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'The Campaign': Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis Head-to-Head Interview

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Jul 25, 2012 | 8:13am EDT

The Campaign: Will Ferrell, Zach GalifianakisThe most exciting part of any political race is, undoubtedly, the debate… even when it comes to fake political races. While Hollywood.com was on the set of the upcoming comedy film The Campaign, we got a chance to hear from both sides of Jay Roach’s political fury: Will Ferrell’s the polished, slimy Cam Brady, and Zach Galifianakis’ inexperienced, incompetent Marty Huggins. Each man offered up the details, aspirations, and “finest” qualities of his respective candidate, giving us all the information we would need to cast our votes in this race. Here are some of the highlights…

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Real Life Inspirations

Will Ferrell: “Cam Brady is more the slick John Edwards version [of a politician].”

Zach Galifianakis: “[With Marty], it was more about the plucking out of the obscurity — the Sarah Palin [type].”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Backgrounds

Ferrell: “He’s the lazy incumbent. He's the guy who just thought he’d roll into a fifth consecutive term. He usually … runs unopposed. And he's thought that he [never] needed to worry about the rest of the world.”

Galifianakis: “He comes from a political family, but he is the black sheep of the family. He only gets plucked out of obscurity because of his family name … His family is, like, yacht club conservative Southern. He kind of grew up, in my mind, hanging out at square dance socials. He’s that kind of Southern.”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Aspirations…

Ferrell: “He's been mentioned as a possible VP candidate, which is at the height of his aspirations. He doesn’t want to be president. It’s too much work.”

Galifianakis: “[He gets into politics] just to get the approval of his father. Like we’re all doing.”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Tactics…

Ferrell: “All my ads make him out to be a terrorist because he has facial hair, thinking back.”

Galifianakis: “I do a hidden camera ad with his son in a park. Which, probably, will come across as really creepy. I go, with the hidden camera, I try to get him to call me dad.”

The Campaign: Zach Galifianakis

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Preparation for Politics…

Ferrell: “He’s very polished. He can take command of a room. And then, you leave realizing he literally didn’t say anything that was of any value, any substance. ‘Thank you so much for that question. I really appreciate you. In fact, I appreciate all of you coming down here today. Because it's not easy. You guys have busy lives and schedules, and to carve out fifteen minutes of your day to come down here and speak face-to-face means a lot to me and the people that you report to. And you should feel good about that.’ You know? It's like, ‘What the f**k!’”

Galifianakis: “He becomes a little bit polished … This oddball character does go through a bit of a change. You do see that. Or, you see that he is conscious of his “oddball character”-ness, because somebody has told him, “You can’t act like that to run for office.” … Honestly, he doesn’t care about hiding that stuff, but he’s being told to be more masculine. He doesn’t personally think — or, it’s not a premeditated thought that he has to. He just catches himself.”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Families…

Ferrell: “Behind the scene I have a really … tough, aggressive, ladder-climbing wife. Who's pushing. She wants it as bad, if not more, than I do. And my kids … are dismissive, and hate me.”

Galifianakis: “Actress Sarah Baker plays Mitzi, my wife. We kind of made it like Marty is nonsexual. There are some jokes at her expense, because he’s not into her. Or into guys. He’s just not into that kind of thing. So, I think that’s funny that two characters have to interact that way. She wants it, but he just doesn’t want to touch her … I don’t know if it will make it into the movie, but I played it that he doesn’t like his children. Which is not expected for this character. I don’t know if that vibe will get into the movie. But when he’s in public, and he’s putting his arms around his kids, he’s faking that. He really does not like his kids.”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates Behind the Scenes…

Ferrell: “You do kind of see glimpses that he is a little more human behind the scenes. But for the most part, my character is the one who wants it so badly. It controls his whole life.”

Galifianakis: “When he’s not in front of an audience, he does go back to his normal ways. But when he’s doing a debate or speech for the public, he is change … But behind the scenes, he’s a little bit strange. Is he a regular kind of person? Probably not. But those kind of people are not… I see those movies, with those kinds of leading men, and I say, “God, that’s so boring.”

The Campaign: Will Ferrell

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Campaign Managers…

Ferrell: [My campaign manager is] Mitch, who's Jason Sudeikis. Yeah, you know, he's kind of like the guy who's always kind of kept me out of trouble … He's the smarter version of Cam in a way, but he's still not that smart. He still allows me to do some horrible things.”

Galifianakis: He’s groomed by a character named Tim Wattley, who is played by Dylan McDermott. So, you see this grooming process. His house goes through an interior changeover when the puppet master gets hold of him, and makes his house look more American. Whatever that means … he always has this svengali right next to him saying, “Don’t do that,” or, “Watch your ‘S’s,” which is something that is told to him a lot.”

Will vs. Zach: The Candidates’ Values…

Ferrell: I'm focused on my hair throughout the movie … That was one of the first things I thought of when I thought of my character: I wanted to have this perfect, photogenic hairstyle … So we reshot a whole speech so that I could have more perfect hair … That's a huge element, which has been fun … Someone snapped a picture of us when we were outside, and it ran in The Huffington Post … already saying, ‘Look out, Mitt Romney. There's new hair in politics.’”

Galifianakis: “He’s obsessed with pugs … There’s a lot of pictures of pugs around.”

So there you have it. Cast your vote in theaters on August 10.

[Photo Credits: Warner Bros.]

More:

On 'The Campaign' Trail: Politics Is a Dirty, Hilarious Game

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis Win By a Nose in 'The Campaign' Poster

'The Campaign': Will Ferrell's Eagles Vs. Zach Galifianakis' Pugs — POSTERS

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