Adam McKay Says Will Ferrell Split ‘Felt Like a Breakup’: I’d Love to ‘Get Back to Our Old Rhythm’

"I love Ferrell. Always will. I had the best, most fun run of my life with him."
Executive producers Will Ferrell, right, and Adam McKay arrive at the premiere for the second season of HBO's "Eastbound and Down" in Los Angeles, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Adam McKay’s recent Vanity Fair profile revealed new details about his professional split from longtime comedy partner Will Ferrell. McKay and Ferrell announced in April 2019 they were ending their partnership, which started at “Saturday Night Live” and extended to comedies such as “Anchorman” and “Step Brothers” and the founding of their Gary Sanchez production company. McKay said that his decision to cast John C. Reilly over Ferrell in his upcoming HBO series about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers was the final blow to his relationship with Ferrell, although by then the two were already not in agreement on increasing their producing responsibilities.

“It’s kind of crazy to see how much has been reported on this,” McKay told The Hollywood Reporter about the reaction to his Vanity Fair profile. “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. 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.”

McKay told THR that with all that’s going on the world, his attention has turned away from “those old-style comedies” he used to make with Ferrell. The director added, “I was just very excited to go at things from a bunch of different directions, and, God bless Will Ferrell, he just didn’t have that same appetite that I had. Will’s the greatest, most laid-back guy. And he’s just like, ‘Well, I like producing a couple things, but I don’t know if I want to do 20 things.'”

“As clean as we both tried to make it go, there were moments afterward where we weren’t exactly chummy,” McKay continued. “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. 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.”

McKay revealed last month in Vanity Far that the last time he spoke to Ferrell was the phone conversation they had talking about breaking up. The publication noted at the time that “McKay says he’s written emails to Ferrell, attempting a rapprochement, but has never heard back.”

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