Will Ferrell navigates his best friend coming out as trans in new doc ‘Will & Harper’

Harper Steele and Will Ferrell at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of 'Will & Harper'

Will Ferrell has created a documentary about the bond between him and his best friend of 30 years, Harper Steele, who came out as a trans woman in 2022.

Right off the back of starring in the box-office-breaking Barbie movie and executive producing hit TV series like Succession and Dead To Me, Ferrell is ready to showcase his latest project – and it’s an especially personal one.

Will & Harper will see the comedian and his best friend Harper embark on a road trip across America, during which they’ll unpack their friendship, Harper’s coming out, and her transition.

Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell’s film Will & Harper documents his friendship with his best buddy of 30 years, Harper Steele, who came out as transgender in 2022. (Getty Images)

An official synopsis of the film reads: “When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America.”

Ferrell and Steele met on the set of Saturday Night Live. While Ferrell scored his big break after appearing in the sketch comedy show from 1995 to 2002, Steele worked as a writer on SNL from 1995 to 2008. 

Harper came out as transgender in 2022. Although Ferrell says he had “zero knowledge” of the trans community before this happened, all he wanted to do was understand how he could help.

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Reflecting on his best friend’s coming out at the film’s Sundance Film Festival premiere, Ferrell told Variety: “It was three summers ago in which Harper emailed a lot of her close friends with the headline: ‘Here’s a Weird One.’

“She went on to explain she was going to transition and we were all of course excited to hear the news and surprised to hear the news. 

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Ferrell says he had “zero knowledge” of the trans community before Steele came out. (John Phillips/Getty)

“All of us were extremely supportive and expressed love… but that sort of opened the questions like, how can we help you? What do you need us to do?’”

Ferrell explained that, while he had met trans people before, he had never had one “personally in his life,” so this was “all new territory for [him].”

That was the inspiration for Will & Harper, the Anchorman star explained.

Ferrell’s goal was to create a film that would communicate to cisgender people what it’s like to transition, to come out, or to have a loved one do so.

“I think this film is so exciting for us to kind of put out there in the world,” he said.

“It’s a chance for all of us in the cis community to be able to ask questions and also just to listen and be there as a friend to discuss this journey.”

Harper then chimed in that Will & Harper “tells the story of a cis friend of a trans person who has to transition himself.”

Will & Harper does not have a release date as of yet and is seeking distribution out of Sundance Film Festival.

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