Adam McKay recalls Will Ferrell's 'really scary' incident on 'Anchorman 2' set

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Will Ferrell faced quite the scare on the set of “Anchorman 2,” according to the film’s director Adam McKay.

The two collaborated on “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” in 2013, following up on the film’s successful 2004 predecessor. The two flicks followed fictional and outrageous newscaster Ron Burgundy, played by the famed “Saturday Night Live” alum.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McKay, who is set to release his latest feature, “Don’t Look Up,” on Netflix on Dec. 24, was asked about the recent shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust,” prompting him to recall his own haunting story of an on-set incident involving Ferrell’s safety.

“It was involving Will, and it was really scary,” he shared. “It was a scene where Ron Burgundy was going to hang himself. It was a silly joke. For a half a second, the rig didn’t operate properly and there was actual tension on the rope, but then it gave way and Will was OK.”

Will Ferrell faced a "really scary" moment on the set of "Anchorman 2" when his character attempted to hang himself.
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The director added that after the scare, the production changed its outlook: “Thank God no one was hurt. We were sick about it for two days. We said, ‘All right, let’s stop. Let’s have a meeting.’”

The “Anchorman 2” incident wasn’t the first time that McKay, now 53, and Ferrell, now 54, had faced a safety issue while filming the franchise.

During the production of the first film, the team was shooting a scene that involved a live bear.

Writer/director Adam McKay attends The 3rd Annual Lumiere Award and a special advance screening of his new movie VICE at Philadelphia Film Center on December 20, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  ()
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

“The bear did a hint of a bluff charge for a second,” McKay recalled. “From that moment on, I said ‘I will never put a live animal in a shot with an actor ever again.’”

The U.S. National Park Service describes a bluff charge as being “meant to scare or intimidate” and will see the animal “pull itself up to look bigger.”

Filmmaker Adam McKay (left) and Will Ferrell worked together a number of times and co-owned a production company together until a recent falling out saw them split up.
(Getty Images)

Now, when an animal is involved, McKay uses a “composite shot,” he said, meaning they shoot the scenes involving humans and animals separately and mash them together in post-production.

The filmmaker added that putting actors in front of live animals is “not worth it.”

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