August 6 sees the return of the buddy-cop movie with the release of 'The Other Guys.' The action-comedy from co-writer and director Adam McKay will re-team him with his Ron Burgundy leading man, Will Ferrell. If the site of Ferrell laying down the law is an odd site, then his police partner is another off-beat choice: Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is no stranger to tough cop roles (hello, 'The Departed'!), but 'The Other Guys' is his biggest attempt at comedy.

Ferrell and Wahlberg play Detectives Gamble and Hoitz, two New York City police officers who never get a big case, and must constantly live in the shadow of the precinct's shining stars, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson. When the suave, butt-kicking cops are taken out of commission, Ferrell and Wahlberg see their opportunity to finally become big shots and solve a major crime.

Moviefone sent Kevin Polowy to watch them film -- right in the middle of NYC -- the comedians' take on a classic cop movie staple. Trying to find out if the victim committed suicide -- or was murdered -- the resourceful detectives are removed from the case by their hot-headed captain (Michael Keaton). In walk their replacements, rival detectives played by Rob Riggleand Damon Wayans Jr. Heated words are exchanged and soon enough, the cops come to blows with one another. As the scene goes on, Riggle and Wayans get to improvise and add more ridiculous punchlines.

During filming, we had a chance to speak with Ferrell, Wahlberg, Keaton, Riggle and Wayans, as well as McKay and his writing partner, Chris Henchy. We learned a lot about the unusual duo of Ferrell and Wahlberg, filming big action scenes in the Big Apple and the unplanned comedy that happens on set.

August 6 sees the return of the buddy-cop movie with the release of 'The Other Guys.' The action-comedy from co-writer and director Adam McKay will re-team him with his Ron Burgundy leading man, Will Ferrell. If the site of Ferrell laying down the law is an odd site, then his police partner is another off-beat choice: Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is no stranger to tough cop roles (hello, 'The Departed'!), but 'The Other Guys' is his biggest attempt at comedy.

Ferrell and Wahlberg play Detectives Gamble and Hoitz, two New York City police officers who never get a big case, and must constantly live in the shadow of the precinct's shining stars, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson. When the suave, butt-kicking cops are taken out of commission, Ferrell and Wahlberg see their opportunity to finally become big shots and solve a major crime.

Moviefone sent Kevin Polowy to watch them film -- right in the middle of NYC -- the comedians' take on a classic cop movie staple. Trying to find out if the victim committed suicide -- or was murdered -- the resourceful detectives are removed from the case by their hot-headed captain (Michael Keaton). In walk their replacements, rival detectives played by Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr. Heated words are exchanged and soon enough, the cops come to blows with one another. As the scene goes on, Riggle and Wayans get to improvise and add more ridiculous punchlines.

During filming, we had a chance to speak with Ferrell, Wahlberg, Keaton, Riggle and Wayans, as well as McKay and his writing partner, Chris Henchy. We learned a lot about the unusual duo of Ferrell and Wahlberg, filming big action scenes in the Big Apple and the unplanned comedy that happens on set.

The Return of the "Buddy Cop" Movie
McKay explained that the idea to pair up the unlikely duo of Ferrell and Wahlberg came from "the idea that [something happens] to these superstar cops and you have to have these other guys come in. We just liked the idea that the background guys from a cop movie become the stars, that's really where it came from ... And really, what's nice about the cop genre is it's a genre that's so exhausted, it puts the emphasis on character ... We liked the idea that we hadn't seen one in awhile. We also liked the idea that with crime like [Bernie] Madoff stealing $70 billion and 'what is crime anymore?' the idea of busting drug dealers seemed quaint."

For fans of Ferrell the funnyman, portraying a New York City cop just may be his oddest character yet. "This might be the most realistic thing we've done, we are real detectives and we want this kind of stark, real, gritty background, so that when we throw in these jokes, they bounce even higher," he said.

