ISRAEL – Hollywood star Will Ferrell is joining the long list of luminaries who will show up in Tel Aviv this month for the Eurovision Song Contest. The arrival of Ferrell, the star of Anchorman, Step Brothers, Zoolander and a host of acclaimed comedies, was first reported by Yediot Aharonot on Wednesday, and confirmed by KAN.
The actor and comedian will be arriving not as a fan, but as a filmmaker. Ferrell is in the middle of shooting a Netflix satire film about the Eurovision. The movie, titled Eurovision, will be directed by David Dobkin, who was behind Wedding Crashers and Shanghai Nights.
Netflix first announced the project last summer, just a month after Netta Barzilai won the 2018 competition in Lisbon, Portugal. In fact, Ferrell also attended that Eurovision in person, and witnessed Barzilai take home the top prize.
Ferrell is somewhat unique among Americans, most of whom don’t follow and many of whom have never even heard of the Eurovision Song Contest. While in Lisbon last year, Ferrell told reporters that he’s been a fan of the show since 1999, when his wife, Swedish actress Viveca Paulin, introduced him to it. The 1999 competition was hosted in Jerusalem, after Dana International won the contest a year earlier.
Yuval Cohen, the deputy executive producer of this year’s Eurovision, told Yediot that the Israeli team asked Ferrell if he would appear on stage during one of the semi-final shows, but he has yet to reply.
It remains to be seen just how popular a film about the Eurovision will be among American audiences. While for the past three years, the competition has aired in the US on the Logo channel, Deadline reported last month that the network, owned by Viacom, will most likely not be broadcasting it this year. Last year, the broadcast of the 2018 contest garnered the channel 74,000 viewers, or 0.02% of the TV-watching population.