty long scene, did that change a lot in the editing?
PETER FARRELLY: It always changes at the editing room for sure. I think that’s the longest scene in the movie actually. That is a long scene. And you came in a little late.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: Before that, in case you were wondering where the arrow came from…
GALLOWAY: Yeah, I was going to tell…
PETER FARRELLY: It was a bow and arrow on the side of the road for sale outside a sporting goods store and Larry had picked it up and he shot it straight up into the sky, he’s like, “Wow”, he said, “These things are dangerous.” And so in the wrong hands these things are dangerous. And he puts the thing down and then five minutes later.
GALLOWAY: Like five or six minutes later the arrow lands, you know. You know at some point it’s going to land.
PETER FARRELLY: Well, it was one of those like really like crazy bow and arrow type…
BOBBY FARRELLY: Crossbow, yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: …crossbow that could go miles.
GALLOWAY: Why do you think this didn’t catch on more? Is it because people don’t know who the Three Stooges are?
PETER FARRELLY: It didn’t come out, you know, who knows why is the real answer.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah.
PETER FARRELLY: Maybe it’s not as good as we thought it was. But it didn’t come out at the best time. It came out in April after the kids were back in school. It wasn’t during Spring Break. And it actually did open kind of well. It did like 17 and a half million opening weekend, which is great for a 30 million dollar movie, but then the kids, on Monday it fell off where it made like 900 grand. They were all back in school. I think if it had come out two weeks earlier when the kids were on Spring Break it would have been a different story, but who knows.
GALLOWAY: Comedy does less well in the foreign markets that are becoming very important in film. Are you finding that that’s making it harder to get films off the ground? Or the budget’s becoming more limited because of it?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Definitely the movies that they’re making nowadays I think anybody can tell by going to the multiplex are these big giant action movies that they can sell in Russia and China and they’re not dependent on the dialogue and all that. And the thing about comedy is it is, you know, so much of it is about what people are saying and all that. Fortunately for us is we do physical comedy. So when we do the Three Stooges or Dumb and Dumber, they do travel pretty well. But I think a lot of the modern Hollywood comedies, the ones about the guy, you know, getting married and that kind of stuff, they may not travel so well. It may not work in a different country. But again, we’ve been pretty lucky.
GALLOWAY: Do you find that each of you has different strengths when you’re directing? Like one of you’s better with dialogue, one of you’s better with actors, one with the physical comedy? And how do you divide up the directing side of it?
PETER FARRELLY: Our strengths are pretty similar. I mean we have the same tastes and the only thing that would be different is mostly I talk to the actors on the set because he’s looking at the monitor, but then I go to him. We don’t want to both approach the actors because it confuses them. They’re, “Who do I listen to?” So generally, you know, I go to him and say, “What happened there? What did you see?” And I think I saw it and then he tells me. Ninety percent of the time it’s what I thought I saw and then I will go approach the actors. But other than that, we do everything, everything’s the same.
GALLOWAY: So you both talk to the cameramen, you’re both working with the editor?
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah.
GALLOWAY: What happens if you disagree?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Well, you know, when you’re filming and you disagree you just, “Well, let’s try it this way, we’ll try it that way.” And a lot of times one way will kind of become obvious as a better way than the other. But it’s just a matter of just trying it. Where it becomes a little bit more prickly is maybe in the editing room just because…
PETER FARRELLY: Or in the writing room.
BOBBY FARRELLY: In the writing room. But just a little bit. But you know what, we both have the exact same goal in mind and that is to entertain people so.
GALLOWAY: Why in the writing room?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Well, there’s only one way to go in the writing room. When you’re shooting the movie, if he wants to go one way, I want to go the other, you just, “Yeah, okay, have them go that way and I’ll go this way.” And then we look at the editing room later and see which one was better for the thing. But it’s all about the script. The script is the most important thing, more than anything else, and we work particularly hard on the script. And in fact, we view ourselves as writers first, directors second. And but that’s where we battle it out because everything’s decided in that writing room.
