SEATTLE — Downhill stars two of comedy's greatest luminaries, but prior to making the movie Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus had never met.
"I know that Julia had told me that her first thought was, 'Gosh he's so handsome,’” he said.
“Right,” she added dryly. “That's what I told him."
In the film, they play a married couple whose relationship is tested during a family ski vacation to Europe.
The movie was shot on location at a working Austrian resort. Weather, lack of daylight and actual skiers all posed challenges, but co-directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash did learn the best way to stay warm on a mountain: an old-fashioned hot water bottle.
"It works better than anything else you can imagine,” Faxon said.
“Only Julia got one, so we just heard it worked better,” Rash added. “We heard that it was great.”
Zoë Chao and Zach Woods co-star as a millennial couple on a carefree vacation, in stark contrast to Louis-Dreyfus and Farrell's tense getaway..
“They're so good at popping the balloon of their own celebrity, they're so self-effacing and warm and personable, it's such a nice thing,” Woods said.
Chao added, "It's not about them. They're like 'How are you doing?'”
“But they do insist you genuflect and bow and offer them a portion of your hair,” Woods joked.
Funny and cringe-worthy, Downhill is a disaster movie of a different sort - a snapshot of what can happen in a marriage when no one spots the danger signs.
It’s rated R and opens in theaters February 14.