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Ghost Canyon

Will Ferrell   ('Old School') Will Ferrell ('Old School')
'Same Old, Same Old!'

Mitch (Luke Wilson) comes home to find his insatiable girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) in the bedroom watching hardcore porn. He thinks all his Christmases have come at once... until he discovers the two naked strangers she's spending time with! When your girlfriend's hosting a mini-orgy and you're not invited, it's probably time to move on!

So begins this uproarious comedy, which follows Mitch and his buddies Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn). They decide to drop out of the relationship rat race, and rediscover their college years by opening a frat house at the local university. Before Mitch knows what's happening, his friends have set up a gruelling schedule of drunken parties, KY wrestling matches, and penis stretching. All of which win the approval of the university's up-for-it teenage populace!

Turning this unlikely set-up into a comedy goldmine, 'Road Trip' director Todd Phillips breathes new life into the gross-out formula. Best described as 'American Pie' with a platinum Visa card, it's the incongruousness of the three old-enough-to-know-better male leads that informs the real laughs here. Trading on the combined charms of Wilson, Vaughn, and Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell, not to mention a killing performance from Jeremy Piven as the university's uptight dean, 'Old School' turns out to be something more than just another 'Road Trip'/'American Pie' rip-off.

Chatting recently with star Will Ferrell, I first wondered what he could tell us about his 'Old School' character? "Frank is a guy who's fighting against where he thinks he belongs. He's a little bit of a lost soul who, in a weird way, finds a home with this thing, this fraternity, they start. I think his main thing is his friendship with Beanie [Vince Vaughn] and Mitch [Luke Wilson].

Your predecessor on Saturday Night Live, John Belushi, starred in 'Animal House', which to this day is a cinematic classic. How do you feel about comparisons between the two movies? "The one thing about 'Animal House' is that you actually believe those characters exist, and that's one of the main things we wanted to establish with this film. We wanted you to really believe that these guys are friends, rather than just characters set up as a conduit to a series of funny things that happen. It's what attracted the three of us to the material in the first place, that there was a little more behind the characters than just going from one funny scene to the other."

How much of the movie was improvised? "We had a lot of improvisation between us. That was kind of the dynamic we had going between the three of us, and I think that translates well on the screen. I was the only one who was actually in a fraternity, so obviously I had lived some form or variation of what you see. I had also run naked before, sadly enough. I was able to draw on that sort of thing!"

So you didn't mind being naked on screen?! "You might not believe this, but I really don't believe in doing something if it's just for the sake of doing it. This character streaking was the result of falling off the wagon. The fact that it made sense was the reason I was really into doing it, and why I was able to commit on that level. If it was just for the sake of doing a crazy shot, then I don't think it makes sense. With that being said, I've always been somewhat fearless and I don't why. I just always have!"

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