Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis Make Pit Stop in Philadelphia for “The Campaign”

Actors Greet Crowd With Eagles and Flyers

Certain method actors come to mind when you think about a total submersion into a role: Al Pacino, Christian Bale, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Heath Ledger. Of course, becoming one with a character does not always involve severe physical transformation, soon to be evidenced in the new Will Ferrell/ Zach Galifianakis film “The Campaign.” No, these two don’t look like they’ve intensely worked out, or really changed much about them at all (thank goodness), but  yesterday, as part of the “Whistlestop Tour,” both actors made a brief showing in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center to sign a ceremonial copy of the U.S. Constitution for its 225th anniversary.  So why bring up method acting? Well, let’s just say both Will and Zach seem to be fully embracing their filmic characters Cam Brady and Marty Huggins, sadly now iconoclast politicians in contemporary culture in a film that irreverently critiques our polarized, pop-culture nation.

They started like all politicians do, late, by thirty minutes, and left a crowd of a thousand people waiting for over an hour. Regardless, their entrance came with a rousing applause, facilitated by early arrivals from members of the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers. Donning just street clothes, they shed their impersonations, not needing to further promote a film whose banners, posters, and life-size cardboard cutouts decorated the second floor gallery. They were on stage for all of ten minutes, the definition of a publicity appearance. Wave, smile, picture, exit stage right. But Will and Zach made their presence known just a little.

“Mic check, 1,2,1,2,” Ferrell started to test the sound system in his three-cornered hat and lace collar. Then it was Zach’s turn as he began to take his quilled pen to put his signature ( “John Hancock”, or was it Herbie Hancock? Tommy Boy fans can laugh) on the replicated booklet. Will believed the Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew who was signing their document to which Zach replied, “It’s too late now!” Before they left, both comedians chatted with Eagles and Flyers and held up honorary jerseys. It was all very cordial, and though a fan shouted a request, no babies were punched (one is harmed in the new film).

The final address to the fans came in typical politico fashion, using the oldest tour city cliché in the book. “I think it’s safe to say, Will, this is our favorite city we’ve been to,” jested Galifianakis. Yes it certainly is a “safe” thing to say in Philadelphia. Everyone, even amidst the cheers, saw the irony in that statement, presuming both actors arrived by car just shortly before getting on stage. Ferrell then sarcastically assured everyone, “and it’s not like we say the same thing in every other city we visit.”

Will and Zach’s Signatures on the 225th anniversary copy of the U.S. Constitution

So while they didn’t dress in Brady and Huggins attire or have any faux shouting matches, the theme of the movie still resonated. Home crowd catering isn’t an overlooked subtlety anymore, and neither is the state of blue and red politics. It’s as overt as ever before.

Enjoy these teaser slaps at Congress below!

Marty Huggins

Cam Brady

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