Will Ferrell says he worried Christmas classic Elf ‘might be my last movie’

Will Ferrell says he feared that his classic Christmas film Elf would be “my last movie” while filming it almost 20 years ago.

The US actor and comedian said the film had “stood the test of time” because it was “beautifully uncynical”.

Elf was released in 2003 to widespread critical acclaim, and is considered to be one of the top Christmas films of all time.

Ferrell appeared on BBC’s The One Show alongside fellow actor Octavia Spencer to discuss their new festive film Spirited, which they star in with Ryan Reynolds.

Asked why Elf continued to be so popular 19 years after its release, Ferrell said: “I think because it’s beautifully uncynical.

“It’s a character that’s excited by everything that’s mundane to us in our normal lives, it’s a fish-out-of-water story.

“It’s just very sweet and hopeful, and turns out it was funny.”

Speaking about filming the movie, he said: “At the time it was as I was running around New York City in my yellow tights I was thinking ‘this could be my last movie’.

“Little did we know we were making a movie that would stand the test of time.”

Spirited is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol, told through the eyes of the ghosts.

Ferrell and Reynolds previously appeared in a humorous advert for the film in which they provided the disclaimer that it was “not Elf or Deadpool”.

As well as Ferrell, Spencer and Reynolds, it also stars Mr Robot’s Sunita Mani, and is available for streaming on Apple TV+ from November 18.