Will Ferrell says Megamind inspired by James Lipton [updated]

July 22, 2010 | 3:22 p.m.


The DreamWorks animated film “Megamind” kicks off Comic-Con International 2010 in Hall H at 10 a.m. today and you can expect a flabbergasted expression on the face of star Will Ferrell when he hits the stage.

The comedy star has never been to Comic-Con and he was still a bit worried the other day that perhaps no fans would show up. He was also shocked to hear Hall H seats 6,500 people. “That’s where the panels take place? Do 6,500 show up or does it depend on the panel? ‘Cause that would be a bummer if you were the first panel ever with, like, 500 people.”

The Hall H line started forming at the misty-morning hour of  1 a.m. so rest assured that Ferrell will avoid ignominy. The big question is whether he will be the most famous face on the panel: Will costar Brad Pitt be there as well? Ferrell was cryptic. “I’m just excited that ‘Salt’ is at Comic-Con,” he said, which sounds like a nod to the fact that where Angelina Jolie goes, her man may not be far behind.

And what about the film, due in November?

“Its such an interesting story in that its classic good guy versus bad guy, the struggle of good versus evil. My guy, Megamind, he’s kind of always wanted to be the only voice in town. He finally wins the day and destroys the good guy, Metroman, and then finds that he’s really lonely. He wants the good guy back. And then in training a new good guy he actually becomes — and fights for — good. He’s the bad guy who becomes a good guy.”

Asked if that makes “Megamind” something of an existential exploration of good and evil, the actor didn’t miss a beat. “With a huge blue head like I have, it has to be existential.”

This is just Ferrell’s second foray into animation, which is a bit surprising, considering his daft screen personas and their cartoon potential. His first, “Curious George,” was well-reviewed but it didn’t give the actor the challenge he found in “Megamind” in terms of craft.

” ‘Curious George’ was just an affectation of myself in a way. It really wasn’t a broad character, so this is really the first animated movie for me, as far as developing a character,” the actor said. “That’s been challenge and the fun part … this guy is slightly based on ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ guy James Lipton, and went with it from there.”

Ferrell said he has newfound respect for voice actors and “the challenges of finding the right level.” He also found it hard to leave behind the physicality he uses in live action, be it posture, facial expression or oddball gestures.

“It’s hard,” Ferrell said.”Its such an interesting process, in that I haven’t seen it yet, which is not uncommon, apparently. This is only my second animated movie, and with ‘Curious George’ I didn’t see it until the premiere.”

— Geoff Boucher


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Photo: Liz Baylen/Los Angeles Times

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5 Responses to Will Ferrell says Megamind inspired by James Lipton [updated]

  1. Jill Kennedy says:

    Khan Manka, Jr. just completed his keynote address to open the convention. Here's a transcript.

  2. Gabby says:

    Brad Pitt is so sexy! I bet he's there in disguise. Celebs do that all the time.

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