Visiting the Step Brothers ‘ House


Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) lead seemingly easy lives. The guys are best friends and Brennan lives at home with his mom Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) while Dale lives with his dad Robert (Richard Jenkins). Their typical day consists of hanging out, playing music, watching TV and doing anything basically but working. Life is great until their single parents meet, fall in love and get married. The guys become bitter brothers as they are forced to share a room now and fight constantly over everything. When their fed-up parents try to make the guys get jobs, chaos ensues and the guys have no problems expressing their unhappiness to be adults. Their mom and dad try to set boundaries and guidelines for the dissenting guys which seems like anything a responsible parent would do, but they are just a little late in their disciplinary actions. The guys are 40!

If you thought Ferrell and Reilly were hilarious in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby as NASCAR’s Shake and Bake buddies, just wait until you see them as middle-aged pampered and irresponsible brothers in Columbia Pictures’ upcoming comedy, Step Brothers, directed by “Talladega Nights” helmer Adam McKay and co-written by Ferrell and McKay. was invited to hang out on the set for a day. The film was being shot on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, California and we got a chance to watch Ferrell and Reilly throw a temper tantrum like 13-year-old boys when the two get punished for fighting with each other.

Before going to the soundstage where the scene was being filmed, we had the opportunity to tour the wardrobe trailer (View Photos) and learned that not only can Ferrell and Reilly’s characters not keep a job, they also have a rather odd and youthful ’80s vibe with their taste in clothes.

Susan Matheson, who has dressed Ferrell before for Semi-Pro and “Talladega Nights,” told us his wardrobe in this film consists of a random collection of T-shirts such as a Judds shirt with Naomi and Wynona Judd airbrushed on the front and “Why Not Me?” on the back. There’s also a purple shirt with two white unicorns on the front which Ferrell will wear as well as “Star Wars” pajamas that Matheson had to resourcefully make herself from vintage sheets she bought on eBay. Reilly’s outfits are more colorful and his character loves mesh. Yes, you heard right. Mesh. You’ll see him unapologetically sporting lots of short shorts and since he plays the drums in the movie, he wears headbands and matching wristbands as well as an old school Fender T-shirt. While showing us the peculiar and eccentric clothes the guys will be wearing in the film, Matheson said the idea behind the unconventional costumes is not only see the juvenile side of the characters, but to also recreate their teenage heyday.

Next, we got to see the set and explore the house where the guys live. Although there are enough rooms for them to have separate bedrooms, Reilly’s character will not give up the room where he plays the drums which is called “The Beat Laboratory” so they are forced to share. Each one has a twin-sized unmade bed with posters hanging above of half-naked girls and rock bands. The room is a disaster with clothes everywhere and is very kid-like. There is a Yoda stand up figure behind one of the beds and a cowboy light is on the nightstand between the beds. The closet is just as messy with random toys on the top shelf as well as board games like “Life.” In the bathroom there is a plate of uneaten food next to the toilet and the shower curtain is grimy with penguins on it.

Downstairs in the living room are pictures of the guys from their parents’ wedding. They look semi-happy in the pictures without each other, but when they have to be in the same photo, they couldn’t appear more pissed off. There is one picture of them shaking hands and standing as far apart from each other as possible. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

After about an hour of being on set, we got to watch Ferrell and Reilly transform into spoiled and bratty 40-year-olds who are incapable of doing anything but relying on their parents. It was great!

The scene started with the guys in their pajamas sitting on the couch watching “Air Jaws,” a show where great white sharks kill their prey. Reilly has an ace bandage and an ice pack taped to the side of his head from a previous fight the two had, but now they’ve made up and are rather enthralled with watching sharks killing seals.

Jenkins comes in the living room, turns off the TV and begins telling the boys how they have gone too far this time with their arguing and it’s time for them to get jobs. As a result of their previous bad behavior, they will also be grounded for a week. Steenburgen comes to her husband’s side to show she’s serious about their behavior changing.

The fight started over Doback accusing Huff of touching his drum set which escalated into an all-out brawl that resulted in the guys falling into dry wall and Jenkins wants them to fix it. They start arguing again and Ferrell said he touched the drums with his genitals.

Steenburgen complains how she’s embarrassed her grown son would scream out rape in front of the entire neighborhood and watch as she’s attached by dogs.

They don’t seem upset by their actions, but more so that their parents interrupted their TV show. When Jenkins tells them they can’t watch TV for a week, they freak out and begin saying how bad their life sucks and how they’re never allowed to do anything.

The guys then begin to bargain with them as they walk away. They ask if they’re allowed to play video games, watch a channel they normally wouldn’t like the Food Network, listen to music, watch TV without the volume and watch YouTube.

Everything Ferrell and Reilly were saying was completely improv-ed and I was laughing so hard by this point I almost had to leave the soundstage. Each take was different and each time was just that funny. I could have hung out on set all day and just watch those two go at it.

After both parents leave, the guys try to turn back on the TV, but the dad isn’t having it. He comes in, shuts it off and yells at them for trying to be disobedient. Steenburgen comes in when Jenkins isn’t around and gives the guys $20 each to go to the movies. She feels bad they’re being punished even though they deserve to be and we begin to see just how enabling she is.

In between takes, the cast and director came out to talk to us about the film. You can read the interviews by clicking the links below!

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly

Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen and Adam McKay