As one half of the Farrelly brothers, Peter Farrelly is responsible for some pretty awesome comedies. There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin and more all came to light under the direction of Peter and his brother. Now, Peter is back with Movie 43, a wildly ambitious comedy film that contains 12 storylines (split up into different shorts), each one directed by a different director, and an absolutely enormous ensemble cast. Though he’s flying solo on this one, Farrelly has taken it upon himself to craft 2 of the 12 segments in Movie 43 and from the sounds of it, we’re going to be in for a real treat.
Recently, we got a chance to sit down one on one with the director to discuss his upcoming comedy. He discussed how it all came together, how the idea formed, what his shorts are about and more.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: This is a pretty ambitious film you have on your hands here. How did the idea for this come about? How did it get started?
Peter Farrelly: It came from Charlie Wessler, who produces most of our movies. He wanted to make a Kentucky Fried movie type film. There hasn’t been this sort of movie for many years. So he wanted to do that. But he wanted to use all different directors, all different writers and all different actors. So he started soliciting stories on the internet. He would see something funny, he would contact the people and see if we could use their story. Then I came on board and we went through all the stories and we had a ton of them, a ton. But we knocked it down to the amount of shorts that we wanted to do. Then, we got the directors on board and handed it over to them and just went for it.
We Got This Covered: The film took four years to finally all come together, why did it take so long?
Peter Farrelly: We had so many big actors in this film that there was no chance that we were going to be able to do it in a ten or twelve week period and get all these big stars at the same time. Everyone is in different places. So what we decided to do was, we would call someone like Richard Gere and say “hey Richard, we’ve got this hard R comedy that we want you for, you’ll love it.” So we’d send him a script and he’d tell us he wants to do it but he’s busy for a year. So Charlie would ask when could do it and whether it was in a few months or even a year, we’d wait. So what we’d do is we would shoot a few weeks here and there, shut down for a couple months, wait till the next actor was ready, shoot again and we did this over a three or four year period. We shot all over the world too. And the budget was small too, so all these big names had to work for scale.
We Got This Covered: What was that like, collaborating with so many different stars? Did egos get in the way?
Peter Farrelly: It wasn’t an issue because people were barely even getting paid. Most of the actors just did it because they genuinely wanted to and it was fun for them. It was something that was different. And it only took a couple days. None of the stars got their trailers or the other perks they usually get. Like when I was working Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, I expected them to get on set and blink and be like “really? I’m not sure I want to do this.” But not only did they not do that, but they pushed me too. They would be like “I thought this was a hard R, you should go further than this.”
We Got This Covered: Would you say Movie 43 is more raunchy than previous stuff that you’ve done? Because some of your films have pushed the bar pretty far.
Peter Farrelly: Ya, it could be. Because even my raunchiest films are balanced with a degree of heart. This movie didn’t have that though, it’s just a bunch of shorts that are just balls to the wall comedy. There’s no time for character development, it’s just all laughs. There’s no rules or regulations, we just went for it and had a ball.
We Got This Covered: Are the shorts connected in any way or are they all separate?
Peter Farrelly: They’re all separate but there is a wrap around. We didn’t want to just have short after short after short. I can’t explain what the wrap around is because it gives away too much but this story that we come back to after every few shorts is the reason we’re seeing the shorts. It kind of holds everything together. That’s all I can say though.
We Got This Covered: Can you tell us about the two shorts you directed?
Peter Farrelly: Both my shorts are about first dates. The first one is Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman having a first date, a blind date. Hugh plays a very eligible bachelor but as Kate soon finds out, he has a very, very funny birth defect and we take it from there. The other short is Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant and they’ve met on Match.com. So they go on a first date and they play truth or dare while on the date and they push each other to places you would never expect them to go.
We Got This Covered: Just before we let you go, can you give us an update on Dumb and Dumber To?
Peter Farrelly: Dumb and Dumber To is very close to coming together. We have a great script and Jim [Carrey] and Jeff [Daniels] are definitely on board. We have everybody ready to go. We have an outside financier who is negotiating right now with Warner Bros. When they come to terms with who owns what we’re going to make the movie. I promise you the movie is getting made though. I hope to have an announcement in the next couple of weeks.
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Peter for talking with us. Be sure to check out Movie 43, in theatres this weekend.