Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell Take on Co-Parenting in “DADDY'S HOME 2”
In 2015’s Daddy’s Home, audiences saw sensitive stepdad Brad (Will Ferrell) go to war with badass biological dad Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) for the affections of Dylan, Megan and their mother Sara (Linda Cardellini). Since then, Brad and Dusty have put aside their differences and settled into a working relationship as “co-dads,” but their lives are thrown into chaos with the holiday arrival of their own fathers: over nurturing Don (John Lithgow) and alpha male Kurt (Mel Gibson) in Paramount Pictures’ comedy sequel, Daddy’s Home 2.
Director Sean Anders says, “At the start of the film, we get the sense that Brad and Dusty have been killing themselves to be perfect dads, but they’ve been following Brad’s playbook, which has made Brad a little smug. They’re really making an effort to put their kids first, while harboring a lot of issues between the two of them.”
“I obviously loved working with Mark again,” says Ferrell of his third film with Wahlberg. “It’s nice to know someone well enough that you can hit the ground running, and I loved the idea of picking up and seeing how Brad and Dusty were handling the co-dadding, then adding their fathers into the mix.”
“I always feel comfortable improvising with Will,” says Wahlberg of his pairing with Ferrell. “He’s a talented, down to earth guy whose humor comes from his enjoyment of making people laugh. When I first wanted to branch out into comedy, I was apprehensive and really particular about who I’d work with. Five minutes after meeting with Will and (producer) Adam McKay to do The Other Guys, I said ‘I’m in.’ A few years later, we’re making our third movie together.”
While Dusty served as the primary antagonist in the first film, the arrival of Mel Gibson’s Kurt finds Dusty struggling with an identity crisis.
“Dusty’s not the rough and tumble guy he used to be,” Wahlberg explains. He’s taken a lot of notes from Brad, and grown as a father. It takes a lot to make Dusty uncomfortable, but Kurt gets under his skin, needling him for the way he’s raising his kids. He’s torn between being a better parent and trying to impress his dad.”
“Even though Dusty has embraced these things from Brad, he’s embarrassed to show it in front of his dad,” Anders explains. “Kurt preys on that embarrassment, so we get to see this guy who used to be so unflappable and unshakeable, immediately flapped and shaken. It was a lot of fun for Mark to take Dusty in a completely new direction.”
“Will and I have kind of reversed roles,” concludes Wahlberg. “I always want to do something different, so it’s fun to play Dusty’s insecurities and see him evolve as a character.”