Will Ferrell Shares Why He Chose 'Spirited' as first Christmas Movie Since 'Elf's Success (Exclusive)

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Another Christmas classic under his belt! Will Ferrell left his mark on holiday cinema in 2003 with the beloved classic Elf, and now he's getting in the festive spirit again for his new movie, Spirited.

Ferrell walked the carpet at the New York City premiere of Spirited at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center on Monday, and spoke with ET's Rachel Smith about what drew him to doing his first Christmas movie in nearly 20 years.

"You know, I love Sean [Anders] and John [Morris], the filmmakers. I've done two other movies with them, but I'd never done a musical before," Ferrell explained. "I just thought it was such a different creative reimagining of A Christmas Carol in a way that I'd never heard before in a really smart way a way that could be funny but meaningful."

"When you kind of have that blending of heart, comedy and message, that's what you're trying to pull off," Ferrell added. 

Spirited, a modern take on Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, stars Ferrell as the Ghost of Christmas Present, opposite Ryan Reynolds as the Scrooge-like character Clint Briggs. The film is a full musical -- including complex dance numbers and original songs. 

"I think the challenge was living up to the complexity of the songs that they had written," Ferrell reflected. "When you're singing, I've always kind of sang in a comedic way. But when you have to emote feeling and story and everything through the song, it's a whole other skill level. And so that was like that was crazy."

Ferrell also addressed his "evil" role as the "bad guy" in the upcoming Barbie movie -- opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and joked that between Spirited and Barbie, he feels complete as an actor.

"Oh dancing, singing, starring in a Barbie movie! Those are, when I started out in this business, those were my three goals," Ferrell quipped.

Fans will get a chance to see Ferrell singing and dancing as the Ghost of Christmas Present when Spirited hits select theaters on Nov. 11, and debuts on AppleTV+ on Nov. 18.


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