“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” follows Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as they participate in the contest, which gave rise to acts like ABBA and Céline Dion, and welcomes artists from primarily European countries to perform original songs before voting determines a winner.
In a conversation with Fox News, Ferrell, 52, admitted that “very few” fans had heard of the contest, similar to himself until a few years ago.
“I had just seen it on our first trip to visit my wife’s family in Sweden … After dinner one night, everyone said ‘Shall we sit down and watch Eurovision?’ It was like ‘OK, what’s that?'” the funnyman recalled. “And I sat there for three hours wondering ‘What is happening here? This is amazing.'”
The “Saturday Night Live” alum said that “the flamboyant staging” and the “eclectic” songs made it a “perfect jumping-off point for a comedy.”
Not only did Ferrell co-write, produce and star in the film, but he also performed his own vocals as half of the fictional music duo Fire Saga.
“I grew up around music, my dad’s a musician. I’ve always sang in a [comedic way] ever since my first days of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ it’s just a fun thing to do,” he said. “…To get to sing and perform and do all that … I got to vicariously pretend that I was a performer in Eurovision, which was great.”
One of the flick’s special moments includes appearances by a bevy of former Eurovision contestants to sing alongside Ferrell and co-stars McAdams, 41, and Dan Stevens, many of whom corroborated some of the film’s eccentricities.
“It was amazing to get to work with some of the actual participants and entrants from previous years who show up in the movie and get to talk to them about their experience of being in Eurovision,” said Stevens, 37. “Almost all of them said it was one of the strangest nights of their lives. It’s a truly bizarre pageant. So it’s just right to have a lot of fun with.”
Fox News’ Ashley Dvorkin and Liza Aristizabal contributed to this report