17 December 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Star of comedies from Anchorman to Elf, Will Ferrell has made his name playing dullards, slimeballs and childlike naifs. Our writer discovers that in real life, he is more Buddy than Burgundy

• Vintage Burgundy: classic Anchorman quotes

Just over a dozen or so years ago, when Will Ferrell was still a cast member of Saturday Night Live and starting to think of a future full-time film career, he met up with the head of a major Hollywood studio.

"The thing with comedy characters," the head honcho said to him, "is that they have to be likable."

Ferrell thought about this for maybe two seconds, looked up and replied, "You are absolutely wrong."

"And the two development assistants standing by the studio head just went … " Ferrell makes a rubber-faced look of Munch-like horror, and he laughs remembering the moment which, from today's perspective, sitting in London's poshest hotel at the tail »

- Hadley Freeman

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