Will Ferrell needs backup actors to make a movie. There, I said it, that’s my opinion. If left to his own devices as a leading man he kind of flops a bit, but if he has costars that are genuinely funny then the movie tends to work out. In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the pace of the film is such that it just seems to jump from one point to another like a sand flea across the gray carpet of beach that they tend to frequent, but you can almost depend on NASCAR fans to either love it or hate it depending on their point of view. For the rest of us it’s an interesting and somewhat amusing racing movie that manages to stick a few decent shots of the race in between the funny and awkward moments of the film.
Here are a few things you might not have known about the film.
10. The actors were actually introduced at the real Talladega Nights.
While Cal and Ricky were cheered, Gerard was booed before anyone had to be prompted.
9. The movie was pitched using just six words.
Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver. That’s it, that’s all that was used to pitch this movie. Somehow it was that believable that the film was green-lighted.
8. Three of the sponsors weren’t charged for their product placement in the movie.
Wonder Bread, Perrier, and Old Spice weren’t charged to keep their products in the movie.
7. The actors playing Ferrell’s parents aren’t that much older than him.
Jane Lynch and Gary Cole had to be aged a bit to make the roles work since they’re only 7 and 11 years older than him.
6. NASCAR officials didn’t like the title of the film at first.
They objected at first but once the title had been changed a few times they relented and allowed it to happen.
5. Steve Carell was offered a role.
Farrell wanted to bring Steve Carell on board since they’d starred in Anchorman together but Carell had a scheduling conflict and couldn’t make it.
4. Some of the car accidents were done for real.
They were controlled but they were real enough and were done in order to give the film a look of authenticity.
3. A lot of people were uncomfortable with Ricky Bobby’s kids being so disrespectful.
It was a passing thing but if you really look at it these kids were directed to be absolutely horrible to their elders and as such offended a lot of viewers that no doubt allowed their own children to watch the film. Of course a lot of that is on the parents and teaching their kids what’s real and what’s not.
2. When he’s calling out to religious figures to save him Ricky Bobby calls out for Tom Cruise.
This is kind of a nod of respect to the racing film Days of Thunder in which Tom Cruise was the star.
1. This is the second racing film for John C. Reilly.
He played Buck Bretherton in Days of Thunder.
The movie’s pretty funny, but at some parts it deserves the eye rolls that it gets.
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