‘The Campaign’ director Jay Roach on Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis

08.10.12 5 years ago

Jay Roach’s new film “The Campaign” satirizes modern political maneuvering, taking place in a small North Carolina district, where slick incumbent congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is challenged by the goofy family man Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis).

HitFix’s Katie Hasty sat down with Roach to discuss the film’s politics and the two very different comic personae at its center.

Although the film was partially inspired by the endless — and endlessly fascinating — GOP debates this past spring, Roach believes in the universality of making fun of politicians on both sides of the aisle. He says, “I think people will see something, whatever point of view you have, that you can make fun of.” 

Ferrell plays a Democrat, while Galifianakis’s character was inspired by the Tea Party, but, as Roach explains, the two also have dissimilar comic sensibilities.

“Comedy loves contrast and conflict,” Roach explains. “Zach’s brain works differently than…anybody else’s. At first, you’re not sure how to feel about it [because] it’s so off center, and the more you get to know him the more you get to like it because it’s so off-center.”

“Will is different,” he continues “he’s so instantly likable…but as he reveals more of himself, there are layers of dysfunction and craziness that is also really appealing.”

“The goal was to…create a cage like in ultimate fighting championship that they’d have to beat the crap out of each other.”

“The Campaign” opens today.

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