Where There’s a Will: Ferrell Almost Comes To Blows! Cue Cowbell!

transom willferrelljohnorei Where Theres a Will: Ferrell Almost Comes To Blows! Cue Cowbell!Hey, slackers! Will Ferrell thinks it’s time to shape up … or ship out. “There is this phenomenon of grown children who either live at home or move back home,” said the comic actor, discussing the theme of his latest comedy, Stepbrothers, which co-stars John C. Reilly.

It was Monday, July 21, and Mr. Ferrell, a cuddly 41, was hunched in the corner at a party on the Empire Hotel’s rooftop—hosted by Maxim magazine following a private screening of the movie—dressed in a green rugby shirt with the word “Ireland” printed across it, jeans and sneakers with orange reflector stripes. “There is this whole new wave of entitlement right now, and a lot of young people are like, ‘I don’t want to do just any job, it has to be a good job and what’s the starting salary?’” he continued. “Uh, no—I don’t think so.”

Mr. Reilly, wearing an open-collared shirt and a fedora, also suggested that the culture is suffering from a case of arrested development. “When I was growing up, adults didn’t want to be children,” he said. “My dad didn’t want to dress like the cool kids; my dad was a man and he wanted to be a man, but now no one wants to grow up anymore!”

At 43, though, he feels “like a man. … I have a family and all.”

Also at the somewhat celebrity-deprived party: Matthew Settle, 39, who plays the hot young Brooklyn dad on Gossip Girl, a show on which high-school-aged kids act older than their age (which is perhaps why so many grown New Yorkers are obsessed with it). “It’s them going back to heal issues of their past or see how the new generation is doing it,” Mr. Settle opined. “The point is that children are the new adults and adults are the new children.”

ialeksander@observer.com