I am seriously waiting for some story to drop about Steve Carell secretly running a sweatshop that uses small children to make replicas of expensive handbags, because everyone loves the guy. Seriously, everyone in the world loves Steve Carell. People living on remote islands love the guy. In fact, it now makes a lot more sense to us why the line “Wow, you actually made Steve Carell look like an asshole” in Knocked Up is so funny. Mark our words, if it ever happens, we called it here first. Just don’t hold your breath.
We Film School Rejected our way into the Get Smart junket recently, and everyone had nothing but effusive praise for the funnyman of the moment, and it sounded like this movie wouldn’t have gotten made without him. Even director Peter Segal didn’t originally want to approach the project until he found out Steve Carell was involved. Once his name was attached to the project, everyone said “It just came together.”
Carell, of course, even endeared himself further by not approaching the role with the idea of doing an impersonation of Don Adams. “I figured there was no way to improve upon what he had done.” He is humble about the whole experience and was extremely self-deprecating throughout the day. He even told us that Stephen Colbert once whipped out a review from a failed television show Carell was in, where he was called the Heinrich Himmler of comedy. Ouch. A cursory search failed to turn up that review online, and I wonder if that reporter is eating his/her words now.
He’s even modest about the physical training he went through in this movie. “I worked out and made my body a physical specimen to be admired and, fine tempered steel is what most people… no, I basically tried not to get killed. That was my MO on this project.” Likewise, co-star Anne Hathaway compared smooching Steve as: “Making out with him is like the yummiest lollipop, dipped in sunshine, and wrapped around in with masculine wrapper. That’s the only way I can think to describe it.”
So, was there stuff going on besides the Steve Carell lovefest? Yes. Everyone wanted to know what the actors thought about the original television show, and the results were widely varied. They ranged from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who loved the tv show when he was a kid, to Alan Arkin who said he didn’t base his portrayal of the Chief on the show, quipping “I made the choice 30 years ago by not watching the show.” Ba-zing, Mr. Arkin! Actually he went on to say “If I would have seen it, I would have loved it.” Unfortunately there was no TiVo back then.
The zinger of the day came unexpectedly from Nate Torrance, who plays bumbling gadget inventor Lloyd alongside Masi Oka’s Bruce. Someone asked Masi Oka about possibly playing an even villain one day, and wondered if he was getting notes from Terence Stamp who played General Zod back in Superman II. Stamp said “Oh no, he’s too young” just before Nate busted out with “Oh no he’s not! Kneel before him right now! Oh! You’re stuck in the glass!” Stamp then told Torrance to “Zod off.” and everyone had a hearty chuckle. Then Terence told us an extremely strange story about being nude in a sauna in New York and being recognized as Zod. We coughed uncomfortably and then the interview was over.
Masi and Nate are also starring in a feature-length DVD featuring cameos from the cast members in the movie, and it’ll go on sale in stores on July 1st, about a week after the film premieres. It’s sort of a concurrent spin-off featuring “parallel content”, and features Bruce and Lloyd on their own adventure while Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 are off on their mission. This is the first time anything like this has happened, and it’ll be interesting to see if this gamble pays off. If Get Smart tanks against The Love Guru (which I doubt will happen), then this DVD will become a highly collectible drink coaster.
Get Smart opens June 20th in theaters.