Actor Profile: Will Ferrell

Each day, I hope to pick an actor celebrating their birthday and profile a few of their roles. Five roles. Best Performance, Most Iconic Performance, Most Overlooked Performance, Best Performance I’ve Heard About But Haven’t Seen, Worst Performance

So, Will Ferrell is our first actor. He turns 48 today.

Good lord, I’ve seen 39 roles of Will’s. The first time I saw him was definitely SNL

This is tough. A lot of actors, I would go with their most dramatic role, which for Ferrell would either be Everything Must Go, Stranger Than Fiction, or Winter Passing. All three roles he really stretched himself dramatically, and showed us that he’s something a bit more than a man-child. But, for me, what makes Will Ferrell great is his ability to be a man child, and do it so well and so convincingly that when he’s operating on all cylinders, the movie is made better when he’s in it. For me, his best performance is Buddy The Elf in Elf. Few actors really telegraph childlike wonder so well, and Ferrell commits with every fiber of his being. That movie with a different actor probably wouldn’t have been any good. Ferrell made that film great.

I think people probably expect me to pick either Buddy or Ron Burgundy, but I have to say his most Iconic role, the one he’s immediately known for the most, is as a Saturday Night Live cast member. He was on SNL from 1995-2002, just when his film career was starting to take off. SNL was never the same after him.

I already mentioned it once, but I think Everything Must Go fits the bill here. Not a lot of people wanted to see Will Ferrell be depressing, sitting on his lawn, selling stuff, but it’s a very mature performance, full of little nuances to let you know he’s capable of so much more than we ever thought.

I’ve seen most of his performances, but I’ve heard he was pretty good in Melinda and Melinda, and I’ll admit I haven’t seen it.

Bewitched. Not a great film. No chemistry with his co-star. He didn’t really feel like he actually wanted to be there, and it’s probably the only film I can say that of his performance. Even when the film is going to obviously be terrible, like Land Of The Lost, he still fully commits. I didn’t feel like he committed to Bewitched. If this was just “Worst Film” I would say Drowning Mona, but I had honestly forgotten he was even in that.

My Top 10 Will Ferrell Films:
1) Elf
2) Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
3) The Campaign
4) Anchorman
5) The Other Guys
6) Everything Must Go
7) Old School
8) Step Brothers
9) Zoolander
10) Megamind
Bonus: His uncredited role in Wedding Crashers

Roles I’ve Seen:
1) SNL (1996-2002)
2) Austin Powers (1999)
3) Dick (1999)
4) Superstar (1999)
5) Drowning Mona (2000)
6) The Ladies Man (2000)
7) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
8) Zoolander (2001)
9) The Oblongs (2001)
10) Boat Trip (2002)
11) Old School (2003)
12) Elf (2003)
13) Starsky and Hutch (2004)
14) Anchorman (2004)
15) Wake Up Ron Burgundy (2004)
16) Kicking and Screaming (2005)
17) Bewitched (2005)
18) Wedding Crashers (2005)
19) Winter Passing (2005)
20) The Producers (2005)
21) Talladega Nights (2006)
22) Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
23) Blades Of Glory (2007)
24) Semi Pro (2008)
25) Step Brothers (2008)
26) Land Of The Lost (2009)
27) The Goods (2009)
28) The Other Guys (2010)
29) Megamind (2010)
30) Everything Must Go (2011)
31) The Office (2011)
32) Casa De Mi Padre (2012)
33) The Campaign (2012)
34) The Internship (2013)
35) Anchorman 2 (2013)
36) The LEGO Movie (2014)
37) The Spoils Of Babylon (2014)
38) Get Hard (2015)
39) A Deadly Adoption (2015)
40) The Last Man On Earth (2015)
41) Daddy’s Home (2015)
42) Zoolander 2 (2016)

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