Will Ferrell has been in heavy PR mode for Anchorman II. As I noted here, he did the local news in Montana in Ron Burgundy character. He did ESPN SportCenter as Burgundy last week, and also showed up on Dan Patrick's sports talk show as Ron Burgundy.
For whatever one thinks of Ferrell doing all this, there's something about it I absolutely love. I say that as a former on-set publicist. One of the many reasons I don't do PR anymore (including that I didn't especially like it and wasn't all that great at it, though I liked writing the press kits...) is that it could be hell trying to get actors to do any PR, even something as simple as a five-minute phone interview. For Will Ferrell always to be willing to put himself out so far on a limb doing any outlandish public relations they throw at him is something I great admire, and would have been thankful for in my PR days.
Some people may find Ferrell's appearances "shameless" Hollywood, but you have no idea how difficult it is to get most actors to do any publicity, let alone what he does. I've always felt doing PR for an actor should be considered part of the job -- you've been paid ungodly amounts of money, so in return you should probably help to get people to see that movie. But even if an actor didn't consider it part of the job, you'd think they'd want to help promote it and help make it as successful as possible, because if the movie flops that risks doing really bad things for their career. And for the salary they can ask for.
So, when I see Will Ferrell out all out, doing PR stunts for his movie, I can only doff my cap.
Here he is as Ron Burgundy on Dan Patrick's show last Thursday, recreating some of the great sports calls of all time, word-for-world. Or...well, what's supposed to be world-for-word. Dan Patrick (a nice fellow who I worked with on the movie BASEketball) is often struggling to keep from bursting out laughing.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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