Two years after Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and director Adam McKay teamed up again for Step Brothers. The family dysfunction that ensued when adult-children Brennan Huff and Dale Doback joined forces was entertaining enough to drum up more than $100 million at the box office. Here are some facts about the movie that you can toss out as a conversation starter at your next wine mixer.
1. ADAM MCKAY CAME UP WITH THE CONCEPT WHILE EDITING TALLADEGA NIGHTS.
Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly met one night during the editing of Talladega Nights to come up with some ideas for their next project together. The next day, someone in the editing room said “bunk beds,” which gave McKay the idea to have the two actors play overgrown step brothers.
2. JON HAMM ALMOST PLAYED DEREK.
It came down to Hamm, Thomas Lennon, and Adam Scott for the part of the jerk brother Derek. Scott got the part.
3. IT WAS WILL FERRELL’S REAL SINGING VOICE AND REILLY’S REAL DRUMMING.
Reilly learned to play drums for his role in the movie Georgia, where the music was recorded live.
4. BUT IT WASN’T ADAM SCOTT'S REAL SINGING VOICE.
When Derek’s family is singing “Sweet Child O' Mine” in the car, everyone but Adam Scott was singing live. Scott was lip-synching to a singer who was standing in front of him outside the windshield.
5. JOHN C. REILLY HAS A LONG MUSICAL HISTORY.
Reilly's brother started a band called Shark Fighter, with John installed as the lead singer. His brother played the drums—and wouldn't allow John to touch his drum kit. Reilly admitted on NPR that he played with the kit anyway when his brother left the house.
6. RICHARD JENKINS USED TO WORK FOR REILLY’S FATHER.
Toward the end of filming, Jenkins—who played Reilly’s father, Dr. Robert Doback—heard from the actor playing his son that his father was also from the Chicago area and used to work in the linen business. It was then that Jenkins realized that he had worked for John Reilly (John's father) in the summer of 1969, and had met John Jr. when he was four years old.
7. BRENNAN’S TESTICLES WERE EXPENSIVE.
They cost $10,000 to produce. Ferrell kept them.
8. THE COSTUME DESIGNER HAD TO GET CREATIVE.
Susan Matheson had to manage to find old T-shirts that didn’t make it seem like Brennan and Dale were dressing as hipsters. She made Brennan’s pajama bottoms out of vintage Star Wars sheets purchased on eBay.
9. PABLO CRUISE PLAYED THE PREMIERE.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
10. ADAM MCKAY RECYCLED AN OLD HIGH SCHOOL NAME FOR THE MOVIE.
Brennan performed at the Great Valley High School talent show. McKay graduated from Malvern, Pennsylvania’s Great Valley High in 1986.
11. NFL ANALYST CRIS COLLINSWORTH REFUSED TO CURSE.
He filmed a cameo playing Brennan’s boss for two lines. Whenever he was pitched a new line with a profanity in it from McKay, Collinsworth would change it so that he didn’t curse.
12. JENKINS NEEDED A TETANUS SHOT.
One of the dogs on set bit the actor in the butt, necessitating the shot. When Jenkins returned to work he asked McKay if he should be limping in the next scene for continuity purposes. McKay told him they probably weren’t going to use the dog scene anyway.
13. THE CATALINA WINE MIXER WASN’T SHOT ON CATALINA ISLAND.
It was shot at the Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The f*cking Rancho Palos Verdes Wine Mixer just doesn’t have the same ring.
14. THE FIRST VERSION OF THE MOVIE WAS FIVE HOURS LONG.
They managed to cut it down to 98 minutes for the theatrical release.
15. A RAP ALBUM WAS PLANNED AND SCRAPPED.
McKay started to work with the music producer responsible for “Boats ‘N Hoes” and hit songs by major artists like Rihanna and Katy Perry. The project was canceled after scheduling issues popped up with everybody involved.