GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Actor Will Ferrell shared one regret as he surprised winners of the State High School Play Festival.

“I regret the fact that I didn’t participate in high school drama in any fashion.” Ferrell, 38, told students. “You are way ahead of where I was, so congratulate yourselves for that.”

The students screamed when Ferrell walked onto the stage at Greensboro College on Friday night.

“It’s Will Ferrell! I love you, Will!” the students yelled. “I love you, too!” he yelled back.

Ferrell handed the festival’s top honors to Union Pines High School in Cameron and Parkwood High School in Monroe. The festival was part of the fall gathering of the N.C. Theatre Conference.

Ferrell, a former “Saturday Night Live” star whose film credits include “Elf” and “Bewitched,” had come from Charlotte, where he is filming a NASCAR comedy.

Ferrell’s cousin, Katie Carter, who is a member of the conference board, arranged the visit.

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