Movie Fact #298 - October 5th, 2021
The 2020 romantic musical fantasy comedy Eurovision: The Song of Fire Saga was co-written, co-produced, and co-starred Will Ferrell in a tale about an Icelandic singing duo who compete as representatives of their country in the titular competition. Ferrell had actually had a personal investment in the real-world competition long before he worked on this project. Ferrell was introduced to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 by his Swedish wife, actress Viveca Paulin. Sweden happened to win that year with the song "Take Me to Your Heaven" (Ferrell mentions as a reason he became invested in the competition). He certainly gave it his all.
As preparation for the film, in May 2018, Ferrell attended the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, to research possible characters and scenarios for the film before he co-wrote the script with Andrew Steele. He even spoke backstage with Eurovision contestants. He also attended dress rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel with his co-star Rachel McAdams. That stage was later rebuilt on a soundstage in London for the in-contest scenes, while plate shots were done with the real-life live audience back in Tel Aviv. Both Ferrell and McAdams trained with dialect coaches to capture authentic Icelandic accents while McAdams studied videos of Icelandic singer Björk. While the film was mixedly received, fans of the competition loved the film and it went on to be nominated for Best Original Song at the 93rd Academy Awards for the song "Husavik". Stay tuned!