We all know that The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson is a randy Scotsman who is unable to take anything seriously, especially his own job – he routinely describes it as crap, suggests his audience are just highly-paid hobos and he dismisses all the late-night hullabaloo as nothing more than middle-aged white guys fighting over who gets to be a douchebag on television. That same attitude comes out when promoting films he’s involved with as well – namely this weekend’s How To Train Your Dragon, a stunning bit of 3D animation that’s surprisingly good. Ferguson voices a battle-scarred Viking warrior, and when asked if he was concerned about making a Viking Scottish after mocking the purported Glasgow accent of Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and Mel Gibson’s accent in Braveheart, he just scoffed.
“I’m not worried about Johnny Depp worrying about me talking about him,” Ferguson said. “I don’t think Johnny Depp knows I’m alive. To be fair to myself, which I often am, I don’t just attack Mel Gibson for his accent, but also his anti-Semitism and copious alcoholism. So I really think that picking out the accent and leaving the rest out is kind of self-serving and not really about the whole picture.”
Ferguson’s long-time friend and co-star in How To Train Your Dragon is Gerard Butler, and he can be a complete nutball himself, especially when guesting on CraigyFerg’s show. But for this promotional tour, he was content with letting Craig be the jester while he actually took time out to explain that yes, there actually were Scottish Vikings. “Up in the north of Scotland, a lot of the villages have completely viking names,” Butler said. “A lot of vikings came down and settled in Scotland and in Ireland. A lot of them didn’t, but they took plenty of us with them – mostly the chicks. Iceland, they say 50% of the blood is Celtic blood from the females that they stole from us.”
Butler also revealed that Ferguson is not quite as cynical as he makes himself out to be sometimes when talking about how much he loves Dragon. “It was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had. I remember Craig calling me when he’d seen a bit of it. To hear somebody so genuinely excited – he’s screaming ‘I’ve just seen some of the movie! It’s better than Lord of the Rings! it’s incredible! Never been done before! I took my kid! We were so exctied!’ I thought everyone excelled themselves – Craig was outstanding, Jay was just brilliant, and how spectacular all the 3D animation was.”
His gushing continued, and also became very telling. “There are only a couple of times I’ve stood up and beamed and been surrounded by my friends who were all just as excited as I was – this, 300… that’s about it. Normally, I’m just pissed off.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like he’s admitting that The Ugly Truth and The Bounty Hunter were stinkers.
Ferguson had the same sort of self-deprecating reaction. “The work that the animators and the people who really make this movie do is really spectacular,” he said. “That’s why the rest of us are so excited to be a part of this thing. You look at it and say ‘I could never do anything that cool.’ This is kind of a departure for me, this whole movie – usually I’m in crap. So when I’m in something that’s good, it’s kind of off my brand. But it’s really a spectacular thing. It’s Dreamworks, it’s not like it’s their first time at the dance. They’ve done this before, and I think they’ve done an incredible job here. I didn’t make this movie – I did a voice in this movie, and just to be a part of this movie is very exciting.”