Comedian Will Ferrell, the master of mimicry and unconventional characters, had a surprisingly difficult time learning Spanish for his new film, “Casa de Mi Padre“, which is set to release on March 16.
To prepare for his starring role, Ferrell told the New York Times that he was going to listen to the Rosetta Stone but couldn’t figure out how to get it on his computer.
“It was a disaster,” Ferrell said.
Fortunately for Ferrell, some last minute training and a little focus helped the nonnative speaker fulfill his responsibilities for “Casa de Mi Padre,” an offbeat comedy compared to the outlandish actor’s other hits like Anchorman and The Other Guys.
Shot in less than a month’s time with a $6 million budget, “Casa de Mi Padre” plays like a typical telenova with English subtitles and a melodramatic plot.
“For some reason,it just hit me that it’d be really funny not to have the joke be that I speak bad Spanish, but that I actually speak as proficient Spanish as I can muster, and everything is played really straight,” Ferrell said.
Unfortunately, the film will only receive a limited release and will be playing on 368 screens. Ferrell said it was a “bummer” that the movie will not be getting a wider release because it would crack him up if it was playing in the multiplexes of Omaha, Nebraska.
Whether or not “Casa de Mi Padre” is a commercial success is of little concern to Farrell, who said he was happy to gamble on a project like this.
“I’m going to be continually letting people down,” he said. “I’ll say: ‘Don’t you appreciate the movie even more? I can’t even speak to you in Spanish right now.’ ”