By the beard of Zeus, Anchorman 2 does not disappoint. Almost to a fault, it's got everything that made the original great, beat for beat. A Sex Panther-esque scene with Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd)? Check. A million "whammys" from Champ Kind (David Koechner)? Check. A heroic gesture by Baxter? Check. The only differences, really, are these: Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his team are now part of the New York-based 24-hour news network GNN, with Burgundy's wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) on a rival network, and GNN primetime pretty boy Jack Lime (James Marsden) and showrunner Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) threatening his position.
Considering it's been a decade since the first movie, director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow keep it surprisingly contemporary, poking fun at the shit we consume as national news/Internet nowadays—high-speed chases, cute animal stories, and sex facts. While some of its race jokes are downright uncomfortable, the film kills it with its absurd humor (thanks in large part to the dynamic between Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig) and a ridiculous final battle with a crazy amount of cameos you won't see coming.
Complex got a chance to sit down for a few moments with the cast and crew of the highly anticipated comedy to discuss the fear of making a sequel, keeping it serious on set, and what it was like to work with Kanye West.
As told to Tara Aquino (@t_akino)
Judd Apatow on giving Kanye West album advice on set:
He was like, “Should I name my album God or Jesus?” I couldn’t think of anything great. I said, “Why don’t you be like the band Chicago and just have it be a number?” He looked at me and he was so disappointed.
Adam McKay on the fear of doing a sequel:
One of the reasons we didn’t do it for five or six years was we felt like, "Why do a sequel? We liked the first movie, so let’s move on and do other movies." But we’ve never had that before where people kept asking us and asking us. Then we realized it could be kind of fun. We could actually pull one off. That’s what got us excited.
Apatow and McKay on which actor was the most professional on set:
McKay: Steve Carell—shockingly composed and professional. He’s a bit of technician.
Apatow: Will [Ferrell] and [David] Koechner are a disaster. They’re just a slop fest of disorganization.
Steve Carell and Paul Rudd on prepping for their characters:
Steve Carell: I would think about nothing. That pretty much got me there. I just went out and thought, “Oh, I have a line in five minutes. I’ll say that.”
Paul Rudd: I overthink. Every single thing. Just about how so many things in my life haven’t worked out the way I imagined them to.
Will Ferrell and David Koechner on what types of jokes are off-limits:
David Koechner: I don’t allow racist humor, me personally. What we do in the movie is satire.
Will Ferrell: I don’t like to joke about babies.
Koechner: I tried that once on him. I was out cold, on the floor.
Ferrell: When someone puts sunglasses on a baby, that’s crossing the line with me.
One of the reasons we didn't do [a sequel] for five or six years was we felt like, 'Why do a sequel? We liked the first movie, so let's move on and do other movies.' —Adam McKay
Christina Applegate on how motherhood factored into playing Veronica:
I thought I knew her so well and I realized how much she had changed. She’s a mom, I’m a new mom. I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally. My priorities and my motivations are totally different. That just happens to you whether you’re a totally hands on mom or not, so I wanted to make sure Veronica had that feel.
James Marden on joining the cast:
I think they were more intimidated to have us on set. I think we represent a new era. Fresh spirit, fresh blood. I think they felt sort of self conscious about that. We did our best to put them at ease. Let’s create an easy tone, we all get along.
Meagan Good on going toe-to-toe with Will Ferrell:
For my audition piece, that was one of the things I had to do. I went in there, ripped my shoes off, and threw it at him. I totally went for the stomach and that’s what Adam, Will, and Judd encourage—for you to just go for it. But my wig still haunts me to do this day. It was a really aggressive wig.