The Dynamic Duo
The sight of Ferrell and Wahlberg leaping off the movie poster, with guns blazing, can shock even their most die-hard fans who are used to their comedian and action stars keeping a respectful distance to each other. But 'The Other Guys' has melded worlds with the unusual pair at the center of the film. "We just were big fans of Mark's and thought that no one's really used him in a comedy this way and if he was up for it, we thought it would be a fun thing to do," Ferrell said. Chris Henchy added: "We just jumped on his eagerness, and how funny he is, he's been fantastic."

For Wahlberg, the comedic departure was a chance he had been waiting for. "I had been dying to do a comedy and these guys took me to dinner, bought a lot of nice wine, and were like, 'Do you want to do a movie?' Are you kidding me? If you do a comedy, and you do the wrong kind of comedy, you never get a chance to do it again, if you come from my background," the Boston-bred star explained. "And so, having the opportunity to work with these guys was a dream come true, and then they actually went through with it and wrote this part for me, it was right up my alley. And I get to work with [Will], so it's a no-brainer for me."

An All-Star Cast
Of all the Ferrell-McKay collaborations, 'The Other Guys' may offer the most eclectic cast, from the sizzling Eva Mendes to rising comedic talent of Rob Riggle, to the high-profile return of a former '80s comic icon (Keaton). For his fans who have been waiting for a chance to see him show off his comedic chops, you're not alone, as Chris Henchy explained: "Michael Keaton is very funny, back to 'Night Shift,' we loved all his stuff, 'Mr. Mom,' he's such a great personality." Riggle added: "He's an incredibly talented improviser. We all know his acting credits and skill. We actually laugh more with him off-camera than we do on, just standing in the hallway doing bits. Just walking into the scene."

The 'Beetlejuice' star is happy to be back tossing out jokes with today's biggest names in comedy. "I'm a fan of all these guys, I think they're all genuinely funny people. We had talked about other movies in the past, then this came along ... It's probably been the most fun I've ever had," Keaton said. "Coming to work on this is just like vacation. Today, I walk on set, sit back and watch Riggle go nuts."

Ferrell explained that this dream team came together "because we literally went after some people. I think we started making these movies saying, 'Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could get that person?' And it was like, no way in hell. And now with this movie, the people that we actually wanted were like, 'Oh, of course we'll do it.' So it's nice to see that our work has been liked enough to where you picture trying to get an Eva Mendes and she's like, 'No problem! Tell me when.' To put together this great cast, and everyone was really looking forward to being a part of this, it's such a bonus."

Wahlberg chimed in, "And she played his wife."

"Which is a natural conclusion," Ferrell shot back. "I don't know why everyone's laughing."


Inspired by the Greats
Along with McKay, co-writer Chris Henchy had to devour years of the best cop movies in order to really nail the genre. "We went back like 'Freebie and the Bean,' we were looking at 'The French Connection,' those kind of partnerships and all the big ones from the '80s: the 'Die Hard's 'Lethal Weapon's -- we watched all those," Henchy explained. "They definitely had a style of their own back then."

"We were shocked at 'The French Connection' which I hadn't seen in a bunch of years," McKay said. "Just the way it's shot looks so fantastic ... It's funny, 'French Connection' came out in '71, and it's been so ripped apart and cannibalized, so I would say there is no direct references but in a weird way every cop buddy movie references that. But the look of it was really important, and the pacing, the feel -- we just watched it a bunch of times. It's one of those ones you want to let it rub off on you."

Ferrell's First Action Movie
"When you talk about 'What made you want to do a movie like this?' -- that was the whole other component; to get to add super realistic exciting action," Ferrell said. "Hopefully, it will be a pretty funny mix of those intense action scenes and the comedy as well."

For his first time directing big car chases and tough fight scenes, McKay made sure to align himself with the best fight action man that Hollywood could offer. "We're doing them like we're shooting 'Bourne.' We have a lot of the people from 'The Bourne Identity' -- we have our producer Pat Crowley, [cinematographer] Oliver Wood shot all of it, so it's actually fantastic." McKay said. "You can literally say, 'How would you do this in 'Bourne'?' Dare I say, there's actually a couple of scenes that are kind of kick-ass. We shot a giant shoot-out in a conference room. It looks amazing, actually."

