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February 29, 2024

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‘Anchorman’ stars talk to The BG News on character preparation for sequel

After Steve Carell and Paul Rudd both starred in the first “Anchorman” almost a decade ago, the actors are back in character for a sequel.

In an interview with Carell and Rudd on how they prepared to get back into character for “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” Rudd said it wasn’t entirely difficult to continue his role as Brian Fantana, and living up to fans’ expectations except for a few occasions on set.

“I feel we know these characters pretty well,” Rudd said in an interview with The BG News. “But I would say throughout the shoot, there were many moments where I thought, ‘oh God, am I doing this right?’ I felt a little off track.”

He said there were also a few times when he was confused in acting out lines.

“I couldn’t tell whether or not I was in my head and I actually did remember or I was commenting on what I had done the first time,” Rudd said.

Although fulfilling the viewers’ expectations of a character is important for an actor, it’s not the only factor to consider while playing the part.

Sara Chambers, lecturer in the department of Theatre and Film, said it takes heavy research to get into character. This includes learning how it was to live in a time of that certain character, what the relationships of other characters mean to that specific character and understanding the general personality of a character.

“It’s always more than just the words,” Chambers said. “It’s not if the actor is feeling an emotion, but rather if they can make me believe they are feeling something.”

For other actors preparing for a role, it may consist of focusing solely on the character itself.

Leading up to the filming for “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” Carell said the more lost he was in his physical self, the easier he could focus as Brick.

“I am as a human being no smarter than I was 10 years ago, so that I haven’t improved as a human being,” Carell said in an interview with The BG News. “I haven’t evolved in any way. So that really helped me with Brick.”

Senior Kendra Beitzel, who has acted in three plays and one musical on campus, recently took the role of a deaf person for “Clybourne Park.” She said it was important to make the audience know she wasn’t making fun of a deaf person while acting out the part. Understanding the character is extremely important, she said.

“It’s not something that you want to do but it’s something that you have to do to get a grasp of your character,” Beitzel said. “The subtext can sometimes be louder than the text.”

The Anchorman sequel is set to hit theaters on Dec. 18.

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