Will Ferrell got things rolling at this weekend's NASCAR event in Illinois and Access was there to get all the catty action as the cast gave us their take on a few playful Tom Cruise swipes in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”
The film comes out Aug. 4 and you can count on fast cars and big laughs from Ferrell, who is considered a leading member of the “Frat Pack,” a loose conglomeration of comic actors who move interchangeably between each other's films.
Think Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, the Wilsons (Owen and Luke), Steve Carell and the imitable Jack Black.
“Talladega” stars Will as NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby, who faces a challenger played by Sasha Baron Cohen — aka Ali G.
In one laugh-out-loud scene, Will — who thinks he's on fire — runs around in his underwear on the racetrack, yelling, “Help me Jesus! Help me Jewish God! Help me Tom Cruise! Tom Cruise use your witchcraft to get the fire off me!”
Ferrell takes on Cruise! But it was all in good fun.
“It was well after the Oprah kind of moment,” Will told Access. “I think that became a reference that everyone was comfortable with and it just happened.”
Will's co-star, John C. Reilly, says Will works off the cuff.
“Yeah, we had a big meeting. We decided let's make a list of people we're going to make fun of, no,” John laughed. “I'm sure Tom Cruise was on the news a lot that week and so, he was on Will's mind and he just came out.”
And John has another NASCAR/Tom connection — “Days of Thunder!”
“Well, it was 15 years ago that I made that movie so, the world of NASCAR has changed like everything else in the world,” John told us. “It's funny because I feel like I got more of a real NASCAR experience on this movie than I did on ‘Days of Thunder.’”
And though Will actually has no “Tom Cruise agenda,” not all Tom's are safe…
“I do have a problem with Tom Hanks, though,” Will joked. “That guy is a bastard.”