Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have teamed up for an American remake of the dramedy Force Majeure, but the foreign location was still very much part of the story. Downhill is about a family on vacation in the Alps when things goes awry after Ferrell’s character makes an unsettling decision during a life-threatening avalanche. He grabs his phone and runs. This is really awkward because his wife (Louis-Dreyfus) instinctively grabs her children.
Downhill was filmed in Austria, and while the cast and crew were over there, Will Ferrell somehow got lost in Switzerland. Here’s how he recalls it:
The second resort we were in, called Ischgl, shares the border. There were little signs, like, 'This way, Switzerland.' I'm, like, let's do it. So I'm by myself, I'm skiing down, I was like, this is so lovely and, like, but I don't see a chair lift back at all. And I end up in a small town in Switzerland. Gone for, like, three hours. I have to figure out, like, a bus and a tram. I had no money.
Oh no! This sounds like a frightening situation, but since Will Ferrell is at the center of the story, it instantly becomes funny somehow. Since the ski resort they were at was on the border between the countries, the Elf actor decided to explore further for a little while, having no idea he’d end up hours away in a random Swiss village. He joked at Late Night with Seth Meyers with these words:
The Swiss are nasty. To get cornered by a bunch of Swiss, chanting at me. Pelting me with Rolex watches. Hard chocolate candies. It was harrowing.
Does anyone else want a comedy just about Will Ferrell getting lost in Switzerland now? It sounds like this was quite the adventure. He was able to use his street smarts to ask people how to get back to Ischgl. Ferrell added that he ended up following a group of people back to the resort. He was originally worried he’d have to call production to pick him up and waste resources for his rescue.
Between Downhill’s premise and this story, the idea of vacationing in the Alps is looking less appealing everyday. In the Fox Searchlight movie that premiered at Sundance back in January, Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ characters start questioning their relationship following the avalanche incident. Also among the cast is Miranda Otto from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and The Office’s Zach Woods.
Downhill hasn’t been met with the most positive reviews considering it has a 41% score on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and a 19% with audiences. It’s looking at a $4 million opening weekend against Sonic the Hedgehog, Birds of Prey and The Photograph well above it.
Coming up, Will Ferrell is teaming with Ryan Reynolds for A Christmas Carol musical and starring in a Netflix comedy called Eurovision with Rachel McAdams as two Icelandic singers competing in a song contest.