In the 2003 movie Elf, which actor played Santa Claus?
And the answer: Ed Asner.
Now considered a Christmas classic, the 2003 comedy film Elf tells the story of Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa's elves. The movie stars Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, and Ed Asner.
"Everyone knows the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing it loud for all to hear!" Elf, an instant Christmas classic, has spread the message of Christmas cheer into the homes and hearts of the American public since its release in 2003. However, the Elf as we know it was quite nearly not created – director Jon Favreau originally wanted Jim Carrey to play the role of Buddy. Luckily though, with delays to production, Will Ferrell was signed on instead and became an instantly recognizable Christmas figure. Fitting, too, as Ferrell spent his earlier years working as a mall Santa.
Interestingly, much of the movie's set design was based off of the Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This classic stop-motion film informed the elves' costumes and workshop, while even featuring a cameo from the movie's snowman, Leon.
True to the Christmas spirit, the final day of Elf's filming in New York City was pared down from a massive crew to just three people: its star, its director, and one cameraman. Together, this trio traveled around the city, looking for mischief for Buddy to get into with random passersby-turned-background extras. This included his leapfrogging across a pedestrian walk, happily accepting flyers, and getting his shoes shined, all of which made it into the movie's cheerful montage.
Learn more about the background and creation of Elf here.