UK Exclusive: Steve Carell

Mimi ON Sep 13, 2011 AT 9:16 am

Steve Carrell

Steve Carrell

It’s not often you get to pin down funnyman Steve Carell, but that’s exactly what we managed to do for this UK exclusive interview for his brand new comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.

He stars alongside the lovely looking Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone in the film and we can’t wait to catch it in cinemas when it arrives on 23rd September.

What was it about Crazy, Stupid, Love. that drew you to the project?

Steve Carell: The script captured my interest. I thought that it was unique. It told a familiar story, but it was unique at the same time.  And I thought that Dan Fogelman is a unique writer, because he’s very clear, in terms of how he draws his characters and how he lays out a story.  There’s a cleanness, I think, to his writing that I responded to.

What was the atmosphere like on-set, with such an interesting ensemble of actors?

SC: I think the atmosphere on the set mirrored the tone of the movie itself, because there’s a great sense of joy, I think, in the movie, in the script, and the same applied to the filming. I think we gathered a fantastic cast of people who were not only talented but good people and kind and generous and fun to work with, so I think that was pervasive.

Steve Carrell with Ryan Gosling

Steve Carrell with Ryan Gosling

So can you tell me about your character, Cal? What is his journey in this film?

SC: Cal is a soon-to-be-divorced family man, and he’s blindsided by a bit of news that his wife has had an affair. And for the first time in many, many years, he finds himself in the world alone, ostensibly. He encounters a young man named Jacob, played by Ryan Gosling, who introduces him to the world of dating once again, a world that he has not been familiar with since he was a teenager.  It’s really a world he never understood, because fell in love with his wife and got married so early in life that he really never played the field, never was part of that universe.

So, he gets out there and finds it to be daunting trying to learn about himself. And I think that in the process of being coached and the process of learning about how to date, how to introduce yourself to girls, how to feel more comfortable, he starts to feel more confident and better about himself, which has really been the thing lacking between him and his wife.  He wasn’t taking care of himself and, thus, he really wasn’t doing anything to take care of their relationship.

What was it like to work with Ryan Gosling in Cal’s scenes with Jacob. Was there chemistry off the screen as much as there is on-screen?

SC: Oh, I think we got along right off the bat. He’s such a good person. I knew going in that he was a good actor, but you have no barometer for what someone’s going to be like in real life.  And he couldn’t have been a kinder, more generous person. I instantly liked him, and I think it helps.

I suppose you can act those sort of things, but it helps when you genuinely like and care for someone. I think it’s clearly more organic, and we just had fun. He is a funny guy. He’s a great improviser. He’s completely open to experiment and be playful, which is how I like to work.  So, if there is a chemistry, I feel like it was real, because we became friends.

Steve Carrell with Julianne Moore

Steve Carrell with Julianne Moore

You also have a lot of interaction with Julianne Moore, who plays your wife.  Can you talk about what it was like to work with her? Had you worked with her before?

SC: I’d never worked with her before. I’d only met her briefly many months before the movie started, and she was the same way. She’s somebody that lived up to any and all expectations that I had of her. She was clearly a great actor, but at the same time, a mom and someone who has very strong family values. So, we had a lot in common, just in terms of our little kids and relationships in our marriages. We got along instantly as well.

It’s always remarkable to me that I’ve gotten to work with fantastically talented people, and she’s one of them. She’s just effortless in how she goes about acting and has no pretense whatsoever.

Did you have a favorite sequence that you just enjoyed or that just was really fun to shoot?

SC: There’s a big fight sequence toward the end of the movie that, without giving too much away, was a riot. It was just so much fun to shoot, and it involved most everyone in the cast.  I just love those big ensemble group scenes when everybody’s having fun. And those days always seem like a party on set, when it’s just a free-for-all.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

What do think it is about this story that is so universal and will make it resonate with all different kinds of people?

SC: I think the idea of love in its many forms is a very universal sort of theme. It’s hard to describe this movie as a love story, because I think it’s so much more than that. I think people usually think of love stories as purely a romantic love between a man and a woman, and this movie is about that. But it’s also about friendships and the love inherent there, a love between a family. So, I think it connects to people because it seems genuine. It doesn’t seem to push or force, and without being too precious with it, seems to represent these different relationships and how they weave into one another in an organic way.

It’s something that, as a producer and an actor, I think the directors and the writer, all of us, really were cautious to not make this an overly precious movie but a fun one and a realistic one.  I think people connect with ideas when they don’t feel as though they’re being manipulated, and that’s something we all strove to do.

Catch the film in cinemas from 23rd September and watch the trailer here

© 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

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