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Will Ferrell Has Everything

The popular actor talks about his starring role as an unhappy salesman in the film Everything Must Go. logo
Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go
Will Ferrell has given us a myriad of memorable movie alter-egos, from Ron Burgundy to Ricky Bobby. Now, he adds salesman Nick Halsey, the protagonist of writer-director Dan Rush's new filmEverything Must Go, to that exalted list.

Everything Must Go>, which opens on May 13 after debuting last month at the Tribeca Film Festival, begins as Nick's sales career tanks, due to his inability to stay on the wagon. The day he's fired, he returns home (buying and drinking a few six packs on the way) to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks, dumped all his possessions out on the front yard of their suburban home, canceled his credit cards, and put a stop on their joint bank account.

After spending the night sleeping outside in his Barcalounger, he reluctantly decides to hold a colossal yard sale to survive. With the help of his newly found 9-year-old best friend Kenny (played by Christopher John Wallace, son of the late Notorious B.I.G.) and his pregnant neighbor Samantha (played by stage and screen star Rebecca Hall), Nick even manages to find a bit of hope.

"When Dan's script came to my representatives, they were kind of, 'you know what, we just read this really great script that's kind of in the vein of Stranger than Fiction'" he says. "And I thought it would be fun to do something like that again because that experience was so great. Then, when I read it. I said, 'you guys are right.'"

The only bad news for Rush was that Ferrell was busy for over a year. The delay did give the actor time to read the short story the film is based on: Raymond Carver's "Why Don't You Dance?" The actor comments, "I'd never come across any Carver before. Dan sent me a book of his short stories, which made me like the script even more because it really captured the essence of Carver and the stark quality he has in a lot of his writing."

Capturing the character of Nick accurately was paramount to Ferrell. "The role was definitely challenging; but because we talked about it so much, I felt as secure as I could feel going into something like this." says Ferrell. "I mean we really discussed every sort of detail, like whether he was an alcohol drinker or a beer drinker. I've always felt that regardless of how outlandish a character might be, you should still play it very real."

That sentiment was certainly true when Ferrell played the former President of the United States in his Broadway show, You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush. So would he like to come back to Broadway, perhaps this time in a more traditional play, like his comedic colleagues Robin Williams and Chris Rock? "I would love to if the opportunity came along and it was a nice fit for me," he says.

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