Will Ferrell says his "dark" role as an unemployed and alcoholic man in the new film "Everything Must Go" was his most challenging part yet.
Ferrell, a 43-year-old "Saturday Night Live" alum, is mostly known for R-rated comedy movies such as "Old School" and "Step Brothers" as well as the 2010 animated film "Megamind." Ferrell had a smaller but more serious part in the 2005 film "Winter Passing."
In "Everything Must Go," a comedic drama which is set for a limited theatrical release on Friday, May 13, Ferrell plays Nick, a man whose life falls apart after he loses his job. His wife leaves him and dumps his worldly possessions on their front lawn before locking him out.
He begins drinking again - from beers inside a fridge she threw outside, and he decides to sell the items. Rebecca Hall, who appeared in the films "The Town" and "Frost/Nixon," and Christopher Jordan Wallace, the 14-year-old son of late rapper Notorious B.I.G., play neighbors who try to help him.
"It is the most challenging role I've ever done and yet I loved, I loved the fact that, you know, the tone of the movie is so real and it's the most real character I've ever done and the comedy comes out from not pushing it or trying to go for the joke, but just through circumstance," Ferrell told OnTheRedCarpet.com.
"We almost wanted to feel like there were just cameras observing this guy and kind of going through this existence of living on his front lawn and trying to figure out his life," he added.
Ferrell said the writer and director, Dan Rush, approached him about the part in "Everything Must Go," quoting him as telling the actor: "Would you ever consider doing something like this that gets that kind of dark?"
"And I read it going, 'This is outstanding. Are you sure you want me?'" Ferrell said. "I loved the work experience. I loved getting to kind of show off that I can actually do this as an actor and I'd welcome more."
Ferrell recently showed off his comedic chops on television again, guest-starring as a manager on NBC series "The Office," whose main star Steve Carell has departed the show, and on Conan O'Brien's TBS talk show.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).