While Elf has gone down in history as one of the most influential and beloved Christmas movies of all time, its creation was mired in trouble. In addition to the cold conditions and script rewrites, the actors did not get along. And Buddy the Elf himself, Will Ferrell, was at the center of the controversy.
A new report claims that Ferrell’s on-screen father, James Caan, couldn’t stand the star’s unique brand of comedy. At the time, Ferrell was a huge American star, having been a mainstay on Saturday Night Live up to that point.
But when Caan met him in person for the hilarious holiday movie, he couldn’t take it. Caan told Ferrell to his face, “I don’t find you funny.”
He then went on to describe Ferrell in a nasty way to reporters and anyone else who would listen. He said of the Step Brothers comedian: “He’s the most boring person I’ve ever met. But he’ll wear anything, anytime, anywhere, as you can see.”
Caan had a lot of disdain for the Elf movie as a whole. He apparently hated the title and mockingly called him “Elk” while he was on set. And, even though he was an Oscar-nominated star of The Godfather series, he admitted that he was only involved with Elf for the money.
He reportedly said, “There’s a big difference between wanting to work and having to work. For this one, I have to work because I need the money.”
Caan wasn’t the only person on set who “didn’t like” Ferrell either, it has been claimed.
Caan previously revealed that Elf director Jon Favreau clashed with Ferrell during the film’s production.
He said: “The manager [Jon Favreau] and Will didn’t get along very well.” He then went on to reveal that Will “wanted to work on a sequel”, but was discouraged when the film contracts ensured that Favreau would return.
He said: “Is it [Ferrell] I wanted to do it, I didn’t want the director [Favreau], and he had it in his contract. It was one of those things.”
However, Ferrell has since laughed at the idea of reprising the role of Buddy the Elf nearly 20 years later.
Ferrell said of returning as the holiday hero: “Absolutely not. I just think it would look a little pathetic if I tried to put my elf tights back on: Buddy the middle-aged elf.”
Despite the problems surrounding the film’s production, it went on to make a monolithic $225 million on a meager budget of $33 million.
It was also voted Britain’s favorite Christmas film this week.
Watch Elf on NOW.
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