The actor discusses his role in the Will Ferrell comedy and how to stay professional while shooting a movie

By Mandi Bierly
December 20, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

To celebrate the release of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, we dialed the cell phone of its funniest straight man.

You got the all-important ”and Fred Willard” billing. Is that Will Ferrell paying tribute to the master? [Laughs] Yes, that’s what it was. I’ve found over the years that for some reason people either are big fans and have to use me, or they don’t quite understand what I’m doing.

You never lose it in bloopers. What’s your secret? Know the longer you take to do the scene, the longer your day is gonna be. Laugh afterwards.

So you’re always professional? It’s hard to say. We were doing the stage show in Waiting for Guffman, and Eugene Levy rode out as this cockeyed pioneer. I started laughing, and Chris Guest said, ”Cut! Start again.” I said, ”No. I’ve got to just stand here, look at Eugene, and laugh.” I got my camera. It was one of those moments.