NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – With the coronavirus pandemic that forced the cancellation of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, actors Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams hope fans can get a fix by watching their wild comedy from Netflix about an Icelandic duo competing at the event.
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is a “quirky and unexpected musical extravaganza,” McAdams told Reuters.
She and Ferrell play Sigrit Ericksdottir and Lars Erickssong, blonde Scandinavian soulmates who are making their way to become Iceland’s competitors and find unlikely ways to keep moving forward.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the largest annual television events in the world, with colorful, and often ironic and exaggerated performances. It was due to take place in Rotterdam in May after the Netherlands won the 2019 competition, but it was canceled as the pandemic spread.
Pierce Brosnan said he only needed a quick look at the script to sign the role of Ferrell’s toughest father and critic, Erick Erickssong.
“I read it one morning and said yes at lunch,” Brosnan said, adding that “he grew up with Eurovision living in London” and saw ABBA win in 1974.
Ferrell said Eurovision officials “fully understood” his idea of a movie that ridicules the contest.
“I said, ‘You know, we’ll have fun with that.’ And they say, ‘Oh, you should.'”
Ferrell said Eurovision’s past performances were a key inspiration and gave them the idea, for example, of a scene where Ferrell sings while running on a giant hamster wheel.
“Andrew (Steele), our writer said, let’s make the hamster wheel.” They got an “amazing team of British props who built this huge steel hamster wheel that would then be lowered, you know, 100 feet from the air I’m running in.”
Ferrell said he hopes the Netflix Inc. movie can “show our love and gratitude for this kind of incredible contest in which … 46 countries compete each year. And it means a lot to the community.” (Reported by Reuters TV; Written by Dave Gregorio; Written by Rosalba O’Brien)