Loose cannons come in all sizes. You’ve got your prima donnas, your incendiary shit-talkers, your endlessly calculating zag-ziggers who create a reputation based on unpredictability. But then there’s the one no one thinks about—the one who does his own thing not to piss people off, not to create uproar, but because no one else has the balls to do it. Enter Will Ferrell and Andre “3000” Benjamin. After seven years as the loose cannon on Saturday Night Live, where he created enough memorable characters to put Clinton Portis to shame, big Will bounced west to put Hollywood in the yoke with a legendary series of outsized roles: Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby, and now Semi-Pro’s Jackie Moon, an ABA player and coach hell-bent on keeping his roundball dreams alive. No one in recent memory has imbued comedy with such a sense of surreal spontaneity.
Coincidentally enough, his costar, Mr. Benjamin, is nothing if not the Will Ferrell of hip-hop; he’s managed to repeatedly shed his skin throughout OutKast’s storied career like a king cobra with punch lines. People got mad when he started singing, but they still dissect every new verse with nerdy fervor. Not to mention that dude can actually act. And hang with the big dog. (Literally. Not the dog part, but have you met Will? He’s like eight feet tall!) And he’s back in the studio. That’s two prodigal talents with a seemingly unlimited arsenal. And yeah, they’re down with us. You mad? Tell it to the motherfuckin’ cannons.
Will Ferrell:
This is my first interview, period! It’s cool if I just make up a bunch of stuff, right? [Laughter.]
Andre Benjamin:
So to start off with the obvious point of commonality here, the movie. How did you get involved with this project, Andre?
Andre Benjamin:Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Laughter
Was Andre’s name out there early for you?
Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:
You?
Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:
You’ve also got to demand some flexibility, especially with the improv feel that permeates your projects.
Will Ferrell:
When you went in, did you know you were going to read with Will at that first meeting?
Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:LaughsAndre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:
In Will’s movies, during the closing credits when they show alternate takes, there’s always people losing composure, falling out laughing. What kind of moments were there for you?
Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:LaughsAndre Benjamin:Laughter
So much of hip-hop is about improv skills. Did it make ad-libbing come naturally?
Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:LaughsAndre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:
Will Ferrell:
That’s when you become Ron Burgundy, or Ricky Bobby, or whoever. It’s almost like it’s not a function of the script.
Will Ferrell:
You flip that switch, and then all of a sudden you built the Eiffel Tower out of iron and brawn.
Will Ferrell:Laughs
So there was this SNL sketch, and now it’s being replayed on your “Best of” episode: You’re a verbally abusive doctor who left a baby at a BoDeans concert. It feels like the writers got hold of some peyote.
Andre Benjamin:LaughsWill Ferrell:Laughs
Those people online are analyzing everything both of you do. Andre, every new song you’re on gets scrutinized.
Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Andre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:Laughs
LaughterWill Ferrell:LaughterAndre Benjamin:Will Ferrell:
So you’ve got the fans that endlessly dissect everything you do and want to talk your ear off about it. But then you’ve got the people who are like, “I don’t really know anything about your work, but I’m just gonna yell your name.”
LaughterAndre Benjamin:
So there are folks who only like Night at the Roxbury? “You fell off after that one, Ferrell!”
Will Ferrell:Laughs
LaughterWill Ferrell:
Will, you’re married, so this doesn’t apply as much to you anymore, but is there a difference between hip-hop groupies and Hollywood groupies?
Andre Benjamin:
[Cough] Jamie Foxx! [Cough]
Laughter
Andre Benjamin:
And as a rapper, your verses are like a window in to who you are. They feel like they know you.
Andre Benjamin:
So with music, are you back in the game? People kinda thought that you had stopped permanently, and then stuff would sneak out.
Andre Benjamin:
You’ve got Will for skits, if you need any. 
Will Ferrell:Laughter
Kristen Bell Cover Story Kristen Bell
With a new dark-side TV persona and a movie to match, Kristen Bell is finally growing up. It's about time, we say.