GALLOWAY: What made you decide to return to Dumb and Dumber with Dumb and Dumber To? You missed the previous sequel that was done and now you’ve decided there’s still something you wanted to explore there. When did you start thinking about that and why?
BOBBY FARRELLY: The previous one was a prequel and didn’t have Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in it. And so we had no interest in making a Dumb and Dumber story without Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. So we had absolutely nothing to do with that. We probably would have done this a number of times over the last 20 years just because we love the first one, we love working with those guys, we have such respect for those two actors and we love the characters, but it was just a matter of getting everyone in line at the right time. And finally, after 20 years, it just seemed to have taken place. It was actually about five years ago, right? Jim called him.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, Jim was in a hotel and he watched, it was on TV, and he flipped the tube on, watched it straight through and he thought we got to do another one. And it was the only one that we ever thought would be a good sequel. We didn’t want to do a sequel to any of our other movies but this one.
GALLOWAY: Including Something About Mary?
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, Something About Mary had an ending, it just felt like a money grab doing a sequel to that. Like it would have been, you know, you’d get paid more and people might have gone, but it wasn’t a natural sequel. This is. This was we left them exactly where we had found them in the beginning of the first one, they had not grown, they had no girlfriends, no jobs, they were going back to the same place. Just seemed very logical to pick up from there.
GALLOWAY: So you had no script in place when Jim called you and said let’s do this?
PETER FARRELLY: No. No. I couldn’t write a script not knowing it’s going to get made that movie. Because it’s too much work. And once he did say he wanted to do it then we really, you know, there’s a high bar with Dumb and Dumber, it’s elevated. You know, when that movie came out it got shitty reviews by the way. Some good, but mostly not. And but over the years it’s kind of risen in stature and we just didn’t want to disappoint people and have something that’s just like half assed. So we took about a year, a year and a half to work on that script to get it right and you couldn’t do that if you weren’t sure it was going to get made.
BOBBY FARRELLY: But also, the story that we told in the second one has to do with that it’s been 20 years. So we couldn’t have written that five years ago or ten years ago because it wouldn’t have made sense.
GALLOWAY: What ideas or premises did you think of and reject?
PETER FARRELLY: You know, being in the writing room, everybody writes by notes, it’s kind of blurry once you get passed them, but I remember one, there was going to be talk about somebody suggested maybe Jim’s sister was missing and they have to go find her, but then there was never a reference to Jim’s sister in the first one.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, it didn’t feel organic. We did want to get them probably back out on the road just because they had a road trip the first time and it just feels like the road is good for Harry and Lloyd. It opens up things and things can happen. So I think we did probably have that in our mind is that we wanted to get them back out travelling. That’s why what are they looking for? Are they looking for his sister? Like well we never mentioned his sister, you know. So it didn’t make sense. But like Pete says…
GALLOWAY: So now they go looking for a daughter is the premise?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, but it was from a woman that was brought up in the first one, Freda Felcher, who we know they’ve both been with, so right away you’re like, okay, what’s going on there? And yeah, we tried to tie in Billy from 4C and all the people that were…
GALLOWAY: Did you approach Jeff Daniels before you wrote it and said, “Look, are you on board with this if we write?”
BOBBY FARRELLY: Oh sure, yeah, we wanted to know that Jeff was in, too. But with Jeff, he does such serious acting in so many of the jobs that he takes is that I think he was always eager to play the Harry Dunn again just because it’s such a departure for him and he has fun with it.
GALLOWAY: And wasn’t Jennifer Lawrence meant to be in a scene of this film?
BOBBY FARRELLY: There was a rumor about that because when we were shooting Dumb and Dumber To they were also shooting The Hunger Games down in Atlanta and she was a big Dumb and Dumber fan so one night we all went out to dinner and then that just a rumor.
GALLOWAY: Oh so she didn’t shoot a scene that was then cut?
BOBBY FARRELLY: No. And by the way, she’s a very good kisser.
GALLOWAY: Yes? [LAUGHS] Tell us more about the kiss.
BOBBY FARRELLY: I saw her making out with her boyfriend. She knows what she’s doing. [LAUGHS] She really does.
