Last week, the breakup story of two best friends and work buddies became bigger news than climate change. Well, not exactly, but a lot of people (including the incredible staff here at The A.V. Club) took a keen interest in the split between comedy star Will Ferrell and his Anchorman director Adam McKay.
McKay, who just made a movie about America’s disinterest in actually engaging with and solving the climate crisis, doesn’t get why people are more interested in his breakup with Ferrell, which is generating more headlines than imminent water graves.
“It’s kind of crazy to see how much has been reported on this,” McKay told The Hollywood Reporter. “We made Don’t Look Up to hopefully get people talking about the climate crisis—literally the biggest threat to life in human history —and to see so much made about two comedy guys not talking about a TV show is a scary sign of our times.”
Nevertheless, McKay acquiesced and elaborated on their relationship. “I love Ferrell. Always will. I had the best, most fun run of my life with him. Yes, I wish I had talked to him about it out of respect, but we were both focused on our new companies and life just took over.”
As reported in a Vanity Fair profile of McKay, tensions in their partnership boiled over when the director hired Ferrell’s friend and frequent collaborator John C. Reilly to play L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss in an upcoming TV series over Ferrell. According to McKay, “I fucked up on how I handled that.”
Ultimately, the news of their split played into a lot of curiosity about their partnership, which produced three of the biggest, most influential comedies of the 2000s, Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers.
The aftermath of the split wasn’t “chummy.”
“I kept trying to frame it like, ‘Hey, it’s OK. It’s its natural conclusion,’ but as I would say it, it didn’t quite feel right,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It felt like a breakup. I’m looking forward to when the dust has settled. I’d love to just go watch a Lakers game with him and kick back and get back to our old kind of rhythm. But, yeah, I can’t lie, at the end of it, we were both kind of bummed out.”
They did, however, split Succession, which they share an executive producer credit on. And that’s just good business anyway you slice it.
Anyway, like everyone else, we hope that they can put the past behind them and make another The Other Guys.