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.
Steve Carell, who stars in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, talks Simon Thompson through his ideal London day and his most awkward job interviews.
Steve Carell plays Alexander’s dad in new film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
The Disney comedy tells of a day where everything which could go wrong does go wrong, and is based on a book just 28 pages long. Simon Thompson sat down with Steve Carell to chat about the film, embarassing parents and stumbling across Benjamin Franklin’s house.
Carell tells Simon why walking around London will always trump a car ride, saying: “My best day out in London would just be to walk, to start early in the morning and to walk because I think that’s really the best way to learn about London.
You can sort of visit the city by car but I walked right by Benjamin Franklin’s residence in London and it’s where he lived and it’s like a living history museum and I just stumbled across it, it’s somewhere I would have never seen if I’d been in a car so it’s neat.”
He also tells Simon about his worst job interview ever: “I had to interview to be a waiter at a really fancy restaurant in Chicago. I was supposed to have studied the menu and the wine list and learn all the varietal characteristics and I clearly didn’t take it that seriously and they quizzed me on it when I went in.
You can’t really talk about a Pinot Noir because if you haven’t studied it and know what a certain wine and certain region are you sound like an idiot trying to improvise and fake it like ‘It’s friendly and there’s an oakey sense to it and a smokey undercurrent… and I’m getting feet and sand’.”
Carell, a father in real life, talks about satorially embarrassing his children on the school run: “I don’t wear my PJs but sweatpants yes, yeah, sweatpants, t’shirt… I don’t embarrass my kids but I’m also not trying to impress anyone else at school. Yes, I wear a t-shirt. Sexy Steve? No. Nobody needs to see that.”
Charlie Kaufman has been signed to do a page one rewrite of I.Q. 83, an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s classic 1978 science fiction novel that Paramount is now developing as a star vehicle for Steve Carell. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar is producing with Walter Parkes. The plan is for Carell to play Dr. James Healey, who led a group of scientists that conducted DNA experiments that unleashed an airborne virus that ravages the population. The affliction isn’t fatal but pretty bad; it progressively lowers the IQ of the afflicted, more effectively than a marathon of the Kardashians’ reality show. It becomes a race against time as the scientist struggles for a cure, even as he feels himself growing dumber. He watches crowds regressing into animal packs and sees the president of the United States try to comfort the masses, only to babble and drool on television.
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