Even though it’s been 15 years since Elf was released, it continues to show up on folks’ list of favorite Christmas movies, and it is now considered a classic. And even though Will Ferrell was completely born for the role of Buddy the Elf, the actor wasn’t sure of the role at first.
The 51-year-old actor recently had a chat with James Corden on The Late Late Show With James Corden, and revealed to everyone that “there were moments” where he honestly believed that the Elf role would ruin his career. Will said, “The first two weeks of shooting were kind of all the exteriors in New York. So, still kind of discovering what this movie’s gonna be and running around New York City in yellow tights,” Will recalled. “People recognizing me from Saturday Night Live going, ‘You OK? What’s going on?'”
And since we’ve all seen Elf a bunch of times, especially since they play it nonstop on television during the holidays, the film was clearly a success. Will said, “It was just obviously one of those where the stars aligned and 15 years later, it’s crazy.” The film also starred Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, and James Caan. Will actually spoke about what James told him during the films premiere. “He’s like, ‘Hey, I gotta tell you something. Every day on set I thought you were way too over the top, but now I see what you were doing. Great job,'” Will said while laughing, adding, “I just love the thought that there we were, working every day, and he’s going back to his hotel room going, ‘Geez, get me out of this one.’ That was fun.”
And if any of you were hoping to see Will return as Buddy the Elf you can stop hoping, as Will once told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that we shouldn’t expect a sequel. “Absolutely not. I just think it would look slightly pathetic if I tried to squeeze back in the elf tights,” Will said at the time. Well, not every movie needs a sequel. This is one of those times. And if Elf isn’t your cup of eggnog, you can always watch A Christmas Story for the 174th time.