In Las Vegas, you can tell a lot about a man by his game of choice. The mysterious loner often gravitates to the poker room. Blackjack draws the big spender with the mountainous chip stack, while Rat Pack wannabes belly up to the craps table looking for lucky dice or a lucky dame. So it takes a brave man, a confident man such as Steve Carell, to earnestly claim as his game the arguably uncool roulette. “It allows me to move at a much more leisurely pace,” he says. “You have to wait for the ball to go around and around. I find it comforting that it’s not as fast-paced as many of the games are. I sat down to play poker once and was done in about seven minutes. It was ugly.” He pauses. “I have absolutely no game.”
He may not have game, but he certainly had the clout to assemble an allstar comedic cast (Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin) to lampoon the high-stakes world of Strip magicians in the new movie The Incredible Burt Wonderstone—right in their own backyard. Carell even got the blessing of legendary illusionist (and 20-year Strip headliner) David Copperfield, who served as a consultant on the film and makes a hilarious cameo. “They were poking fun at my world, but we have a sense of humor about ourselves,” Copperfield says. “It was a great experience and so much fun.”
Carell’s washed-up Wonderstone finds that to save Vegas from Carrey’s David Blaine–inspired illusionist, he must mend fences with longtime stage partner Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) and rediscover what made him love magic in the first place. The leading man insists, however, that they aren’t sending up the subculture. “It’s not a parody,” Carell says. “So much of it is based in reality. You don’t have to push it too hard.” During the weeklong shoot on the Strip, outside Bally’s, and around Fremont Street, Carell sported a deep “tan” (which can only be described as burnt sienna), at least one monochromatic velvet suit, and a feathered mane that channeled Siegfried. Or Roy. Or both.
“As ridiculous as you might think I look,” Carell says, “I walked around Vegas and nobody batted an eye.” Adds Wonderstone director Don Scardino, “He didn’t stand out. He fit in perfectly.”
Disney is in talks with Jennifer Garner to star with Steve Carell in the Miguel Arteta-directed live-action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Lisa Cholodenko wrote the script with Rob Lieber, and Disney has Steve Carell attached to play Alexander’s dad. Garner will play his mother. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner along with Lisa Henson and Dan Levine. Production will begin in the fall. Alexander is the key character, and he starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair. Things get worse from there, to the point he threatens to chuck it all and move to Australia.