Will Ferrell plays a Democratic congressman named Cam Brady who's used to running unopposed. Zach Galifianakis plays a Republican goody two-shoes named Marty Huggins thrust into the race when two billionaire CEOs need someone they can easily manipulate in office in the comedy movie, The Campaign. Poking fun at just about everything to do with politics (the world it skewers is a very easy target ripe for comedy), The Campaign takes campaigning to the extreme, with snake charming, baby punching, and some really underhanded personal attacks.
Together for a press conference for the Warner Bros Pictures release, Ferrell and Galifianakis talk about their characters and politicians in general.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis Press Conference
Why is now the right time for The Campaign?
Will Ferrell: "Well, it helps that there is, I believe, a presidential election happening in, is it December? When does it take place?"
Zach Galifianakis: "Uh, November."
Will Ferrell: "November. And with the state of how crazy politics are getting, we thought it would be a very timely and funny way to make fun of politics."
Who is Marty Huggins and what is he all about?
Zach Galifianakis: "Well, thank you for asking. That’s a wonderful question. Marty Huggins is a guy that is kind of a black sheep of his family who comes from a political family that they have all kind of ostracized [him.] But because he has a family name and there is an incumbent, they put him to challenge Cam’s campaign because there is a family recognition. It’s like putting a Kennedy up there in North Carolina. So I’m kind of a fish out of the water when it comes to the political game, and I think Will’s character is very savvy at it."
And Cam Brady? Who is he and what’s he stand for?
Will Ferrell: "Cam Brady is for anything that will get him elected. He is a four-time incumbent who...there’s whispers that he is potentially going to be picked to be vice president. That’s as high as his aspirations go. He likes the idea of being a vice president where you don’t really have to work too hard. He has some shortcomings, a little bit of a philandering politician and that opens the door for Marty to begin his campaign."
Which real politicians do you make fun of in the movie?
Will Ferrell: "Well, I think that the movie is a collection. We’re making fun of all of them. I think you’ll see shades of a lot of different politicians that we’re poking fun at."
Did you go out for the role of Marty and Cam respectively, or was there ever a chance Zach could play Cam and Will could play Marty?
Will Ferrell: "I auditioned for Batman and Warner Brothers said it was already taken."
Zach Galifianakis: "And I auditioned for Fatman and that was taken also."
Will, you’ve rubbed shoulders with politicians. Do you each have a message for Washington?
Will Ferrell: "My message to Washington is stop screwing around! That’s my message."
Zach Galifianakis: "That’s okay. It’s better that I don’t answer."
How dirty does the campaign get in the movie?
Will Ferrell: "Well, it gets fairly dirty. I think politics has gotten vulgar and we comedically portray that."
What politicians are ripe for the picking right now?
Will Ferrell: "I think with Congress’s approval rating below 20 percent…" 10, it’s at 10? Nice. I think that’s what they were going for. I think there’s tons of fodder there. With the presidential race, there’s always a camera on the two candidates so there’s plenty of opportunity to make fun of both guys."
What is the audience in store for with The Campaign?
Zach Galifianakis: "We’re hoping the audience enjoys it. It’s poking fun at the political system. There’s very good jokes in it and also there’s a little bit of a message that doesn’t swing right or left. It’s just a good message for the American people at home, I think."
What would you each do if you were elected to Congress?
Will Ferrell: "I would do exactly what the congresspeople are doing right now, nothing. I’d just hang out in Washington, go to great restaurants."
Zach Galifianakis: "Maybe go to a ribbon cutting at an Arby’s or Six Flags."
Will Ferrell: "Actually, that would be great, to do an amusement park tour throughout the country."
Zach Galifianakis: "Make it legal to take a left on red." [the crowd cheers]
Will Ferrell: "We’ve got to get that done. I think that’s on the ballot this year: Prop 89, Left on Red."
Zach Galifianakis:" I didn’t realize there was a whole [cheering section]."
Will Ferrell: "This was a setup for the Left on Red crowd. Who knew? Left on Red! Left on Red! Left on Red!"