Kanye West loves Will Ferrell. The rapper has sampled the comedian, cameoed in his films and played him unreleased music. In a new interview in GQ, West even cites as a spiritual guide—alongside God—a Ferrell film, repeating a line from Step Brothers to illustrate why he decided to marry Kim Kardashian: "Never lose your dinosaur."
What hasn't been revealed until now, though, is that West once auditioned for his hero/divine counselor. In 2006, West recorded a short tape with Ferrell as part of an audition for a role in the 2008 movie Semi-Pro. The role eventually went to another rapper, Andre 3000, but the tape is floating around somewhere in Hollywood. And the man trying to sell it says West's acting is "terrible."
A few months ago we got an email from the guy hawking the audition tape, which he says is 16 minutes long. He asked for many more thousands of dollars than we were willing to pay for the tape, and after further negotiation he disappeared. We never got a chance to see more than the photographs now gracing this post, but the tipster left us with a good idea of what the tape contains.
Of Kanye's acting, the tipster says:
This is for the role he lost to Andre Benjamin and it's very obvious why — he's a terrible actor. He's wearing a ridiculous afro wig that he brought himself to the interview. He seems insecure and wooden through the whole tape, including some gems like:
"I did it much better in my dining room" and after the audition asking "It's not great like I leave the office and not-so-great?"
That West's acting was awkward is not exactly a surprise to anyone who saw the Curb Your Enthusiasm-style pilot he shot for HBO years ago.
But Allison Jones, the casting director on Semi-Pro, was effusive about West's potential as a comedian.
"He was pretty good, just green," she writes in an email. "That I remember. Truly, he had good instincts. I don't remember anyone saying anything negative at all, just that he was too green at that point. As I recall he is a huge comedy fan and very savvy about the comedy world."
Jones says that West was never seriously considered for the role.
We'd still like to see the full video, in all its glory, so we can judge for ourselves. If you have it—or, hello, are our original tipster—and would like to share it with the world, email me at email@example.com.