One of the earliest movies from Will Ferrell's career that helped him make the jump from SNL player to film star was the 2003 Jon Favreau-directed Christmas comedy Elf. In an interview with Variety, Ferrell revealed that his latest film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, featured an Easter egg for Elf that few people noticed.
"You know what's funny? Nobody got the subtext to that. We were trying to put in this bit about how [my character] Lars has issues with elves and elves are stupid and thought, "That's going to get such a funny laugh because of Buddy the Elf." But it just went over everyone's head. It was supposed to be such an obvious joke that we should have my character just hate all things elf-related, and I starred in Elf. And that just kind of flew by."
So Ferrell's Easter egg for Elf was that... his character hates anything to do with elves. Sounds about right. While Elf was a big success for Ferrell, he has shown little interest in returning for a sequel, saying once that it would look 'slightly pathetic' if he tried to squeeze himself back into those green elf tights. More recently, his co-star from the film, James Caan, had revealed that the reason Will Ferrell did not want to make Elf 2 was because of his issues with Favreau.
"We were gonna do [the sequel], and I thought 'Oh my God, I finally have a franchise movie. I can make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do.' The director and Will didn't get along very well. Will wanted to do it, and he didn't want the director. He had it in his contract. It was one of those things."
It seems Will Ferrell is still sore about his time spent making Elf. But the film did prove to be an important stepping stone for him in his career, as it was for Favreau, who has since gone on to become a blockbuster filmmaker with projects like Iron Man and The Mandalorian under his belt.
Aside from the not-so-subtle Elf reference, Eurovision features many jokes at the expense of the infamous European song contest. Ferrell plays the lead role of Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong, who dreams of winning the contest for his country. The actor got to indulge his musical side in the role of Lars, which Ferrell believes goes hand-in-hand with comedy.
"I just grew up in a bit of a musical family, just around music. My dad's a musician and it was just always a fun thing to do. But no, I've never had any sort of formal training. Though in late May or June, Ryan Reynolds and I are actually doing a legit musical, it's a reimagining of "A Christmas Carol" with Pasek and Paul writing the songs. I think music and comedy are kind of linked together. They share a lot of the same rhythms and you know, they almost share the same form of math, in a way. So they go hand in hand and I think I'm always looking for ways to interject music into things."
This news was first reported in Variety.