Paul Rudd Recalls The Anchorman Scene The Crew Got So ‘Annoyed’ At And Even Will Ferrell Couldn’t Get Through

Paul Rudd has been going down memory lane lately, reminiscing about his most memorable roles, including the waxing scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin. However, playing smarmy field reporter Brian Fantana in the Anchorman franchise served as one of his best roles. Playing KVWN’s resident ladies’ man gave Rudd some of the movie’s best one-liners. Of course, working with comedians like Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell would make any actor step up their comedy game. Working with those funny guys would be ideal for hilarious moments, and the Anchorman set was no different. The Ant-Man 3 star recalled the crew getting annoyed as the cast couldn’t get together for one scene.

According to the MCU star, improvisation came into play while filming the 2004 comedy even before shooting began. Things only ramped up once the cast got on the set as Ferrell and director Adam McKay didn't mind pivoting while filming the movie. Rudd mentioned to GQ about almost ruining Ferrell’s memorable “cock fight” line after the infamous all-anchor brawl. He admitted his co-star went off script, taking him by surprise. Thankfully, the Wet Hot Summer star kept his composure, saying:

You don’t want to laugh when you’re in someone’s take because you don’t want to make something unusable. And if it’s really funny and then somebody laughs, and you can’t use it, it’s really annoying. So, there’s always a pressure not to laugh. That being said, I think this scene we laughed the hardest. It’s the first time I think even the crew was getting a little annoyed ’cause we just couldn’t get through it.

Luckily, Rudd kept it together for that scene, but another famous scene seemed less so. The 53-year-old actor revealed things took a turn while filming one pivotal scene. The cast kept breaking as Steve Carrell’s Brick Tamland ate his “falafel hotdog.” Filming takes after takes pushed the crew to their limit. The Hollywood star revealed what played out during filming.

Which was the scene of all of us sitting around a table, plotting how we were going to take down Veronica Corningstone and Will [Will’s character] is asking Brick what he’s eating, and Brick says, ‘Oh, it was one of those delicious falafel hot dogs with cinnamon and bacon on top.’ To which Ferrell replies, ‘What do you mean by one of those? Those don’t exist. That’s a used coffee filter with cigarette butts on it.’ And I remember looking at it and it was coffee grounds, but it was like chocolate cake, but it looked like coffee, a real coffee filter, like a cigarette butt, a wrapper, and then a dime. And every time Carell would take a bite of it, it was so repulsive, we’d all start laughing. We’d have to do it again, and then the buildup became funny because Will would then say ‘By the way Brick, what is that you’re eating?’ And as soon as you just go ‘By the way Brick’, he didn’t even get out ‘What are you eating?’ It was the pause and then noticing, and then we’d all just start laughing.

As one of the funniest scenes in the comedy classic, it was understandable that Rudd and co. kept losing during every take. At least, the Clueless alum cleared up that the moment was just as disgusting in real-time as it was watching it. 

Carrell’s commitment to eating the coffee filter sandwich proved what a pro he is. However, he was able to break his co-stars, most notably Ferrell. Coming from the playground of SNL, the Talladega Nights star was okay with breaking during each take. Going off the cuff worked for the newsroom satire as it centered around outlandish personalities. Despite issues making it through the scene at first, Ferrell and co. pulled it together enough to get a solid take. However, if you look closely, you can still see the actors almost losing it in the hilarious cafeteria scene.

If you want to rewatch the memorable scene, get a Paramount+ subscription to stream Anchorman. You can follow that up with more hijinks (and breaks) in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. In the meantime, go to your local theater to watch Paul Rudd take on Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).