WILLOUGHBY DOBBS / THE EAGLE
In the midst of election madness, it wouldn’t be long before Hollywood swooped in to capitalize on the frenzy of politics. This came in the form of the timely comedy “The Campaign,” starring Will Ferrell (“The Other Guys”) and Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover 2”).
“The Campaign” tells the story of two rival politicians, one a long-term congressman (Ferrell) and the other a naïve dimwit (Galifianakis), competing to win the North Carolina Congress seat. Hilarity ensues.
In a national press tour to promote “The Campaign,” Ferrell and Galifianakis stopped in D.C. on July 31 to hold a VIP screening of the film at the Newseum.
On the last stretch of their fake whistle-stop tour, Ferrell and Galifianakis were beginning to sympathize with the predicaments of the politicians they were poking fun at.
“Going to a bunch of cities and meeting a lot of people, the pressure that they feel.” Ferrell said. “But we don’t feel that pressure. Because we’re magic.”
However, preparing for the film wasn’t so much about getting into the mindset of politicians than getting some good material to turn into jokes. Ferrell and Galifianakis watched plenty of news, debates and videos on presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hair.
“We didn’t really seek out politicians for advice, but I don’t think they wanted to talk to us,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell himself had some experience in political satire on “Saturday Night Live” playing an exaggerated version of George W. Bush, but he stated that this stint didn’t help him much in portraying “The Campaign”’s smug Cam Brady.
“The Bush portrayal I did was someone who didn’t really enjoyed talking to the media and was sort of petulant about that sort of thing,” Ferrell said. “Cam Brady loves the spotlight, so they’re pretty different.”
However, Ferrell and Galifianakis both agreed that life in the spotlight, even for celebrities and politicians, could be pretty wearisome sometimes.
“We have a lot of empathy for politicians because of the cameras on the people all the time now,” Galifianakis said. “There’s kind of a Big Brother element.”