GALLOWAY: But she wasn’t in a scene that was cut? She wasn’t in a scene that she then wanted cut?
BOBBY FARRELLY: No.
GALLOWAY: We’re going to take a look at a clip from that at the very end because it’s a long clip, but let’s first open up the discussion for some student questions and then we’ll leave you with the clip.
Q: You guys are amazing at comedy, when did you guys know comedy was for you, your genre, and have you ever considered doing something way darker?
PETER FARRELLY: Well, it was just the first thing, it was natural. It wasn’t even anything we thought about, but when we wrote our first script it was just comedic because my buddy, Bennett, and myself and Bobby Farrelly, who was helping us with it, just what we like. We like comedy so we just naturally gravitated to that. It wasn’t a decision. And it seems like over the years, every time we wanted to do something else it’s comedic. But people ask us that sometimes and I can see us doing a drama at some point, but we’re not like big planners so it kind of comes from the universe. Seriously. Like you don’t know what your next thing is and then all of a sudden you start thinking about something a lot and you think, oh I’d like to do that, and one of these days it’s going to be a dramatic movie. I always think of those actors, those comedic actors who don’t feel like they get the credit that they deserve so they want to reach out and do something more dramatic just to show that they have chops and they do. They usually do. And people see them and they say, “Oh he’s pretty good in that.” But you know what, I’d rather see him doing a comedy for some reason. And I think that we’re better doing comedies.
GALLOWAY: Do you watch a lot of comedy? TV? Film?
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. If I had to go to the movies, you know, on any given weekend I’d say, “What comedy’s out there?” That would be my first instinct.
GALLOWAY: Do you have a favorite comedy?
PETER FARRELLY: Favorite comedy? Wow. Well, certainly the like big comedy, like Animal House, had a big effect on us growing up because it was just so darn funny and so well done that, you know, that could be my favorite.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, I have a lot of ties.
PETER FARRELLY: Caddy Shack.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah. Blazing Saddles, Airplane, those kind of things.
PETER FARRELLY: Those were the ones that inspired us growing up where we thought like that would be fun to make is that kind of thing.
Q: Even though you both weren’t film majors in school, did you ever collaborate with any RISD students or any Brown students on projects?
BOBBY FARRELLY: No, because when we were in college I was at Providence College. Again, I wasn’t majoring, I wasn’t doing anything like that. The closest we ever came to a RISD student is Seth MacFarlane who went to RISD, Rhode Island School of Design, you know, the Family Guy. And he’s a friend….
PETER FARRELLY: Was Charlie Rocket…
BOBBY FARRELLY: Charlie Rocket, who was in the first one, the first Dumb and Dumber, he’s a RISD guy.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, you know, we collaborated like emotionally with the whole state of Rhode Island, but not specifically with RISD or Brown.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Yeah, we were like, you know, RISD and Brown were up here, we were down here. Those were the fancy schools.
Q: Thank you.
PETER FARRELLY: How you doing?
Q: And what I wanted to know, starting in ’94 with Dumb and Dumber and looking now at 2014 with Dumb and Dumber To, has your approach to comedy, writing and directing evolved or changed in any way over that span of 20 years?
GALLOWAY: Good question.
PETER FARRELLY: That’s a really good question. It probably has, but not something that we’re consciously aware of. Like you just kind of go with it. But obviously, as things—comedy’s always evolving and what we thought was funny as kids our parents didn’t and what our parents thought as kids we didn’t and on and on. But you see what’s out and you don’t do that. Like when Saturday Night Live started in the fall of 1975 that was the most groundbreaking thing ever. Everything they did on that show was hysterical. But if you see it now it’s not because we’re familiar with those jokes, that style of joke. It was kind of breaking something that hadn’t been done before. And that’s what comedy does. And hopefully, you’re aware of it. Like we know not to, you know, we can’t get away with the same jokes we get away with in Something About Mary because we had the audience right where we wanted them. They did not see it coming and now they do. Now they see it coming so you don’t want to be there, you want to veer off and try something else.
