“Hangover” alumnus Zach Galifianakis plays Marty Huggins, the unlikely challenger to Will Ferrell's incumbent Congressman Cam Brady in Warner Bros.' new election-themed comedy “The Campaign.”
|Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.|
In the film, as Cam Brady brazens through an embarrasing sex scandal with his usual flair, the seasoned politico prepares to segue unopposed into his fifth term in office. But this time, to his astonishment, a challenger appears out of nowhere: local tour operator Marty Huggins—a dumpy, soft-spoken, cardigan-wrapped, fanny-pack-wearing oddball with zero political experience.
As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other. It’s a mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy that takes today’s political circus to its logical next level. Because, even if you believe campaign ethics have hit rock bottom…there’s still room to dig a whole lot deeper.
“Marty is a bit of a simpleton,” says Galifianakis. “He runs a tourist office in a town that gets maybe four visitors a year. But he’s very happy with his life, and he’s proud of his town. He’s a little weird, too, in ways that are probably better left unexamined, but you sense that he has a good heart.”
Marty may have started out with some good intentions but soon adapts to reveal a talent for treachery that just needed some focus—which his backers are happy to provide. “I’ve followed politics all my life and I’m still amazed by the amount of puppeteering that goes on behind the scenes in the making of a politician, and how the public can be duped by that,” says Galifianakis. “We’re just showing, in a fun and funny way, how the sausage is made.”
Director Jay Roach agrees that “Marty is a little off-center. He loves his community, his pugs, and then his wife and kids, probably in that order. What immediately sets him apart from Cam, besides his total lack of polish, is that he genuinely cares. For reasons that have nothing to do with his qualifications, he is suddenly tapped to run for Congress and, because he really wants to make a difference, he accepts. But he clearly has no idea what that involves and, seeing that, you kind of start rooting for him to figure it out and make the most of this great, unexpected opportunity.”
“You see what’s going on in the political arena now, watch the election ads, listen to the rhetoric, and it’s a wonder that we could even keep up,” says Galifianakis.
Timed to open as the 2012 American election race is powering into the home stretch, “The Campaign” casts a vote for comedy. “By the time it’s released, I imagine the 2012 campaigns will have amplified and accelerated in very interesting ways,” Roach predicts. “People will either be on the edge of their seats over what’s going to happen next, or more than a little burnt out, and looking for something that lets them laugh about it.”