Steve Carell has inhabited many different roles, from a 40-year-old virgin, a
bumbling office manager and a Vegas magician, but it is an evil villain in
animated film Despicable Me 2 where he finds a close connection as a real-life
Carell, 50, who appears again as Gru in Despicable Me 2 and as a
dysfunctional dad in independent comedy The Way, Way Back, is also exploring new
challenges in his career with the hopes of more dramatic roles.
talked to Reuters about his similarities to Gru, not getting pigeonholed and
donning suits for Anchorman 2.
Now that he’s a dad, was there any fear
that Gru wasn’t going to be quite as despicable as in the first film?
like you still see that dark side of him; and when push comes to shove, he is an
evil mastermind and always will be. He’s reformed, he can’t be that anymore
because he has kids. His career has to change, but his sense of self doesn’t
Which part of Gru’s story did you relate to in this film?
two little kids, so I don’t really relate to him as a super spy, but I do relate
to him as a dad for sure, and the fact that he has a daughter that’s getting to
the age that she’s interested in boys and dating. I have a daughter that is just
on the verge of that age, so I think I related to that most of all.
your priorities changing in your career now that you’re getting older and your
kids are getting older?
I’ve been doing some more dramatic work, I’m writing
something now. and eventually I might direct something. I’ve got some other
things in the fire, but that’s just to keep it interesting and
It’s interesting how this movie mirrors what a lot of parents
go through when they have kids because initially, when you have kids, the focus
becomes the kids. I know that became the case with my wife and me, almost at the
expense of everything else, it became all about our kids. Which is fine, but
within that, you can’t lose your sense of self, you can’t lose your career and
what motivates you and what nourishes you. I think that’s the character of Gru.
He’s at odds with himself, so he needs to find something that’s not being a
villain but is equally satisfying.
Were you ever concerned that you could
get pigeonholed into a certain character from your comedy roles?
I’ve done big
commercial movies and little independent movies, and I’ve played jerks and
suicidal Proust scholars, and I feel like I’ve been really lucky to play all the
different types of characters I play, so no, I don’t worry about that. If I do
get pigeonholed, it’s nothing I can really control.
You recently returned
to The Office for the finale in May.Was it difficult saying goodbye the second
I feel like I really said goodbye to it the first time. When I went
back, it was primarily to honor the show and out of respect for all my friends
and the people who created it. I just wanted it to be a simple tip of the hat to
the show and not to take away from the goodbye and the farewell that all those
people were having because I felt like I already had mine, and I didn’t want to
step on their moments.
Your upcoming film Anchorman 2 has been getting a
lot of attention. How is it getting back into the suits?
So much fun. It felt
the same. The first time around, none of us knew what we were doing or whether
it would be funny. We thought it would be funny, but you never know...if
it’s going to work or why it works necessarily, but that one we all felt like it
could be really funny, and we have the same feeling about this. It was just fun
to do. It was ridiculous. We laughed every day until we cried.
do you pay homage to the first film and also take the storyline forward with a
I think if you like the first one, you’ll like this one as much. I don’t
want to oversell it, I don’t want to hype it too much. I haven’t seen it, I’ve
just shot it. But based on what we’ve filmed, it seems like it’s going to be a
truly funny movie. – Reuters