Shockingly, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler have never headlined a movie together.
The comedy giants overlapped each other for a year on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 2001 and played rival figure skaters in 2007 satire Blades of Glory, but have shared virtually no screen time.
“I think people thought Will and I worked together more than we actually did, which I take as a high compliment,” says Poehler, who co-stars with Ferrell in casino comedy The House (in theaters Friday). “I think he’s the greatest and he’s pinching me really hard and making me say that.”
Both stars fiercely improvised on set and made it a mission to one-up each others’ jokes, particularly when Scott and Kate adopt their gangster personas “The Butcher” and “The Burner,” nicknames that stem from their weapons of choice: an ax and blowtorch lighter, respectively.
“They’ve seen the movie Casino and it was their version,” says Ferrell, 49.
“Like, what would these suburban parents think would make them look formidable?” adds Poehler, 45. “Women’s Italian sunglasses and a red-felt fedora that you get from a Halloween shop.”
After a bloody mishap when they catch a casino patron counting cards, Scott and Kate feel empowered to track down and threaten people who owe them money, hitting debtors with shoes and holding their faces under frozen-yogurt machines.
“The poor stunt guy. We waterboarded him with fro-yo, to where he literally had to be like, ‘Just tell me when we’re rolling because I have to hold my breath,’ ” Ferrell says.