Q: Looking back, what did you learn from your character?
Steve Carell: I think from the whole experience I’ve learned that Bennett Miller is someone I would like to work with again. And that Mark (Ruffalo), and Channing (Tatum), and Vanessa Redgrave, and all the people in this movie were very special. I feel like it was an isolated period of time where all these people came together and made something that we could all be proud of.
Q: What would you say is the biggest thing you’ve celebrated this year and why?
Steve Carell: Well we celebrate our kids graduating from each grade, so the biggest celebration last year was my daughter graduating from sixth grade into seventh grade. Like going into middle school, that was a huge deal, at least it is in our school.
Foxcatcher features starkly dramatic turns by two actors who have shined under the comedy spotlight, but picking a project with a more serious tone wasn’t necessarily the priority for all of its stars.
“I don’t think about it like that — I think, find the things that you really want to challenge yourself with, whatever it is,” Channing Tatum told The Hollywood Reporter at a screening at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday night. “If it’s comedy, then do that. Comedy is just as hard as doing this. I think people think that doing drama is this fine art or something, and I know a lot of people who can’t do what Steve Carell orJonah [Hill] or some of these other comedic actors can do, because they can do this as well.”
Still, to facilitate the genre jump, Carell advised, “Try to work with someone like Bennett Miller, because he knows what he’s doing!”
Directed by Miller — whom Sony Pictures Classics co-presidentTom Bernard compared to “Milos Forman, he’s never satisfied unless he’s tried every option” — the sports drama called for a set that “wasn’t a place for a lot of small talk, and we all thought it was best if we left each other alone that way,” Carell recalled of portraying troubled benefactor John du Pont. Tatum, playing Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, added of shooting, “We all were very, very much there for each other. It was really about us coming in every day and just holding the energy of these men and of what happened. It’s a serious movie. People die. Families have to move on with their lives after this.”
“I was buying a fake plant,” “Foxcatcher” star Steve Carell explains, “and I ran into someone at the North Hollywood Target store who introduced himself to me as a du Pont. He was very pleasant and curious, but not confrontational in any way.”
It’s easy to imagine the fifty-two-year-old Golden Globe winner’s first impulse was to fish the prosthetic proboscis he uses to transform his face into that of John Eleuthère du Pont out of his pocket and stick it back on his face. Carell turns in one of the most memorable performances of his career as the multimillionaire ornithologist who decides in the run-up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics to move the national wrestling team into the 800-acre family estate called Foxcatcher Farms for which the film is named.
But the reason Carell might have been nervous in the Target run-in is that “Foxcatcher” tracks du Pont down his real-life course as gleefully leans in on the yoke, plummeting the wrestling team into a crash-and-burn trajectory that places this quirky film firmly in drug-fueled, true crime territory.
Though it’s based on a true story, to say more would be a spoiler. We will reveal, however, that things do not end well for gold-medal-winning brothers Mark and Dave Schultz, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, respectively, who’ve assembled with Carell after their film screened for press at last month’s fifty-second annual New York Film Festival.
“Do you have any idea who I am?” the actor playing John du Pont asks Channing Tatum’s character, Mark Schultz, at their first meeting in the upcoming film “Foxcatcher.”
The same question could be asked of audiences when they see the largely unrecognizable face and hear the voice of the man who portrays du Pont in the true-life tale of the multi-millionaire benefactor and his demented relationship with Olympic wrestler Schultz and his older brother, Dave.
But look closely — very closely — and you might recognize Steve Carell, a man best known for making us laugh as a 40-year-old virgin, a clueless office manager, an arrogant TV correspondent and an animated super-villain named Gru.
With his chilling portrayal of a mentally ill man who commits a senseless murder, Carell has delivered the most serious, immersive performance of his career — one that thrusts him smack in the middle of the most competitive lead actor Oscar contest in years.
“Whatever people think they know about him or can expect from him, they’re going to be surprised,” says Amy Ryan, who played Carell’s character’s sister in the 2007 romantic dramedy “Dan in Real Life,” as well as his soulmate, Holly, on “The Office” TV series. “I kept looking for clues for the person I knew, and I couldn’t find any,” she adds. “He’s changed his being; he’s gone deep and dark, and it’s fantastic.”
How hilarious would it be to see Steve Carell make a stripper cameo alongside Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL?!
At last night’s AFI Fest premiere of Carell and Tatum’s new film Foxcatcher in Hollywood, we asked the 52-year-old funnyman if he’d ever join Tatum for a sexy appearance in aMagic Mike flick.
“Probably never,” Carell deadpanned. But why not? “Because I don’t have a good body,” the Office star added with a smile. LOL!
Carell also revealed that his teenage daughter Elisabeth is a big fan of Tatum and was excited her dad got to co-star with him in Foxcatcher. “She hasn’t met him yet,” Carell told E! News last night, adding, “She’s probably picking out a dress right now.
Jokes aside, Carell opened up about all the Oscar buzz his acting performance inFoxcatcher has garnered. “It makes me supremely uncomfortable,” he told us during the Audi-sponsored bash. “I think it makes everybody uncomfortable.”
“It’s nice to be talked about that way,” he added. “It’s nice to be part of that conversation. You can’t put too much stock into it.”
In Foxcatcher, Carell is almost unrecognizable due to a large prosthetic nose he wears to plays real life character John du Pont. “The nose is such a small part of the whole thing,” he said. “I think Bill [Corso] did a great job with the hair and makeup and it was effective, but we all took this very, very seriously and that was just one component. And I think so much of it was learning the story, trying to understand who these people were.”
Hollywood makeup wizardry made comic Steve Carell unrecognizable for his latest star turn as heir John du Pont in director Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher.”
The film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, portrays the tragic relationship between du Pont and the wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz, brothers who won Olympic gold medals.
Carell, 52, best known for smash comedies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and the hit TV series “The Office,” talked to Reuters about his creepy appearance and exploring his character’s past.
Q: How did you prepare to play du Pont?
A: I thought about who he was as a little kid, the environment he grew up in. He was very sheltered. He essentially grew up in this enormous estate with his mother, who by all accounts was not the most warm person … At his core, he was a very lonely person.
And all those things sort of layered on top in terms of how he became a sportsman and interested in wrestling and other sports and how he surrounded himself with these men that he perceived as great athletes and great Americans. He just yearned for so much that he just didn’t have the tools to acquire.
Q: You were quite the unsettling presence on set.
A: It sounds pretentious to say that, but I think it was in great part because of the hair and makeup. It was a three-hour process in the morning. Even the guy who would pick me up at the hotel, drive me to hair and makeup and would take me from there to set – even he treated me differently. It wasn’t like I was in character. I wasn’t doing anything. Just by virtue of what I looked like, he did not talk to me.
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