Andrew Kay Cohen had Will Ferrell's voice in his mind when he wrote 'The House'.
The 'Neighbours' screenwriter knew he wanted the 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy' star before he even started filming his latest comedy-gangster movie as Ferrell has the "kind of delivery" to make words and phrases memorable.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, the writer/director said: "I had Will's voice in my head when I was writing the script. He's got that kind of delivery.
"I worked on 'Anchorman' with him and at the end of the shoot he came up to me and told me the camera I was using didn't have any film but was instead filled with coffee.
"I was like, 'He made fun of me. I know I made it'. To have a solid script is important. We were quoting 'Anchorman' lines before it even came out.
"I like those movies where the words, phrases and characters resonate in your head and you can't help talking like them. Had to feel loose like anything can happen."
The film stars Ferrell, 49, Amy Poehler, 45, as Scott and Kate, who struggle to find the money to pay for their daughter's tuition fees.
But with the help from their gambling, sex-addicted but lovable friend Frank (Jason Mantzoukas) the three start their own casino to try and get the money they desperately need.
Although a comedy, the film touches upon some serious cultural topics including the price of tuition and Cohen believes all movies should "come from reality".
He said: "I think all movies should come from reality or use it as a jumping off point. The price of education is very relatable.
"I set up a 529 [plan] for my kid and while doing research for this movie, I was comparing what I had in there with the cost of a semester and it just made me anxious.
"So I used that anxiousness and put it into the most stupid thing. I always use reality as my starting point."
The filmmaker also revealed the film was initially meant to be about the children at college setting up their own casino but after co-writing 'Neighbours', he found writing about the adult's struggles funnier.
He said: "It just busted wide open. I started thinking about being a dad. It just became absurd. I put Will and Amy in the worst financially situation - not being able to afford college - and it was just great."