BOBBY FARRELLY: You know, we have some friends that work a lot of the agencies and things and it wouldn’t be uncommon for them to have a stack of 20 scripts when they go home for a weekend that they’re supposed to read. Well, it’s awfully hard to read 20 scripts on a weekend. So what they do a lot of times is they get to about page 15 or 20 and they say, “Is this worth going on?” And if not. And by in large, they’re probably not, they just throw it aside. It’s like that’s it, I gave them 20 pages and they didn’t win them over. And so what I’m getting at is that, like Pete mentioned earlier, that first act when you’re creating characters you’re telling people hopefully what the story’s going to be about and for what reason should they stick with you for the next hour and a half or 90 pages or whatever it is. It’s the first act. We do that years ago and we still try to do that. So we don’t try to ever deviate from that.
PETER FARRELLY: And by the way, that’s a good point, and also for all you writers out there, when you go out and you’ll pitch projects you’re going to win them or lose them in that first act, too, when you’re pitching. They’re either in or out in five minutes, I’m telling you. That’s my experience. Five minutes, you got them or you don’t have them. And the longer you stay once you have them the more opportunity you have to talk yourself out of a deal. So we always go in, we pitch the situation, the setup, the whole thing and then once you got them just trying to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. And I’ll tell you this, nobody ever sold a script on the last five minutes of the movie ever. I don’t care if it’s The Sixth Sense. You are not selling it at that point. It’s sold before that or it ain’t selling.
GALLOWAY: But you just said something interesting the other day that you felt the third act is the most important in terms of what the audience walks away with.
PETER FARRELLY: Well, a great movie…
GALLOWAY: One of your films you said you felt that it failed because the third act was never right.
PETER FARRELLY: Well, I think any great movie or, you know, I know there’s obviously, you know, ways, not everything, but rules are here to be broken, but I think that all my favorite movies the third act was the best act of the movie. Like it would be weird if the first act’s up here, the second act’s there and the third act’s there and be a great movie. That third act has to hit you harder than any of the other acts. Like I take a movie like The Hangover, The Hangover’s a good movie, but the best part of it is that the funniest stuff happens over the end credits when they show those photos and that’s why that movie killed, I think. I mean it’s a good movie, but the best part was the end. So you come out of there laughing and people are like, “What did you see?” “The Hangover. It’s so funny.” That wouldn’t work so well if the first act was where you get all those laughs and it wouldn’t have the same feeling.
GALLOWAY: Which was a film where you felt it didn’t work in the third act?
PETER FARRELLY: I thought that Me, Myself and Irene could have, I always felt that the third act could have been better. It was just only a couple things that could happen. It was two guys, we didn’t have any other wild card going on there, and it could have been a little more convoluted and unexpected.
GALLOWAY: And at what point did you become aware of that? Did you know when you wrote the first draft of the script? Did you know while you were filming?
PETER FARRELLY: No, just in retrospect. If I had known before I would have thought about it. And by the way, that’s just my gut feeling. Like I look at it like the end of Dumb and Dumber you don’t know what’s going to happen, there’s a lot of things that could happen. The end of Something About Mary, many things could happen. The end of that, it’s one guy or the other guy. At the end of Kingpin, which is a bowling movie if you haven’t seen it, there’s a million dollar winner take all bowling championship and Woody Harrelson has a chance to, he lost his hand, he has a chance to go out there and bowl. It’s like the obvious thing was that he’s going to win this thing. And we stop ourselves along the way and say, “What does the audience think is going to happen?” That Woody’s going to win, he’s going to win the million dollars, everyone’s happy. But he didn’t win. He didn’t win, but it was done in a way, hopefully, where the audience is not, you know, like disappointed. They’re like, “He won something else.” And it is a happy ending, but it’s not the ending that you think is going to happen. So we try to make sure that we get there, where the audience is satisfied, but they weren’t a step ahead of us.
