Will Ferrell and Jon Heder Talk About "Blades of Glory"

Ferrell and Heder Play an Unlikely Mens Figure Skating Team

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder Star in Blades of Glory
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder in "Blades of Glory.". © Paramount Pictures

Jon Heder loves skating and Will Ferrell says he doesn’t exactly hate the sport after having to go through weeks of training to player rivals who pair up – literally – to take on the competitive world of figure skating in Blades of Glory. Ferrell hasn’t put on a pair of skates and taken to the ice since completing the film, but his co-star Heder claims he’s planning on skating all the time. “I am.

I’m going to. And by ‘all the time,’ I mean that I’m going to try to make it a regular, once a month to semi-annual thing,” said Heder, laughing.

Setting Boundaries When It Comes to ‘Private’ Parts: Jon Heder joked there was a clause in their contracts that said “No less than 2 centimeters” when it came to their private parts. Ferrell added, “I had a restraining order against his crotch. We really didn’t talk about it, did we?” “I think, all in all, it ended up being mostly effects,” answered Heder.” Ferrell wound up the crotch conversation by saying, “That was a stunt crotch. I don’t think I touched his crotch.”

And speaking of close proximity, Ferrell says his boob-grabbing scene with Jenna Fischer was improvised. “That was ad-libbed. I just thought, ‘This will be fun. I’m just going to do it,’ and 80 takes later… (Laughing) I had to get it right. And, it remained in the movie.”

The Comic Chemistry Between Ferrell and Heder: One’s an established actor with a solid career, the other’s a rising star in the field of comedy films, but according to Ferrell the chemistry was instantaneous.

“We met in the parking lot of Pickwick Ice Rink in Burbank,” explained Ferrell. “It was like, ‘Hey, nice to meet you.’ ‘Yeah, you too.’ ‘This should be fun, right?’ ‘It’s going to be hard, huh?’ ‘You don’t know how to skate, do you?’ ‘No.’ ‘I don’t either.’ ‘Okay, I’ll see you later.’ (Laughing) That was kind of it.” Heder added, “I was like, ‘I’ve got to lift you?”

The Need to Strip on Film: Because of a few of his recent role choices, we’ve seen a lot of Ferrell onscreen. And by ‘a lot’ I mean Ferrell in various states of undress. But the actor doesn’t look for the chance to strip something off when he reads a script. “No, I actually hope that there isn’t.” However Blades of Glory presented Ferrell with yet another opportunity to go shirtless. “In this one, I kind of do a version of it with the tattoo thing, which I thought was really funny that you reveal this stupid life story through tattoos. (Laughing) But we got to make some crazy, funny tattoos. That was amazing. And, in fact, we were just laughing that Jimmy has no sense of the fact that there’s this gross guy with his shirt off. He’s just wrapped in the story, like, ‘Really, wow, cool. What’s that one?’”

Ferrell was even tempted to keep a couple of his tattoos for a while, including the one his character gets of Heder’s character. “I was. That was the funniest thing. The make-up tattoos are so real looking and they last for a good couple of days, so I would forget. On the weekends, I’d have these weird tattoos. My wife would be like, ‘Oh, gross, what is that?’ ’It’s just a wolf. I’m the lone wolf.’”

Spandex Skating Costumes vs Elfin Tights: It’s hard to erase the image of Ferrell in his tights from Elf. Asked to compare the experience of Elf to wearing interesting – and tight – ice skating attire for Blades of Glory, Ferrell said, “Well, they were very similar. The elfin tights were actually quite functional. A lot of times in that movie, it was very cold where we were filming, so I was actually thankful to have them. The lycra suits, I was thankful to have them in a different sense, just for the character, because they were funny looking.”

Heder’s costumes were even more extravagant in Blades of Glory and included one resembling a peacock, which he had no problem saying yes to. “I remember seeing it in the design, but I always forgot about it because it’s so light, and I never saw it,” said Heder.

“People would say something and I’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s right, I’ve got feathers back there.’ So no, I did not draw the line.”

