Will Ferrell opens up about feeling 'so embarrassed' throughout his childhood over his real name

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By James Kay

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Will Ferrell has recalled the embarrassment he felt throughout his childhood due to being referred to by his real name.

Ferrell is one of the most iconic comedians in the world, which is supported by his huge catalog of hilarious work.

But despite the 56-year-old dedicating his life to bringing others joy and being seemingly immune to embarrassment, he has opened up about a time in his childhood when this wasn't the case.

GettyImages-1205875686.jpgFerrell has revealed that Will isn't his given first name. Credit: Dominik Bindl/Getty

The actor recently appeared on the MeSsy podcast, hosted by Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

The 56-year-old star, known for his iconic roles in films like Elf and Anchorman, confessed that he was not fond of his traditional birth name.

"This is a minor thing in terms of — it’s not really even trauma — but I remember feeling so embarrassed because my real name is John, John William Ferrell, so first day of school, I’d be John,” Ferrell revealed.

GettyImages-2156784529.jpgCredit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

He recounted the awkwardness of his early school days, saying: “The teacher would be like ‘John Ferrell?’ And it was so embarrassing to me to have to say, ‘Here, but I go by Will, I don’t go by John.’

"For the first week of school, it took like a week before the teacher remembered, ‘That’s right, you’re Will.’ And that was excruciating … So the beginning of the school year was always like, ‘Oh my gosh I hate this. I have to remind the teacher that I’m not John.’"

When asked why he disliked his birth name so much, Ferrell explained that it wasn’t his choice.

“My parents named me John, but they called me Will. I grew up as Will, but on a rule sheet, my legal name is John Ferrell,” he said. “I don’t know why that was so embarrassing to me to have to explain ‘I’m actually Will’.”

Well, it would also seem that Ferrell is carrying on the tradition of embarrassing the kids of his family, as he recently dressed up as a medieval lord for his son's prom.

Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin, have three children: Magnus, 20, Mattias, 17, and Axel, 14.

Screenshot 2024-06-14 at 12.20.10.jpgI wish my dad was this cool. Credit: TikTok/@magnusferrell

On June 11, Magnus shared a series of humorous selfies and captions, showcasing his father's antics.

In one notable snapshot, Magnus rates "things my dad has done" while in a recording studio.

One image features Ferrell dressed as a medieval lord, posing with Magnus, who is dressed in a bold checkered suit and polka-dot shirt.

Magnus humorously rated this moment "10000/10" with the caption: "Dressed as a medieval lord to embarrass me at prom."

Featured image credit: Dominik Bindl/Getty

Will Ferrell opens up about feeling 'so embarrassed' throughout his childhood over his real name

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Will Ferrell has recalled the embarrassment he felt throughout his childhood due to being referred to by his real name.

Ferrell is one of the most iconic comedians in the world, which is supported by his huge catalog of hilarious work.

But despite the 56-year-old dedicating his life to bringing others joy and being seemingly immune to embarrassment, he has opened up about a time in his childhood when this wasn't the case.

GettyImages-1205875686.jpgFerrell has revealed that Will isn't his given first name. Credit: Dominik Bindl/Getty

The actor recently appeared on the MeSsy podcast, hosted by Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

The 56-year-old star, known for his iconic roles in films like Elf and Anchorman, confessed that he was not fond of his traditional birth name.

"This is a minor thing in terms of — it’s not really even trauma — but I remember feeling so embarrassed because my real name is John, John William Ferrell, so first day of school, I’d be John,” Ferrell revealed.

GettyImages-2156784529.jpgCredit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

He recounted the awkwardness of his early school days, saying: “The teacher would be like ‘John Ferrell?’ And it was so embarrassing to me to have to say, ‘Here, but I go by Will, I don’t go by John.’

"For the first week of school, it took like a week before the teacher remembered, ‘That’s right, you’re Will.’ And that was excruciating … So the beginning of the school year was always like, ‘Oh my gosh I hate this. I have to remind the teacher that I’m not John.’"

When asked why he disliked his birth name so much, Ferrell explained that it wasn’t his choice.

“My parents named me John, but they called me Will. I grew up as Will, but on a rule sheet, my legal name is John Ferrell,” he said. “I don’t know why that was so embarrassing to me to have to explain ‘I’m actually Will’.”

Well, it would also seem that Ferrell is carrying on the tradition of embarrassing the kids of his family, as he recently dressed up as a medieval lord for his son's prom.

Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin, have three children: Magnus, 20, Mattias, 17, and Axel, 14.

Screenshot 2024-06-14 at 12.20.10.jpgI wish my dad was this cool. Credit: TikTok/@magnusferrell

On June 11, Magnus shared a series of humorous selfies and captions, showcasing his father's antics.

In one notable snapshot, Magnus rates "things my dad has done" while in a recording studio.

One image features Ferrell dressed as a medieval lord, posing with Magnus, who is dressed in a bold checkered suit and polka-dot shirt.

Magnus humorously rated this moment "10000/10" with the caption: "Dressed as a medieval lord to embarrass me at prom."

Featured image credit: Dominik Bindl/Getty