Fans first got to know Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s friendship through their viral 2007 comedy short The Landlord, but the truth behind their professional rift is no laughing matter.
According to McKay, who told his side of the story to Vanity Fair in a recent interview, his fallout with Ferrell came about after he chose not to cast the comedian in the coveted role of former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss in the highly anticipated HBO drama about the franchise in the ’80s. The part ultimately went to frequent Ferrell collaborator John C. Reilly, who replaced Michael Shannon in the project.
“I f–ked up on how I handled that,” said McKay, who added that he’s tried reaching out through email to Ferrell.
“It’s the old thing of keep your side of the street clean,” he continued. “I should have just done everything by the book.”
Per McKay, he thought Ferrell would get over the casting snub in “six months to a year,” allowing them to resume their friendship. However, Ferrell “took it as a way deeper hurt than I ever imagined,” McKay revealed. And while the Don’t Look Up director owned his part in the situation, he noted that there were some slights from Ferrell’s side “that were never apologized for.”