Television viewers in Bismarck, N.D., were treated to some real class this weekend when none other than the great Ron Burgundy read them the news.
Actor and comedian Will Ferrell reprised his “Anchorman” role for KXMB’s Saturday night news broadcast. The former “Saturday Night Live” star is promoting “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” a sequel to the 2004 film about a fictional news team’s sexist reaction to the arrival of an ambitious female reporter.
Dressed in his signature rust-colored three-piece suit and a striped tie, Ferrell read stories off the teleprompter, punctuated them with exaggerated eye blinks and engaged in witty banter with weekend anchor Amber Schatz and the rest of the Bismarck news team.
Schatz said she has watched the original “Anchorman” about 30 times, and the hardest part of co-anchoring the newscast with Ferrell was holding back laughter every time he spoke in character.
“The second he said, ‘Good evening, I’m Ron Burgundy,’ I lost it,” Schatz said Sunday. “It was really hard not to laugh.”
He also clowned around, popping into Schatz’s screen while she read a story and telling her after a commercial break, “Amber, you look lovely tonight” before asking her if she was married.
When Schatz told him she wasn’t married, Ferrell replied, “Well I am, so don’t get any ideas.”
Lee offers advice to Asian filmmakers
Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, who plans to make a movie in the Philippines, says independent Asian filmmakers have a better chance these days of finding audiences around the world.
The Taiwan-born director of “Brokeback Mountain” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is in the country as a guest of Taiwan’s de facto embassy, which honored him with a special screening of “Life of Pi.”
Lee told a forum with filmmakers and media that he was inspired by how the world received the movie. He said 85 percent of the film’s income came from outside of America, which used to be the market leader. The movie took four years to make, cost around $130 million and earned Lee his second Academy Award for best director.
“I think that’s good news for all of us,” he said. “You have a chance to make it and find your audience.”
He said for Asian filmmakers who want to make mainstream movies with broad appeal, “nobody makes movies like Americans.” But he urged them to learn the film language of Hollywood, how to deal with it and not be a slave to it.
The birthday bunch
Actor Dan Butler (“Frasier”) is 59. Actor Dennis Christopher (“Breaking Away,” “Chariots of Fire”) is 58. Actor Steven Bauer is 57. Bassist Rick Savage (Def Leppard) is 53. Bassist Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) is 45. Actress Lucy Liu is 45. Actress Suzy Nakamura (“Go On”) is 45. Actress Rena Sofer is 45. Rapper Treach (Naughty by Nature) is 43. Singer Nelly Furtado is 35. Singer Britney Spears is 32. Singer-actress Jana Kramer is 30.