Mel Gibson felt lost trying to keep up with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s quick-paced improvisation skills while filming Daddy’s Home 2.
The Braveheart actor returns to the comedy genre after years of appearing in dramas and directing with the festive family film, in which he plays the father of Mark’s character Dusty.
Director Sean Anders encourages his actors to go off script and riff off one other, and Mel admits he felt out of his depth watching Will and Mark improvise.
“I was lost. They left me behind. I felt like a spectator at a Beijing Ping Pong match with the flip-flapping back and forth between them that I was trying to keep up with,” he said at the film’s London premiere on Thursday (16Nov17). “It was a job because they both have these insane, off-the-wall minds where they store these streams of consciousness.”
Will explained that Mel was initially nervous about the improvisation and kept asking if he was going in the right direction, but, according to Mark, once Mel got the hang of it, he threw himself into it.
“Will and I, we’ll shoot what’s on the page and then start improvising and we start going absolutely crazy and Mel was a little taken (aback) by that, like, ‘Oh my God, what is happening here, are they expecting me to do this?'” Mark recalled. “As soon as he realized what the gag was, he’d jump right in and I think he had more fun than everybody. It was just one of those things where we just kind of go for it and it’s a safe environment to go crazy and risk looking ridiculous and know that you’ll be taken care of.”
John Lithgow was another newcomer to the cast, and he took full advantage of the improvisation opportunities – he spent 30 minutes making up car games with Will for their road trip scene and just over a minute of it made the final cut.