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January 18, 2018

Will Ferrell

Jim Courier

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

JIM COURIER: All right. This is awkward and unusual, so get ready for the awkwardness.

But thanks, Will.

WILL FERRELL: I'm entering in the draw. I'm ready.


WILL FERRELL: You guys know Jim Courier, right?

JIM COURIER: I am Jim Courier. I have never been in this room before.

WILL FERRELL: Part of the greatest Davis Cup teams of all time.

JIM COURIER: I was the water boy.

WILL FERRELL: The water boy.

Jim Courier, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras...

JIM COURIER: Last name McIntosh?

WILL FERRELL: Oh, yeah, McIntosh, John McIntosh. Rick Leach, doubles specialist. Coached by Tom Gorman.

JIM COURIER: Didn't set it up. (High 5.)

WILL FERRELL: No one cares. No one of the Australian media cares.

JIM COURIER: This man needs to get out and watch some tennis.

Thanks for being here, first of all. What inspired you to make the trip here to the Australian Open?

WILL FERRELL: I had a lot of frequent flier miles and I needed to get rid of them.

No, I'm a big tennis fan, and I just with some friends of ours, one of which is married to an Aussie, we thought, what are you doing in January? Let's go check out the Australian Open.

It has exceeded expectations in terms of obviously what an amazing venue. Melbourne, great city. And some amazing matches so far, yeah.

JIM COURIER: What else have you guys done besides the tennis? Have you gotten out and about to see a little bit of the country?

WILL FERRELL: Been to the Yarra Valley. In fact, in between the end of the day session and evening session, we just go straight to the Yarra Valley.

JIM COURIER: Don't go into the Yarra River. I have done that.

WILL FERRELL: You were sick for a week.

JIM COURIER: I used to have dark hair and was really tan. This is what happens when you do that.

What matches have you seen and who have you enjoyed seeing here?

WILL FERRELL: The Wozniacki match yesterday was, you know, kind of the perfect metaphor for just how tough it is, even when you're up 5-1. In fact, I turned to my wife and I said, If she can get it to 5-3, she has a chance to win this whole thing.

Of course, we were there last night to see Macca, as the Aussies were calling him. Which I hope he understood that was a nickname?

JIM COURIER: Yeah. And your accent is spot on, of course.

WILL FERRELL: Thank you. That was -- Dimitrov, I think, despite last night, I think is still one of the favorites to win the whole thing.


WILL FERRELL: We saw Federer play, and we saw Nadal yesterday, so --

JIM COURIER: Checked a lot of boxes.

Are you guys leaving soon?

WILL FERRELL: We are leaving tomorrow, unfortunately. Sorry, guys.

JIM COURIER: Tournament is over.

You play in charity events with some pros, right? What's your game all about? I have never played with you. So tell us a little bit about it.

WILL FERRELL: I have a power game (smiling), which means I can hit it really hard. Doesn't mean it's going to go in, but I have -- yeah, I don't have much of a backhand. I run around the backhand presently.

JIM COURIER: I'm the president of that club.

WILL FERRELL: If I can get a first serve in, it's heaven.

JIM COURIER: Who's the best tennis-playing celeb out there? You live in LA. There are a lot of them that like to play.

WILL FERRELL: Oddly enough, Taylor Swift.

JIM COURIER: T. Swifty? I did not see that coming.

WILL FERRELL: She's incredible.

Just making things up here (smiling).

Rihanna is really good, too.

JIM COURIER: How long did it take you to get over the realization that maybe tennis wasn't going to be a career path for you and that perhaps being a Hollywood juggernaut might be the way to go?

WILL FERRELL: I grew up self-taught, hitting. I think I had a Wilson wood racquet that you put in the frame.

JIM COURIER: Squeeze it?

WILL FERRELL: Yeah, against the back of the racquetball court.

So, no, tennis was never -- I knew it was going to be for fun only. I didn't set my goals too high.

JIM COURIER: You entertained us the other night with Roger Federer on the court. Had you met Roger before?

WILL FERRELL: Did you notice Roger's body language? He's a little bit afraid of me.

JIM COURIER: He's a total jerk.

WILL FERRELL: He leaned back, like, what is this guy going to do?

No, that was great fun. I could have gone on for a lot longer, but I could tell McEnroe gave me the look, wrap it up.

JIM COURIER: He probably needed some help from the greatest anchorman of all time?

WILL FERRELL: I just took it upon myself to run on to the court of a Grand Slam, despite security.

JIM COURIER: You overcame that. I mean, I do that occasionally. I do the interviews. Tough to come up with the questions.


JIM COURIER: How hard was it for you? How long did it take for you to...

WILL FERRELL: I was sitting in my seat, thinking, what are the fun things I want to ask Roger Federer about? I forgot to ask him if that was his real hair or a wig. Because he's got such luxurious hair.

JIM COURIER: He does. He's never been in the Yarra.


JIM COURIER: You have done a ton of sports movies. Some of my favorites: 'Blades of Glory,' 'Talladega Nights.' Obvious question, that's what I do: When is a tennis movie coming?

WILL FERRELL: Tennis movie? I would probably have to play a coach. I'm probably past my prime to play a player. Unless I'm, you know, a 50-year-old guy trying to make the circuit again.

JIM COURIER: Comeback story.

WILL FERRELL: Comeback story.

There is nothing in the works right now, but my visit to the Open here may inspire me to make an Australian tennis movie.

JIM COURIER: What are you working on now?

WILL FERRELL: Right now I'm -- well, that's part of the reason I wanted to hold this press conference: I'm retiring. (Laughter.)

Yeah, I'm done. I have kind of done all the movies I want to do. It's a great way to go out.

JIM COURIER: I think Novak Djokovic is looking for one more team member. Maybe you could jump in with Andre and Roddick.

