4 Surprising Influences of Casa de Mi Padre

The director of the Will Ferrell comedy found inspiration in unexpected places

The director of the Will Ferrell comedy found inspiration in unexpected places

Just in case you missed it in the sea of Spanish-language comedies made by Americans, Casa de Mi Padre arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week. The movie marks the latest of several collaborations between Will Ferrell and director Matt Piedmont, who both got their start on the SNL circuit back in the late ‘90s. Though Casa de Mi Padre boasts plenty of slapstick and silliness, Piedmont wasn’t watching Spanish comedy networks to prepare himself for this one. Below, find out the eclectic spread of movies that inspired Casa de Mi Padre. Then, go act superior for knowing who Alejandro Jodorowsky is. Your friends will love it. Here’s the recipe for making a truly bizarre Will Ferrell movie.

Add One-Part Weird South American Movies

Matt Piedmont: I used movies like Holy Mountain, which is a very trippy South American film by Alejandro Jodorowsky. I used a lot of him.


Mix in a Handful of Classic Westerns

I even looked at classic stuff like The Magnificent Seven and tons of spaghetti westerns that are known and not known. There’s some Sergio Leone movies like Duck, You Sucker! and some lesser known stuff.

Use the Zest of Edgy Westerns

Director Sam Peckinpah’s films, like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and The Wild Bunch, those kinds of westerns are in there.

And Add a Pinch of Marty…for Flavor

There’s some Scorsese. I don’t think you have to know the references to enjoy them, but if you do, it can be kind of fun to spot what we were going for.

Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

On His Star Learning a New Language

For Will we called it a fever dream because he had about a month and a half to learn Spanish and he learned it phonetically, so he could have pretty good comprehension but he was speaking a very specific, kind of Northern Mexican rancher accent. Will couldn’t really be hanging out because he had to practice his lines all day.

On Missing the Spanish-Speaking Actors’ Digs

I usually like to leave the camera rolling past cut anyway and some actors don’t like to improvise and some do. Diego [Luna] and Gael [Garcia Bernal] in the scene in the bar were improvising a lot of stuff and it was really good. Sometimes I wouldn’t know until edit that they were saying mean things about me, jokingly. I can’t think of any, but they’d do something and the Spanish speaker would be laughing and they’d all look at me like, “You don’t know what he said.”

On Mocking Melodrama

It’s less about the telenovelas which I think are just kind of ubiquitous. It was more in the zone of melodrama. What I love about those telenovelas is they’re so overly melodramatic, and that goes back to stuff like Douglas Sirk films. It seems inherently funny to me, melodrama in itself. When things are taken so deadly seriously and everything is so high drama, that’s funny to me. Those Douglas Sirk films feel like comedies to me because they’re so overwrought, but I love them.

Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

On His Continuing Work with Ferrell

It was a different feel this time because Will, who’s basically the best improviser ever, he couldn’t do that. Obviously he could be funny through his actions and looks and gestures and certain things, but we basically took away his magical gift of improv. So it was different in that, usually Will would be doing different things every take, but he couldn’t do that in this one. He basically had to shoot what the script said.

On This Year’s Mass SNL Exodus

The great thing about Saturday Night Live is that it will always go on and there’s no one set of actors or writers. Everyone’s dispensable, and I say that with love. I think it’s going to be great. I think when that happens, sometimes there’s more room for creativity and some new blood to come in there. I know it’s always an ongoing battle to try to keep it relevant and fresh but I think they’re going to have an amazing year, especially with the election, that always brings out the sharpest stuff.

Casa de Mi Padre is available on DVD and Blu-ray now! Check out this behind-the-scenes clip below!