Former Saturday Night Live cast members Will Ferrell and Maya Rudolph paid a visit to Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live on Sunday night to promote their respective new films.
During the course of the cordial interview with host Andy Cohen, the Daddy’s Home star admitted that the Lifetime movie that he starred in alongside fellow SNL alum Kristen Wiig was in fact a spoof. The revelation came in response to a viewer question regarding the Lifetime TV movie A Deadly Adoption, that asked:
"“Can you please help me understand A Deadly Adoption? I was waiting for it to be funny, but it was a legitimate Lifetime drama. Was that the intention?”"
Apparently not, as the comedian explained with a laugh. “If you think it was legit, you are sorely mistaken,” he said. Ferrell explained he wanted to do a Lifetime movie that just played it straight, which Wiig was game for, resulting in a lot of confusion from viewers, but he ultimately admitted the project was a spoof.
The pair managed to fool audiences with A Deadly Adoption – the tale of a couple who take in the birth mother of the child they are about to adopt, with deadly results – which was met with bewilderment from viewers and critics alike, including a New York Times reviewer that Ferrell mentioned on WWHL who’s “head was exploding.”
Neil Genzlinger, the critic in question, dismissed the film as a “mediocre Lifetime movie,” and had particularly harsh words for Ferrell, who he called “painful to watch” due to his inability to have a “convincing ‘serious’ or ‘distressed’ or ‘remorseful’ look in his arsenal, all of which this script required.” Genzlinger concluded:
"“It was impossible to watch this movie and not expect it to turn into a sendup of Lifetime’s usual women-and-children-in-jeopardy dramas. Too bad it didn’t; that could have been pretty funny. But the sendup never came, and once you accepted that Mr. Ferrell and Ms. Wiig were playing it straight, you also realized that the movie wasn’t very good even by Lifetime standards, which are not exactly lofty. It was full of suspense-movie tropes and clunky dialogue, served on a bare-bones budget.”"
However, Ferrell’s admission stands in contrast to Wiig’s denial that Deadly Adoption was a Lifetime movie parody. The actress told USA Today a month after the film’s debut:
"“I never saw it as a parody. We just really wanted to do it and Andrew (Steele) wrote it. It just worked out and we had so much fun. Yeah, that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to make a Lifetime movie.”"
Ferrell and Rudolph’s appearance on Watch What Happens Live also included a re-creation of a scene from Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which featured the duo delivering hilarious impersonations of two the show’s cast members – Kenya Moore and Sheree Whitfield – during an increasingly heated argument:
Will Ferrell’s new comedy Daddy’s Home co-starring Mark Wahlberg hits theaters on Christmas Day, while Rudolph stars in the Amy Poehler-Tina Fey film Sisters, which opened this weekend. Meanwhile, Cohen will celebrate the holidays on Watch What Happens Live tonight with a special episode featuring actress Jennifer Lawrence.