On the Design of Their Ice Skating Outfits: “We had a little bit [of input],” said Ferrell. “Julie Weiss, who’s the wardrobe designer, is kind of a mad genius, in a way. She’d be like, ‘I found this leather jacket in the hatchback of my neighbor’s car. Try it on.’ You’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s perfect.’ ‘I knew it! You’re going to wear that today.’ She really designed these amazing [costumes]. She would call me on the phone and ask me things like, ‘What would your character keep in a duffle bag?’ (Laughing) ‘I don’t know yet. I haven’t even thought about it.’ She was like, ‘I see you as a cross between Steven Tyler and this person or that person.’ But, yeah, in terms of the skater stuff, she totally designed all that.”

Heder added, “The peacock outfit was kind of my idea because we had seen clips and footage of other skaters, just to study and research, and Johnny Weir had this swan outfit. It was kind of a famous routine. It was very serious, but the glove was a swan. I was like, ‘That would be funny to do, but do it as a peacock.’ Skaters are very much like peacocks. It was amazing. I just remember throwing that idea out, and then the next thing I knew, she had this bejeweled glove and the eye and everything. It was like, ‘Wow!’”

”The first time I saw him in his outfit, I was really jealous,” joked Ferrell. “I was like, ‘Aw, you’re a peacock. Of course. You get a gloved hand and everything.

I’m only fire.’”

Page 2: On the Importance of Hair Styles, Kissing Jenna Fischer, and Performing in Front of a Large Crowd

Getting the Hair Just Right: Exactly how important is getting the right hairstyle in being able to get into character? “I love hair. It's very important. I think so much of the look, obviously including wardrobe, but the hair is a huge thing because it's basically the frame for your eyes and that's the window to your soul is what they say,” explained Jon Heder, to which Will Ferrell responded, “I'm about to cry right now.”

Heder continued, “I always love messing with my own hair.

As much as I can, I don't normally like to wear wigs. If it's just scheduling reasons, but yeah, we did extensions and played around. It's always fun getting into that character that way.” Ferrell had his own 2 cents to share about the importance of hair, “Plus, really very few of us have a job where you can get paid to come up with a crazy hairstyle. So it's always fun if you can add that extra dimension of your look and hair is a huge part of that."

Jon Heder and Jenna Fischer’s Kiss in Blades of Glory: “Well, in the script, it was like a sweet, innocent kiss, I think from what I remember,” recalled Heder. “But we were just talking about the characters and how they both have neither ever had experience with the opposite sex, for good reasons. So when they get together, we just thought neither of them would know what they're doing and we should just make it like the most awkward kiss ever, where she's a little bit more excited, she gets into it a little bit more.

Jimmy is still trying to go by what he watches on like Backstreet Boys videos. Like simple, beautiful…and yeah, we didn't really rehearse it. But when we shot it, it was like, ‘All right, let's just kind of go for it and see what happens.’ It was really weird. There was a couple where she was like making moans like, ‘Ahh ahh.’"

Performing in Front of a Large Crowd: Skating in a packed stadium was a different experience for both actors. “I was kind of nervous,” admitted Heder. “I'm used to now, started getting used to like, being in front of the camera is fine, in front of other people, there's always a small cast - but this is the first movie where actually… I remember the first time when we started shooting the skating stuff, to be out there where we have our routines planned, we know the routine, but then you have all these extras. And it was like the real deal. I got up, I was nervous. I didn't want to mess up. I mean, once you start going it's fine.”

“We worked with this woman, Sarah Kawahara, and she's like the big time skating choreographer, to the point where some of the other coaches who were former pros, actually you could see them get nervous around her,” explained Ferrell. “She does all the Disney on Ice, everything. You have these coaches who really wanted us to… In your mind, you'd be like, ‘I nailed that,’ and they were like, ‘Better.’"

Ferrell said the coaches gave them really helpful instructions on how to make the skating look more authentic. “‘Make sure you point your toe,’ and the director would be like, ‘Looks fine.’ They were almost like, ‘Don't tell them that.’ But it was intense.”

Coming Up Next: Ferrell’s currently working on another sports movie. “I just started filming another sports comedy about the ABA, which was this league in the '70s, a competing league with the NBA. So it's a basketball comedy - semi Pro. I'm this guy Jackie Moon. I'm the player/owner/coach of the Flint Michigan Tropics. I was able to buy the team with the money from my single, my number one hit song Love Me Sexy. The true story part of it is the NBA and the ABA merge and they only took four teams. We're trying to play for fourth place to make it to the NBA.”