Will Ferrell has taken on the biggest challenge of his career, starring in the Spanish language film, "Casa de mi Padre."
"This is all an homage to all my former Spanish teachers to show them that I was listening. I was paying attention," Ferrell joked to OnTheRedCarpet.com in a recent interview.
"Casa de mi Padre" follows humble rancher Armando Alvarez (Will Ferrell) who has lived and worked on his father's ranch in Mexico his entire life. When the ranch faces financial troubles, his younger brother Raul (Diego Luna) shows up with his new fiancée Sonia (Genesis Rodriguez) and promises to settle their father's debts. But when Armando falls in love with Sonia, it appears that Raul's business practices are shady and they find themselves in a war with Mexico's most terrifying drug lord, Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal).
"It's telenovela mixed with Mexican Spaghetti Western, that has some funny continuity flaws throughout it - that's another aspect of the film, that it's not really 'well-made,'" Ferrell continued. "It's many different movies kinda rolled into one and that's what I kind of love about it. I think in a very positive way, it is not a cliché, pat movie, it's unlike anything you've ever seen."
In the film, Ferrell speaks only in Spanish, which he took in high school and college, but joked that he got kicked out of class. But the actor noted that the language itself is not the basis of the comedy.
"It's very serious, yes, played very dramatically," Ferrell said of the film. "That's also why we wanted my Spanish to be as good as it could be - I didn't want the joke to just be that I was speaking bad Spanish. It also gave us a platform to be a little satirical as well, with some of the U.S./Mexico views of each other and that sort of thing."
Ferrell's co-stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal are best known for appearing together in "Y Tu Mamá También," but Luna got his start in telenovelas like "El amor de mi vida" and "La vida en el espejo."
"We didn't even realize that Diego came from that world [of telenovela] actually, we just heard that possibly he might be interested in doing it. It's nice to have that - he's getting a chance to make fun of a world that he used to come from," Ferrell said of his co-star. We were so lucky to get this cast, it really gives this film legitimacy in terms of having a Spanish audience. Diego and Gael are truly funny guys. They don't get that many chances to do comedy but they're funny in any language. It's pretty impressive."
Ferrell joked that they cast Luna as his brother because of the resemblance, adding, "I wish I had a nickel for every time I've been stopped in an airport and asked, 'Are you an old Diego Luna?'"
Ferrell is known for his work in several films like "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Zoolander," "Elf" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." The comedian also served on seven seasons of "Saturday Night Live" from 1995 to 2002 and recently did a multi-episode arc on "The Office."
The 44-year-old actor recently filmed the movie "Dog Fight," which will follow two rival South Carolina politicians with presidential aspirations fight for victory. The movie, which is slated for release on August 10, 2012, will star Zach Galifianakis as Ferrell's opponent and also features Jason Sudeikis, Dan Aykroyd, Brian Cox, Dylan McDermott and John Lithgow.
"Casa de mi Padre" hit theaters on March 16. Watch a trailer below.
Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com that also produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet"(check for local TV listings).