WILL FERRELL: I will play with Djokovic, sure.

JIM COURIER: When they eventually make the movie about Will Ferrell, who will play Will Ferrell? Who should play Will Ferrell? Not Taylor Swift.

WILL FERRELL: Someone devastatingly handsome but they have to be a really good actor, too. Maybe Ryan Gosling? That would be a good choice.

JIM COURIER: He will probably have to work on his abs a little bit to get there.

WILL FERRELL: Probably, because it takes a bit of work to get what I have. A lot of trips to the Yarra Valley.

JIM COURIER: On that note, several of your characters in movies end up running in their underwear.


JIM COURIER: Begs the question, when are you going to put one of those characters in Björn Borg underwear?

WILL FERRELL: Does it still exist?

JIM COURIER: It does. That's the only underwear Johnny Mac wears. That's honest to goodness true.

WILL FERRELL: I could only be so lucky to have Björn sponsor a movie of mine.

JIM COURIER: We'll look it up.

Who rocks a headband better? You, Björn? Johnny Mac? Are you the best in the business?

WILL FERRELL: I think that iconic photo of Borg and McEnroe with the headbands, that's hard to beat.

JIM COURIER: Didn't have your locks.

WILL FERRELL: I need to grow it out a little bit more.

JIM COURIER: Get the fro going?


JIM COURIER: Does wombat taste like chicken? I have always wondered.

WILL FERRELL: No, it tastes like wombat. It's a very sinewy, tough meat.

JIM COURIER: My last question before the pros get ahold of you, but does tennis need more cowbell?

WILL FERRELL: It does for sure.

JIM COURIER: Ladies and gentlemen?

Q. I'm from Australia. Can you give us something you really like and something that maybe confused you or that you could improve?
WILL FERRELL: Oh, in a general sense? Let's see. Well, I mean, the people are obviously, some of us, friendly people that you'll come across.

What can be improved? I think driving on the wrong side of the road needs to be switched. It's very hard to drive over here, for me. So if that could be -- that's probably an easy thing to fix, right?

Q. Do you find the accent confusing?
WILL FERRELL: No, sometimes someone has a really thick accent where you have to say, I'm sorry, what did you say?

Q. Who's better at karate, you or Jim?
WILL FERRELL: Are you proficient in karate?

JIM COURIER: No, I'm more a Krav Maga guy.

WILL FERRELL: I'm more of a taekwondo. Karate is passe.

JIM COURIER: I don't like wearing a belt.

Q. I think a few years ago there was talk of you playing the part of Bobby Riggs in another film about Battle of the Sexes.

Q. What did you make of the...
WILL FERRELL: Steve Carell beat me to the punch. As is the case a lot of times in Hollywood, there were two competing projects, and we found out they were already filming it. And plus the only thing I kept bringing up was that I'm 6'3" and Bobby Riggs was 5'8". Is anyone going to have an issue with that? And everybody kept saying, don't worry about it.

I saw that movie on the plane coming down here and I thought they did a great job. Carell is a great pal. I thought it was really interesting, the storyline that they chose to kind of articulate. Yeah. I liked it.

Q. Would you have liked to play the part of Riggs?
WILL FERRELL: I would have loved to. I think he was a fascinating character. And, you know, a lot of questions, a lot of storylines circulated, you know, that famous match, you know, as the off-the-court story was pretty intriguing I thought, yeah.

Q. Have you had a chance to explore Melbourne? Have people been recognizing you, or have you been going incognito?
WILL FERRELL: You know what? No one is recognizing me, and I'm really upset by that (laughter).

So I have been walking through the streets dressed as many of the characters I have played in films, and people still aren't recognizing me.

So that's been a little disappointing. Yeah.

Q. How do you go in this hot weather? 38 today, 39 tomorrow. Do you have any tips for anyone looking to stay cool today?
WILL FERRELL: You know, everyone says hydrate. I don't. I don't drink any fluids except for I drink a lot of clam chowder. I don't know if you guys call it down here clam chowder. Hot, thick soups. That's the way to go. And hot milk. Yes.

Q. What are your tips for evading security?
WILL FERRELL: Just let them know ahead of time that you're going to walk on the court. Yeah.

Q. Who do you think is going to win?
WILL FERRELL: The entire -- it's hard to pick against Federer, and -- yeah, I mean, I think that's what's so exciting right now about men's and women's tennis. It's never been more wide open, so I don't know. Jim would be better to answer that question.

JIM COURIER: Federer has never lost when he's been interviewed by Ron Burgundy.

WILL FERRELL: Yeah. As far as the women, who do you like?

JIM COURIER: That's a tricky one. How is Halep's ankle going to recover? That's a big question mark. Svitolina has question marks. We'll just keep talking around in circles and not give you an answer. That's what I do.

Q. Wozniacki, you mentioned the Wozniacki game yesterday. She's a top seed this year. How do you see her chances of finally winning her first Grand Slam?
WILL FERRELL: She's not the top seed.

Q. She's one of them.
WILL FERRELL: Oh, she's one of them. Nice try. (Laughter.)

Q. She was in big troubles, problems yesterday, but she...
WILL FERRELL: Yeah, I think it just shows the mental side of the game and how she was able to kind of draw on her experience. It's funny how, when a less-experienced player is up 5-1 in the final set, they're almost, you know, the pressure is on them to close it out.

You knew she was just sitting there going, Okay, if I just get one game, try to get another, otherwise no one expects me to win it at this point.

It was just fun to see her kind of slow the game down and, you know, draw on that.

Q. As a professional sports broadcaster, what tip would Ron give Jim for postmatch interviews?
WILL FERRELL: Ron would probably tell Jim to be a little more inebriated in his postmatch interviews. That's where Ron Burgundy draws his strength.

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