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‘Daddy’s Home’ actors Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg talk with Long Island kids

Actors Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell with Kidsday

Actors Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell with Kidsday Reporters, from left, Daniella Graffeo, Stephen Wilcken, Gabriella Acquafredda and Greenlei Otto at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Manhattan. Credit: newsday / Pat Mullooly

The hysterical movie “Daddy’s Home” centers on a battle for affection between a nurturing stepdad Brad (Will Ferrell) and rebellious birth dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg). Trying to out-dad each other by pulling pranks to make one look more superior in the eyes of the kids, the two find the true meaning of being a father in the end.

There are many entertaining scenes throughout the movie that will keep you laughing on the edge of your seat. For instance, Brad wants to illustrate that he is as cool as Dusty and attempts to ride a motorcycle. Unfortunately, he crashes into the family’s home, up the stairs, and out the window. While trying to be someone he is not, Brad loses some of his cool-dad status by finding himself in the awkward position of being stuck in the wall.

Another funny scene occurs when Dusty builds a skateboard ramp in the family’s backyard to look cool. He demonstrates his skills at skateboarding, as Brad looks on and feels the need to impress the kids and attempts to ride the ramp by starting on the roof of the house. In the end, Dusty has to save his life.

If you like sports, you have the chance to see Brad make a half-time shot at a Lakers game, as he treats his family to an early Christmas present. However, once again, Brad’s intentions become overshadowed by Dusty’s actions to meet Kobe Bryant, and feels that he lost again. While this scene of Brad shooting a basketball midcourt has gone viral, you will not be able to contain yourself in this laugh-out-loud moment of a shot gone badly.

Another funny scene is when Dusty is challenged to roll up his sleeves and have a fight; instead, he turns his fists into a dance. Dusty and Brad have a conversation earlier that highlights that fighting solves nothing, and Dusty recalls that conversation and uses it. This is funny because it illustrates to the audience that Brad has grown on Dusty by throwing down his best dance moves, rather than throwing punches. A moral illustrated in the movie is the idea that you should be true to yourself. For instance, when Dusty is trying to win over the kids, Brad stays himself and tries extra hard to make his kids love him and hear the magical word: father!

We find “Daddy’s Home” to be incredibly hilarious, as any Will Ferrell movie is, giving it 4.5 out of 5 smiles! However, we recommend that you be a mature 13-year-old, as the content may not be for everyone.

After seeing this movie, we went back to Manhattan to meet up with Will and Mark to talk about this movie.

In your dance moves scenes, how would you compare Mark’s dance moves with your own?

Will: Well, Mark’s got the moves. He’s got the proper steps. I’m more of a freestyle rhythm dancer. He’s got rhythm.

Mark: I hated dancing.

Will: I would rate what he did in the movie very highly only because Mark was very reluctant to do that.

Mark: I didn’t like the idea of having to do old dance moves in front of a bunch of people.

Will: But the audience goes crazy when he starts dancing.

Mark: The whole throwback.

Will, in the basketball games scene that went viral, you were hysterical. How many times did you do this, and did it make you stressed or make you feel better?

Will: It was really a lot of stress, yeah. We shot that scene over the course of two days, but the actual being on the court was during the real half-time of that game. So we had about six minutes to shoot that in real time because we wanted to use the real crowd and surprise them with what was going to happen. So I only had one take to actually hit her in the face and yes, I hit her but it was with a soft deflated ball and it was a stunt person. It wasn’t a real cheerleader. Multiple times I had hit her, but that’s her job. The funny thing about stunt people is they want you to do it as many times as you can because they get paid every time they do it. They’re always going to say, “Oh, I’m fine. Do it again.”

Mark, in one scene you spent the entire time doing pushups and in another scene you spent your entire time doing pullups. Was it your idea to put it in the movie?

Mark: It was not my idea. It was in the script and we thought it was just really funny the guy doing all these crazy exercises while talking very calmly.

Will, do you prefer to produce or act in your films?

Will: Acting is the most fun thing you can do. Producing is nice because you get to kind of lend your name to projects and ideas that might have trouble getting going and you get to kind of give momentum to things like that, but I think at the end of the day, acting is the most fun.

Mark, you’re known for playing a lot of action movies like “Lone Survivor,” but this is a comedy. Are you going to start to do more comedies like this or stick with action movies?

Mark: I really like to mix it up. I’m always excited to do the complete opposite of the last thing that I did. I’m about to do a really serious drama now and then I’m going to do something else, and then hopefully go and do something comedic.

Will, do you prefer to wear your elf costume or your business suit?

Mark: He wears the elf costume under the business suit.

Will: I don’t know where the elf costume is. Everyone wants me to wear it. I prefer wearing the business suit.

How difficult is it just laughing and performing?

Mark: He takes great pride in making people ruin takes and bust out laughing in inopportune times. He’s very good at it. So there were a couple of times I could not stop laughing and the crew started to get annoyed like, “OK, you guys are having a lot of fun, we want to get home and have dinner with our wives.”

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