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All About Will Ferrell's Family with His Wife Viveca Paulin

Here's everything you need to know about the Despicable Me 4 actor's family.

By Christopher Rudolph

When Will Ferrell played an Anchorman in 2004, he'd been a married man for four years already. 

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Ferrell is married to Viveca Paulin. Born in Sweden and raised in Boston, MA, Paulin is an auctioneer who earned a B.A. in art history from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. She's also an actress, having appeared in 1998's A Night at the Roxbury — Saturday Night Live  sketch-based movie starring Ferrell and Chris Kattan — as well as the television series Younger.

"What I love most about Viv is very simple. She totally got my sense of humor," Ferrell told Elle in 2012. "I sent her flowers every day for a week with a card, like, 'You're the fifth-prettiest woman in the office.' She loved it. We had a shorthand with each other."

Here's everything to know about Will Ferrell's marriage to Paulin, and their three kids.

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Will Ferrell and wife Viveca Paulin arrive for the 18th Annual Hammer Museum Gala

How did Will Ferrell meet his wife Viveca Paulin?

The two originally met in 1995 in an acting class in L.A. They dated briefly before deciding to just remain friends, with Paulin getting Ferrell a typing job at an auction house she worked at when he needed rent money, per his Elle profile.

They stayed in touch when Ferrell moved to New York for Saturday Night Live. Though he was dating someone else at the time, Ferrell and Paulin would connect through long phone calls.

"I was in another relationship," he told Elle. "And Viv and I would talk as friends for two hours, and it would feel like five minutes, and then my girlfriend would call and after 15 minutes I'd be like, 'God, it's really late here on the East Coast. I should get some sleep.' For me, Viv was the one that got away."

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Ferrell reunited with Paulin while in L.A. during an SNL hiatus, and they eventually "started over—after a five-year friendship, we literally started courting each other," he explained.

Ferrell eventually proposed to Paulin on a beach, but the scene wasn't exactly what the actor had in mind. 

"It started serious but ended up comedic," Ferrell told People in 2006. "I took her to this beach where we had had one of our first dates. She wanted none of it. She was, like, 'The beach is creepy at night.' I was, like, 'Shut up, this is supposed to be really romantic.' "

"So it was kind of funny, but not on purpose," he added. They married in 2000.

Mattias Paulin Ferrell, Axel Paulin Ferrell, Will Ferrell, Viveca Paulin and Magnus Paulin Ferrell attend the premiere of "Barbie"

Paulin also introduced Ferrell to the Eurovision Song Contest, as he watched the music event for the first time during a trip to Sweden to visit Paulin's family. Ferrell would eventually go on to star, produce, and co-write the 2020 movie, Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga.

How many kids does Will Ferrell have?

The two have three sons together: Magnus, 20, Mattias, 17, and Axel, 14. Magnus sings and plays keyboard in a band with two of his friends, and currently attends Ferrell's alma mater, University of Southern California.

In December 2022, Magnus's band made headlines when Ferrell joined them onstage for a gig in San Diego. The actor played "more cowbell" in a moment reminiscent of his iconic SNL sketch. The event was a benefit for the Cancer for College scholarship fund.

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In 2018, Ferrell and Paulin created the Viveca Paulin and Will Ferrell Scholarship Fund, which "endowed the first-ever full scholarship for USC women’s soccer." Paulin played soccer in college, and Magnus, Mattias, and Axel also play.

During his hilarious acceptance speech for the 2011 Mark Twain Prize, Ferrell slipped in a moment of sincerity, telling his wife: "Viveca, all I can say is thank you, and thank god I found you. You’ve given us three beautiful boys and we have a wonderful life together."