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Will Ferrell Felt 'So Embarrassed' by His Real Name Growing Up

Will Ferrell Felt ‘So Embarrassed’ by His Real Name Growing Up

Will Ferrell, known for his comedic brilliance, recently opened up about a less humorous aspect of his life—his real name. Speaking to his Anchorman co-star, Christina Applegate, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler on the MeSsy podcast, Will shared his childhood discomfort with his legal name.

Recounting his school days, Will vividly remembered the awkwardness surrounding his name. “This is a minor thing in terms of, it’s not really even trauma,” he said. “But I remember feeling so embarrassed because my real name is John, John William Ferrell. So, on the first day of school, I’d be John. The teacher would call out, ‘John Ferrell?’, and it was so embarrassing to me to have to say ‘Here, but I go by Will, I don’t go by John.'”

When asked why he chose to go by Will instead of John, he clarified, “It wasn’t my choice.” He added that his parents named him John but always called him Will. “I grew up as Will, but on a roll sheet, my legal name is John Ferrell.” Despite the minor embarrassment, the distinction between his names left a lasting impact, puzzling him to this day. “I don’t know why that was so embarrassing for me to have to explain ‘I’m actually Will.'”

Will’s appearance on the podcast was tied to the 20th anniversary of their comedy movie, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Will took on the role of the main news anchor, Ron Burgundy, while Christina played the confident and smart Veronica Corningstone, a fresh addition to the 1970s fictional newsroom.

During the podcast, Will reflected on why Christina was perfect for her role in Anchorman. “At the end of the day, Christina just checked all the boxes—between funny, smart, and tough. We needed Veronica to stand up to these doofuses, and she was the smartest person in the room.”

Aside from his celebrated comedic roles, Will has also ventured into playing villains recently. He humorously acknowledged being typecast in such roles. He voiced the French supervillain Maxine Le Mal in Despicable Me 4 and previously portrayed the Mattel CEO villain in Barbie. “I’m being typecast now,” he joked during an interview with Variety. “It’s always fun to be mean, in a silly way. I think that’s just a side of you that you don’t get to express. It’s just fun to play around with the voice, and it’s a little bit of an homage to the Pink Panther.”

Source: Variety, MeSsy Podcast