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Andrew
October 29, 2003, 12:42 PM
For anyone interested The Onion's AV club has an interview with Will Farrell this week - in it he has mentions some great points about improv and character use (http://www.theonionavclub.com/3942/feature1.html):

WF: The only thing I really had to go on was that the character had to be played totally straight the whole way through. To me, it was obvious that it would be someone who was in a sense a big kid, not having any preconceived notions about how he was supposed to behave. Not knowing human behavior, and not knowing the dos and don'ts of conduct, the way you're supposed to act or not act, would just be the way I would play him. Not having those filters that we don't have as kids, but that come into place later.

O: One thing your parts have in common is that you have absolute conviction toward the character you're playing. There isn't a lot of winking.

WF: No, no. That's what I think works the best, and what I think makes the best comedy—something that's completely committed and more approached as an acting exercise, as opposed to being worried about whether to be funny or not. The comedy comes from the context.

O: You seem to be phasing into larger roles. Do you think your background in improv is a good way to prepare for that versus, say, stand-up?

WF: Gosh, I think improv gives you the skills to... You have to listen a lot, and you have to be open and ready to adjust to anything. It kind of provides a framework that you use all the time. You never really shut off that part of your brain when you're doing something. It's invaluable to have.