GALLOWAY: Yeah, it’s such a strange thing that when you know what’s coming you lose interest.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah. It’s like knowing a punchline of a joke when someone tells you. It’s like, “Yeah, I heard this joke yesterday.” You know what the punchline is so. It’s always better, but we don’t just do it at the end, we try to, while we’re writing well, every ten minutes you say, “Okay, what do they think’s going to happen the next ten minutes? What does the audience think’s happening? Well, you can’t do that. You don’t want to give them exactly what they thinks happening. But on the other hand, you can’t just give them something that’s different for being different, you’re like, huh, you thought this, but it’s that.” It has to be unexpected yet as satisfying or more satisfying than what you expected.
GALLOWAY: How long do you spend on a script before you get that point? Months? Years?
PETER FARRELLY: Many months.
BOBBY FARRELLY: Sometimes years. With Dumb and Dumber To we wrote for a couple years.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, you know, that’s another thing people do, people have given me scripts and said, “Hey, can you read this script? It’s not really there yet, but can you look at it?” I’m like, “No, why don’t you give it to me when it is there?” Like why would I want to read a script that’s not there? I would never ever give anybody a script that I didn’t think was like perfect I think. That doesn’t mean it is perfect, but you got to like work at it, work at it, work at it, put it down for a few weeks, then go back to it, see it with fresh eyes, more and more and more, and when you think you can do nothing else then start passing it around.
GALLOWAY: Who do you think is the most brilliant person in comedy today?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Jim Carrey’s pretty darn good. But I got to think∫ just because he’s wildly amusing on and off camera. If Bill Murray would sit in here with us today it would just be the time of your life. There’s something about him.
PETER FARRELLY: Also, Judd Apatow. I mean, you know, what he has started with his group, they’re all, I mean without Judd there’s a lot of comedy, good comedy that doesn’t happen.
BOBBY FARRELLY: I’d rather golf with Bill.
PETER FARRELLY: No, Bill’s a god. We worship at the altar of Bill Murray. But he picks and chooses. So when you say like a powerhouse in comedy, you know.
GALLOWAY: Do you have two more questions then we’ll wrap? Go ahead.
Q: I’m a sophomore here, communications major.
BOBBY FARRELLY: How you doing, Jerrod?
Q: And I also want to thank you because I saw 22 Jump Street last summer with a friend of mine and he loved it. After it he said, “What was your favorite part?” And I said, “The trailer for Dumb and Dumber To.” [LAUGHS]
PETER FARRELLY: Right.
Q: So thanks for making that 12 dollars worth every penny.
PETER FARRELLY: Thanks very much, man.
Q: Did you feel there was more pressure on set because people have been waiting a long time for this? More pressure than maybe if you made it two, three or four years after?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Not on set, but definitely more pressure. On set, once we got there we had a script that we all liked. It was kind of a party. Like we were all having a great time.
PETER FARRELLY: Yeah, you don’t feel the pressure on set.
BOBBY FARRELLY: No. At least we don’t, right?
PETER FARRELLY: No, not on set, but the hard part was like getting into it again. And I do remember there was a point where we were writing, we’d been writing a couple months, and it was getting there, but it wasn’t nearly there, and I just remember giving a little speech saying, “Look, I just want you guys to know, if this doesn’t get better I’m not making this movie. We’re quitting.” I don’t want to make a movie, a Dumb and Dumber that’s like down here when the first one’s up here. It has to be comparable. Let’s just throw it out and move on to something else. And we wrote with that attitude. We just really pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. So no, on the set it was a ball.
Q: Thank you.
PETER FARRELLY: Thank you, Jerrod.
GALLOWAY: Well, we’re going to show the clip and have a little reception after it, but first, thank you, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly Farrelly, for taking part in the Hollywood Masters. Thank you very much.
PETER FARRELLY: Thank you. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]
BOBBY FARRELLY: Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
PETER FARRELLY: I think if it’s the right clip, this is when they’re about to see Freda Felcher for the first time. They haven’t seen her in 30 years so that will help you. [MOVIE CLIP]
Did Jennifer Lawrence secretly film a cameo in Dumb and Dumber To, which she then asked to be cut from the movie? Writer-directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly categorically shot down those reports Nov. 5, speaking to students at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television, despite sources insisting Lawrence did indeed shoot a scene that she later chose to have removed, per her contractual rights.