Anchorman's Hardest Scene: Even Will Ferrell Couldn't Keep a Straight Face

Anchorman's Hardest Scene: Even Will Ferrell Couldn't Keep a Straight Face
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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a satirical comedy about the inner workings of an old-school American TV news program, is now widely considered to be one of the best comedies of 2000s.

While not a super-hit, it enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim.

The testament to Anchorman's effectiveness as a comedy was the fact that even its cast could not keep themselves from laughing out loud during some of the scenes.

Paul Rudd, who played the smarmy reporter Brian Fantana, one of the titular character's co-workers and friends – while Paul Rudd delivered a good performance in that role, most people now probably recognize him as the actor who played Scott Lang/Ant-Man in MCU – recently shared some details about that.

As he noted in an interview with GQ, one of the important – and difficult – duties of an actor in a good comedy is keeping a straight face:

"You don't want to laugh when you're in someone's take because you don't want to make something unusable... …So, there's always a pressure not to laugh."

But Anchorman featured a number of scenes, where refraining from laughing was just too difficult. Particularly as its main star, Will Ferrell, was often willing and able to improvise jokes, and its director, Adam McKay, loved that.

For example, Ferrell's "cock fight" line, after the grand melee between news teams, was improvised, taking Rudd by surprise. But that time Rudd managed to maintain his composure.

It was different during the scene of rather dim-witted – as his name already suggests – Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell) eating his "falafel hotdog." Which actually was a coffee filter, with cigarette butts on it.

(Well, as Rudd explained, in real life the prop "falafel hotdog" was made out of chocolate cake, but it looked appropriately disgusting.)

The cast just ruined a take after take by bursting into laughter, much to the camera crew's annoyance.

"And every time Carell would take a bite of it, it was so repulsive, we'd all start laughing," Rudd said. "We'd have to do it again, and then the buildup became funny because Will would then say 'By the way Brick, what is that you're eating?'

And as soon as you just go 'By the way Brick', he didn't even get out 'What are you eating?' It was the pause and then noticing, and then we'd all just start laughing."

The crew certainly had reasons to be mad on that day.