The tension between Wahlberg and Ferrell and their rivals (played by Rob Riggie and Damon Wayans, Jr.) reaches a breaking point, and things get physical. "My toughest day was wrestling Mark Wahlberg all day," Riggle said. "He beat the tar out of me." "He likes to show that he's strong," Wayans added, who also had to earn some bruises of his own when his face meets the fist of the former 'Elf.' Although, according to Wayans, Will's right hook needs some work: "Will's a little soft, but I kind of just gave him that. Inner guilt. It was for the cameras, really," he said.

Wahlberg said, "I wasn't signing up for an action, I was signing up for a comedy, next thing you know we're doing karate and s**t."

"I just run away," Ferrell added.

The Art of Improv
With Ferrell and McKay's background in live comedy, the duo loved bringing the improvisational attitude to a film shoot. "These guys go non-stop, and not only is it Will, every single person that plays, whether it's a big part or a day-player -- everybody that just comes in is on fire," Wahlberg said. "You got to be on your toes."

As challenging as it can be to improvise, McKay saw a lot of benefits to the comedic form. "It does it more than just the actual words, it also makes the actors looser, we start getting more personalized reads out of people," he said. "You see movies where it's word-for-word, it almost tends to be more stylized ... Whereas people improvise, it just has a flow and rhythm to it, that allows you to be stylized about other stuff."

"The beauty of improvising and getting the best real reactions and emotion are when it's just happening ...," Riggle said. "If you try to pre-think it too much, you end up trying the write the other person's lines as well as your own, and they never say what you want them to say. So it gets lost ... Improvising is all about just being in the moment and reacting in an appropriate way." Wayans adds "In improv, you come up with crap sometimes and sometimes it will just be a home-run. And that's when it's fun, that's when it's really fun."

"Adam rides herd on that and watches it and even on set says enough things to bring it back, so the story is still moving along," Keaton said. He also believes that "it's indicative of a new generation ... When I was in improv workshops or stand-up, writing comedy with others ... it wasn't as healthy back then, in my opinion, it's healthier now. They're cooler about it. Today, everybody throws in and helps out, there's a give and take, as opposed to neuroses or jealousy, which never made me feel comfortable ... I'll say you've got to be able to hit a curve-ball when you show up with these guys ... These guys bring it every day, which is fun, it wakes up a part of your brain that's been long dormant."

The Big Apple
Wahlberg is no stranger to performing in New York City, but this is the first time he has ever taken his manic brand of comedy onto the streets themselves in a huge setting. "It's such an energy to shoot here," he said. "Definitely when you're doing an exterior in a big crowded part of the city, there's some issues with people constantly yelling, 'Hey 'Entourage'!' 'I love 'Entourage'!'"

But even as the producer of 'Entourage,' Wahlberg does not get special treatment if he causes a traffic jam while filming: "You're like 'Could you guys wait over here?' 'Get the f*** out of here' and they just go through the shot. Even old ladies."

Trying to contain that energy for his film was one of McKay's goals: "We looked at some of [Sidney] Lumet's stuff, as far as how he shoots New York, cause I love that '70s look of New York, with the browns highlighted and that slightly dirty feeling, and Manhattan is pretty clean compared to the '70s, but we like that look ... As soon as we started shooting, we realized, 'Oh my god, New York dictates your look.' If you shoot in New York, New York is your look. From that base, and that coloration of New York, we started tweaking it, playing with it. But just by virtue of shooting in New York, it's the best looking film we've shot. There's no question about it.

"It is a living organism, this city, that you have to deal with. It's just making us laugh that these two characters are in a scene with the Empire State Building in the background. It's so great to feature the city as a character in the movie," Ferrell said.