‘Elf’ Star Will Ferrell Improvised 1 of Buddy’s Most Memorable Lines

by Jeremy Spirogis
Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Jon Favreau at the

Elf is one among Will Ferrell’s hottest films and it’s straightforward to see why. His efficiency as Buddy the Elf is equal elements charming and hilarious. What makes it much more spectacular is the actual fact the Saturday Night Live alum improvised a lot of what audiences see within the film. Ferrell even coined one among Elf’s most quoted strains whereas improvising throughout a memorable scene. 

Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Jon Favreau at the 'Elf' after party
Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Jon Favreau on the Elf after get together | James Devaney/WireImage

Will Ferrell did his personal factor within the film

Much of what individuals love about Elf is due to Ferrell’s improvisation. 

“Will just did lots of different choices for lots of different moments,” Elf director Jon Favreau advised Rotten Tomatoes in 2018. “There was always room to play and to have fun and try different alts.” 

He’d put Ferrell in a scenario as Buddy with cameras rolling and see what occurred. After filming wrapped, it fell to Favreau and editor Dan Lebental to sift by way of the footage. 

“[We had to] string all of the great different performances or improvisations together into a cohesive performance that served the story, while still taking full advantage of all the laughs that he [Ferrell] was able to find,” Favreau stated. 

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The actor improvised ‘Elf’ ‘Santa, here? I know him!’ scene

During a dialog with Rotten Tomatoes about memorable film moments, Ferrell and Favreau provided up some particulars about Elf’s well-known Santa scene.

Buddy received so excited when his boss at Gimbels introduced Santa could be visiting the shop. Unable to comprise his pleasure, Buddy screamed out Santa’s title.

“All of that, ‘Santa, I know him,’ all of that playing around we did, that was all improvised there,” Ferrell stated. “That kind of exclamation of ‘Santa!’ and screaming it, that was just my articulation of Buddy literally taking that piece of news [that Santa is coming] at face value and [thinking] what would be his literal reaction.”  

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“A man without a country in this strange land finally getting to see someone he knows really well – it would just be the most jubilant reaction ever,” he added. “I know that the first couple takes really took people by surprise, that I would go that big with it.”

The scene is one among ‘Elf’ director Jon Favreau’s favorites

There are many memorable moments in Elf however the scene is a spotlight for Favreau. The director loves the distinction between Buddy’s pleasure and his supervisor’s annoyance. 

“I remember the scene in Gimbel’s where Faizon Love makes the announcement that Santa is coming, and he just screams, ‘Santa!’”, Favreau stated.

“[Will] just loves to commit. He really knows where the laugh is in the scene. And then the reaction of [Faizon] being the manager, looking, thinking his employee is screaming in his face, is probably one of my favorite moments of the movie,” he added.

It’s been greater than 15 years since Elf first hit theaters. Today, it’s a seasonal favourite watched (and quoted) many occasions over.

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