PORT Magazine Issue 8: Will Ferrell
- New York Times Magazine editor Jon Kelly talks us through his day hanging out with Hollywood actor Will Ferrell for our cover feature
.When you’re hanging around West Hollywood for a few days, as I did when I met Will Ferrell, you sort of expect to see stars everywhere: at The Coffee Bean, walking out of Equinox, or getting out of their car for dinner at the Tower Bar on Sunset (I saw David Spade there one night). Whenever you see these people, though, they are generally doing their best to be real people, walking with their hats slung low, avoiding attention. So it was a little disconcerting when I met Ferrell. He was wearing a scarlet track jacket, shoes that must have been made up of six colours, and this intense trucker moustache. He would have stuck out in Texas or the 8th grade. But he definitely stuck out in Los Angeles.Ferrell obviously didn’t mind sticking out, but very little about him seemed celebrity-ish. The first I noticed (besides the gear) was how good his table manners were. He held a fork and knife like a character in Downton Abbey and waited to finish chewing before uttering a word. He also laughed a lot, which even though it was I interviewing him, made me feel comfortable joking around with someone who presumably has a high bar for laughter.
The thing that struck me the most as we spoke was how attentive Ferrell is. If you have lunch at any of Hollywood’s celebrity precincts, like the Polo Lounge, you get this odd sensation of being in a high school lunchroom for famous adults. Eyes dart everywhere to see who is coming and going; people speak in hushed voices so as not to attract attention. There is that odd sensation that everyone is both hiding and trying to be seen at once.Whatever it is, Ferrell would have none of it. He talked freely and openly and didn’t give a damn who was at the next table. When a hotel guest pleaded with him to take a photo with his son, Ferrell told him there was no need to beg. He was happy to do it. And, to my liking, he seemed more than a little humoured and bewildered that he somehow had the ability to make a grown man act like a giddy kid.Photography Tim Barber
Styling David St John James