Former "Saturday Night Live" star Will Ferrell says he wanted to make a funny movie, not necessarily a biting American political satire, when he signed on to star with Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign."
The movie, directed by "Recount" and "Game Change" director Jay Roach, is about what happens when Ferrell's fictional four-term North Carolina Congressman Cam Brady commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election and finds himself challenged by Marty Huggins, head of the local tourism center and a newcomer to the cutthroat world of national politics, played by Galifianakis.
"First and foremost, it was about making a funny movie -- a chance for Zach and I to do something together. A chance to work with Jay and then to have a point of view along with a big, broad commercial comedy is not always done and it's fun to take advantage of an opportunity like that," Ferrell, who also produced the film, told reporters at a recent New York news conference.
Ferrell was asked if he drew on his past "SNL" impression of President George W. Bush for his portrayal of Brady.
"I really didn't want this to have anything to do with George W. Bush," the 45-year-old California native replied.
"I think Cam Brady is more of a polished politician, in the sense he knows how to give a great stump speech and that sort of thing, and I really kind of stole from politicians like John Edwards, people like that. That having been said, he's a character who doesn't think he's ever wrong, so I guess you could draw that parallel," Ferrell noted.
The star of "Old School," "Elf," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Talladega Nights" and "The Other Guys" said the filmmaking team was careful to make sure both he and Galifianakis, the scene-stealer from the "Hangover" movies, had plenty to do in "The Campaign."
"I think we were cognizant of that in the development process and the writing of the script. We wanted to make sure that it felt like an even-handed movie in terms of one character not feeling overused compared to the other," Ferrell recalled. "I think Zach and I both share the same attitudes on collaboration. ... I think in most successful comedies, the actors probably have the sensibilities of 4-year-old children."
"The Campaign" is available on DVD now.