Will Ferrell's alcoholic exhilaration

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A 2011 comedy-drama based on the short story "Why Don't You Dance?" by Raymond Carver. Will Ferrell plays an alcoholic who relapses and subsequently loses his wife and his job. In an attempt to start over, he holds a yard sale and meets a neighbor who might be the key to his return to form.

October 14th, 2011

Will Ferrell found it "exhilarating" to play an alcoholic in 'Everything Must Go'.

The Hollywood funnyman found it "freeing" to play a "real" alter-ego in his latest movie - which sees him playing the role of alcoholic Nick Halsey, who holds a yard sale to help rebuild his life after relapsing and losing his wife and job - because he is so used to portraying a comical character.

The 44-year-old star - who has appeared in a number of comedy films, including 2004's 'Anchorman' - said: "I loved the script. I thought it was a unique premise and it was also an opportunity as an actor to do something radically different from the things I'd done before.

"There were heavy days but it was actually freeing. They were uncharted waters. It was exhilarating. The characters I've played in comedies are so heightened and up on the ceiling, which is great fun, but it was good to play a real guy."

Will initially tried to "avoid" becoming an actor because he didn't want to enter the "unpredictable" entertainment industry.

He added: "I always wanted to do it but I tried to avoid it because my father is a musician and I saw how unpredictable the entertainment industry can be. I wanted a more stable career but, as I got older, the yearning I had to try comedy didn't diminish. It wasn't until I was done with college and trying to get a proper job that I thought: 'Here's my opportunity to give it a shot.' "

But he didn't impress everyone when he started acting, as six months before appearing on US late-night TV sketch show 'Saturday Night Live' he was told by a casting director he should get four more years of acting lessons.

He explained to the Metro newspaper: "I was told by a casting director that I needed another four years of acting classes before I'd be ready to audition. Six months later I got on 'Saturday Night Live'. If I didn't agree with advice I didn't listen to it."