Will Ferrell admits he feared 'Elf' would ruin his movie career


Will Ferrell wasn't sure that everyone would fall for Buddy the Elf.

The 51-year-old actor stopped by The Late Late Show With James Corden on Thursday where he revealed that "there were moments" when he thought his now-iconic Elf role would ruin his career. In the 2003 holiday comedy, Ferrell plays a human that was raised by Santa's elves in the North Pole, who goes off to New York City to find his birth father, who is played by James Caan.

"The first two weeks of shooting were kind of all the exteriors in New York. So, still kind of discovering what this movie's gonna be and running around New York City in yellow tights," Ferrell recalled. "People recognizing me from Saturday Night Live going, 'You OK? What's going on?'"

Ferrell said his thought at the time was that it was either "going to be a home run or people are going to go, 'Whatever happened to you? Why did you do that one about the elf?'"

In the end, it worked out more than OK, with the film now a clear holiday favorite. "It was just obviously one of those where the stars aligned and 15 years later, it's crazy," Ferrell said of the instant classic.

Ferrell went on to recall how, at the premier for the film, he was approached by his co-star, Caan, who had a hilarious confession to make.

"He's like, 'Hey, I gotta tell you something. Every day on set I thought you were way too over the top, but now I see what you were doing. Great job,'" Ferrell said through laughter. "I just love the thought that there we were, working every day, and he's going back to his hotel room going, 'Geez, get me out of this one.' That was fun."

Originally published