Will Ferrell seems like kind of a weird guy, and Joaquin Phoenix seems like a completely different kind of weird guy, so Interview Magazine decided to get them on the phone together and have Ferrell conduct a weird interview with Phoenix. The end result is as wild as you’d expect, with Ferrell recognizing how odd interviews are and Phoenix being so wary of conversing in general that at one point he compares it to the fun/awkward conversation that two people would have on a first date and later flat-out tells Ferrell that he refuses to go to his Super Bowl party.
That last point is part of Phoenix’s new goal of “being honest with people,” so rather than coming up with excuses about why he can’t do something, he’s just going to start telling people that he “won’t be doing that.” It’s a revolutionary concept, and while Ferrell is probably too personable to adopt it himself, he seems positively impressed by the notion—even if does mean Phoenix won’t come hang out at his house while the Super Bowl is on (Ferrell specifically says he won’t have to watch it, but Phoenix doesn’t budge).
Another big topic that comes up is bananas, with Ferrell seeming to be in favor of them while Phoenix—unsurprisingly—is not. He compares it to “having kids,” saying that “you could get a banana and throw it on your bed for a few weeks” and it would probably be similar to what he thinks having kids is like. They also touch on the difficulty of working with horses, which mostly centers around how hard it is to remember their names. Phoenix apparently had a bad experience on director Jacques Audiard’s upcoming cowboy movie The Sisters Brothers because he kept calling his horse “Monochado” instead of “Machinero,” which he thinks was its real name.
There is one moment where Phoenix bristles at Ferrell’s questions a bit more than he intended, and it’s probably the goofiest moment in the whole chat:
Ferrell: When you worked with M. Night Shyamalan, did you ever just once call him M. Night Shyamalamadingdong?
Phoenix explains that he was teased about his name for most of his childhood, and shortly after that he mentions that their conversation reminds him of a first date on a reality show. It’s all weird and silly, especially given the very serious black-and-white photos of Phoenix that appear throughout the story. Even if Phoenix was as uncomfortable about this as he tried to make it seem, these two guys should really make a super-weird movie together.