Entertainment

Is Rachel McAdams Singing in 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'?

And what about Will Ferrell and the rest of the Netflix comedy's cast?

Eurovision
Netflix

If you've seen Step Brothers, you know Will Ferrell can hold a tune. And in the new Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Ferrell is doing his own singing as Lars Erickssong, one half of the Icelandic duo Fire Saga. But what about Rachel McAdams, who plays his bandmate, Sigrit Ericksdottir? Well, it's complicated!

McAdams is credited with doing Sigrit's vocals, but so is Molly Sandén, a Swedish singer who actually competed in the Junior Eurovision competition. According to director David Dobkin, McAdams recorded all of Sigrit's vocals, which were then blended with Sandén's to create the final mix -- not unlike what the filmmakers behind Bohemian Rhapsody did to make Rami Malek sound like Freddie Mercury.

Dobkin insists that McAdams put in the work, though. "First of all, she had to train for over half a year," Dobkin explains. "She took vocal lessons. I knew there was something good because I would check in with the vocal teacher and he would be like, 'She's really good. She's getting it really fast.'" Dobkin first heard what she could do the day they were filming a scene in which Sigrit writes the ballad "Husavik," which she triumphantly sings in the movie's climax. "She kept telling me, 'You're never going to be able to use my vocals,'" he says. "She was great."

Music coordinator Savan Kotecha also confirmed that McAdams undervalued herself. She was "nervous" to go into the recording studio, he says. "She's really, really good and much better than she ever dreamed she is." Kotecha brought in Sandén, a friend of one of his co-writers, to do the demo for the Fire Saga song "Double Trouble." "Their voices blend so well together," Kotecha says. "It was just a magic coincidence. When we were switching takes, especially some of the verses, you were like, 'Is that Rachel or is that Molly?'"

Ferrell is the only member of the cast who is responsible for all of his character's vocals. Dan Stevens, who plays the suave and bombastic Russian singer Alexander Lemtov, originally wanted to perform his own vocals, Dobkin says. Stevens has sung on film before, in Disney's the remake of Beauty and the Beast, but he was apparently so taken with the demo by Sweden's Erik Mjönes that he just deferred to the more operatic singer. "We were rehearsing his choreography and listening to [the music], and then shooting it," Dobkin says. "He looked at me one point, he's like, 'This guy's so good, man.' He's like, 'Why don't we just go with him?'"

As for Ferrell, Kotecha wants to release his outtakes, especially from the recording sessions of "Jaja Ding Dong," the fake Icelandic folk song written for the movie, and Fire Saga's version of Pharrell's "Happy." "His ad-libbing on some of these songs!" Kotecha says. "One day, I'll talk to him and David about releasing outtakes when he would ad-lib on 'Jaja Ding Dong!' and 'Happy.' It's the funniest thing."

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.