Will Ferrell Says His Wife Viveca Paulin Was Almost "The One That Got Away"

Photo credit: Getty
From good housekeeping
Buddy might have a heart for Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) at the end of the classic Christmas movie Elf, but comedian Will Ferrell's true love is his 20-year-old wife, actress Viveca Paulin.
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According to PopSugar.com, the two first saw each other in 1995 after meeting in an acting class. Although they had a short date, the two initially decided they were better off as friends. In terms of friendship, Viv was of great help to Will - when he needed money to pay his rent and support his acting dreams, Elle managed to get him a tip-off.
Eventually, Will's talent got a job on Saturday Night Live and he moved to New York City. Despite the distance, Will and Viv tried hard to keep in touch.
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz
"I was in a different relationship," Will said to Elle. "And Viv and I talked as friends for two hours and it would feel like five minutes and then my girlfriend would call and after 15 minutes I would say, 'God, it's really late here on the east coast. I should get some sleep. 'For me, Viv was the one who got away. "
Fortunately, Viv still had strong feelings for Will and invited him over for a beer while SNL was on pause. Will told Elle that Viv pounded her beer and then admitted that she still liked him, even though they agreed to be friends.
"I wasn't playing it cool at all. I said, 'I just told my uncle that one day I was going to marry you!'" Will recalled.
The Zoolander star was absolutely right. After years of dating, the two revisited a beach where they'd gone on one of their first dates - then Will fell to one knee. However, the proposal did not go entirely according to plan.
Photo credit: Dan MacMedan
"She didn't want any of this. She said, 'The beach is scary at night.' I said, 'Shut up, this is supposed to be really romantic,' "Will revealed to people. "I was trying to figure out what to say and it just turned out, 'Well, I, uh, really like you and uh, anyway ...' ... So it was kind of funny, but not for purpose."
In 2000, Will and Viv officially tied the knot. Four years later they had their first son, Magnus. Then, in 2006, they had another boy, Mattias, followed by another son, Axel, four years later. Usually, Will, Viv, and their kids try to stay out of the spotlight. But in 2017, for the premiere of Daddy's Home 2, the whole family appeared on the red carpet (see image below):
Photo credit: Jason LaVeris
That year, Will lived with his family in Sweden, Viv's homeland. Ordinarily, the Ferrells would split their time between their homes in Sweden, LA, and New York City.
Before the pandemic, both Will and Viv had many acting appearances on their plates. Most recently Viv pronounced an auctioneer in the animated film Ralph Breaks the Internet from 2018 and appeared as Annika Bjornberg in the TV series Younger. Of course, Will most recently played with Rachel McAdams in the Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and will play Martin Markowitz in the upcoming 2021 TV series The Shrink Next Door.
Photo credit: Cindy Ord
So what's the secret to Will and Viv's successful marriage? If we had to guess, we'd say that humor plays a big part in their household. "Before you marry any person, the first thing you should do is get them using a computer with slow internet access to see who they really are," Will once joked.
Viv clearly passed the computer test.
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