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Adam McKay reveals why his friendship with Will Ferrell ended

‘I f***ed up’: Will Ferrell’s long-time collaborator Adam McKay reveals they fell out after he casted John C. Reilly in HBO show instead of the Elf star

  • Director Adam McKay has revealed why actor Will Ferrell no longer talks to him
  • They worked on hits  Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys and more 
  • But when McKay cast John C. Reilly in a project instead of Ferrell, it went sour 
  • McKay, 53, admits ‘he should have called’ Ferrell, 54, but didn’t 
  • In 2019, the pair split up their production company after the casting decision 


Will Ferrell’s former longtime collaborator Adam McKay has revealed how the pair fell out and ended their friendship. 

The duo frequently worked together on huge comedy hits like Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and even had a production company together. 

But in a new interview with Vanity Fair, McKay, 53, admits that things turned sour between the pair when he decided to cast John C. Reilly in a role that Ferrell, 54, wanted, that resulted in them parting ways personally and professionally. 

Formerly close: Will Ferrell’s long-time collaborator Adam McKay reveals they fell out after the director casted John C. Reilly in HBO show instead of the Elf star (the pair pictured in 2013)

McKay explains in the interview how he was working on an HBO limited series about the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team in the 1980s – and wanted to cast Reilly, 56, in the lead role to play Jerry Buss. 

However, McKay admits that he should have handled his decision better, as it was expected by many that Ferrell would land the role due to their close working relationship. 

‘I f***ed up on how I handled that,’ he said in the interview. 

Team: The duo frequently worked together on huge comedy hits like Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (pictured above)

Team: The duo frequently worked together on huge comedy hits like Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (pictured above) 

‘The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic,’ he explained.

‘And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, “We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.”‘

‘It was a bit of a hard discussion. I should have called him and I didn’t,’ McKay admitted.

 ‘And Reilly did, of course, because Reilly, he’s a stand-up guy. Maybe there was a little shadow in there where I wasn’t able to confront a harsher, darker side of myself, that would ultimately err on the side of making the right casting choice over a lifelong friendship.’

The damage to their friendship was so severe, that in 2019, after the casting decision had been made, the former pals split up their production company.

In a statement at the time they said: ‘The two of us will always work together creatively and always be friends. And we recognize we are lucky as hell to end this venture as such.’

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