I’m still having a hard time believing it myself, that somehow I managed to be in a round table and have an actual conversation with one of my favorite celebrities. If you’ve known me or my husband any time at all, you know I’m a sucker for the ones who make you laugh. If asked, most women would name their favorite male celebrities based on their uncanny good looks or their chiseled hard abs (which apparently one of the characters in Steve’s new movie – Crazy. Stupid. Love has?!) but my list has always been chosen with sense of humor in mind.
Steve Carell has been at the top of that list for several years now. When he left The Office this year, I bawled like a baby. When I saw Dan in Real Life for the first time, I took a crew of 20 airmen with me (and guess what … most of us bawled like babies). When it came out on DVD, I made my husband watch it a dozen at least (he, however, did not bawl like a baby). Even my children have seen Despicable Me, who knows how many times, and try as I may I just can’t get enough of this guy.
Talking with him over the phone only solidified my opinions of him. He is as genuine as they come. Not to mention, down-to-earth, smart, witty and head-over-heels in love with his family as it gets. My absolute favorite part of this experience was listening to him talk about his two children, ages 7 & 10. You could literally hear him smiling through the phone reminiscing about them. Stating he, “wanted to soak up their childhood, as much as he could.” The same thing happened when he spoke of his wife, he spoke with a twinkle; his love for her was obvious and true. Even when Steve mentioned his parents during the interview, there was a sense of admiration and respect you could not help but take note of.
It was all of these redeeming qualities, and his amazing talent that earned him his latest casting as Cal Weaver in Crazy. Stupid. Love. A script written especially with him in mind and a cast he really connected with, make this a movie you will not want to miss. I was part of a small group of bloggers chosen from across the country to do a round table interview with him, here are some of our questions and his answers:
What did you enjoy most about making this movie?
Steve Carell: Ryan Gosling’s abs. …
I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve received about his body, which, frankly, makes me feel terrible. I get a lot of this: ‘When are we going to see YOUR abs in a movie?’ and clearly they’re just making fun of me.
Honestly, the most fun I had was working with Ryan and Julianne, specifically, because I had most of my scenes with the two of them. They’re wonderful actors, and I hadn’t worked with either of them before. Very exciting.
Is there anything you learned from the movie that you would apply to your marriage or own life?
Steve: That I will never jump out of a car if my wife wants to discuss something serious with me. You know what, it’s funny. I think it was sort of reversed. I think I take and apply things that I’ve learned in my life and apply them to scripts in movies or TV just in order to make them feel as real as possible.
And I certainly haven’t gone through this scenario with my wife (Nancy Carell), but from what I’ve observed in life and my experience with relationships, it was important to me that — one specific element of the script is that a couple is on the brink of divorce — there’s generally culpability on both sides of the equation, and that was really important to me — that there is, generally speaking, not a villain in the scenario. There’s usually fault and movement to be had on both sides. And I think that’s something that I’ve learned throughout my life that I tried to apply to the movie and to the script.
And my own life? I’ll tell you again, my learning stuff goes back to Ryan Gosling’s abs!
Would you say “Crazy Stupid Love” is a good date night movie for parents? And can you speak to how important it is for parents to take time out for themselves in addition to spending time with their kids?
Steve: I think it’s an excellent date-night movie. And I completely agree. I think that to be the best parent and to be the best spouse, you have to have your own life that is different and separate than your other lives.
*laughs* I’m not saying have a secret life, but I’m saying you have to have your own interests, and ultimately a person has to feel good about themselves to be a good parent, to be a good spouse.
And this is definitely something my wife and I have learned raising our kids, that if you concentrate — and the impulse is to put every effort into your children because that’s the most important thing in your life — but if you forget to take care of yourself, if you forget to take care of your spouse and your relationship, then you’re not going to be as good a parent because you’re not going to be as happy.
Q: How do you keep your kids grounded? Do your kids think you’re as funny as we do?
Steve: I think my kids are much funnier than I am. Sometimes they say things that are so funny, my wife and I don’t want them to know that they’ve necessarily said something funny. I don’t know if that makes sense, but sometimes they inadvertently say things that are ridiculous, and I don’t want them to understand that that was a funny thing to say so they’ll continue to say things like that.
They just think of me as their dad. I think I’m a fun dad, but I’m not a comedian dad, I’m not a performer father, and I just want to be a fun dad. I want to really define that relationship with them. Because they have their buddies at school who are their age or their cousins when they come home, but I want to have a different relationship with my children than that.
And as far as being grounded in Los Angeles, I think the toughest part of that equation is when you drive by a billboard with your face on it, and they look quizzically at it and don’t really understand why there is a picture of you on the side of a bus or the side of a building, and I just don’t want that to interfere with my relationship with them and to taint it in any way. Again, I just want them to think of us as their parents and what I do as a job and have it not define me, or define them. It doesn’t make him or them special. I just try to keep it simple.
What is your fashion style? Are you more like Cal New Balance or the Cal 6 layers of clothing?
Steve: I’m kind of in between, I’ll tell you what I’m wearing now. I’m wearing Asics running shoes, Banana Republic jeans and a plaid JCrew shirt. I know it all sounds so sexy. After 7pm, my wife and I are in sweat pants and t-shirts. As soon as we know we are not going to be seen by the public, we are in complete comfort clothes. When I go out, I like to look clean and presentable. I don’t put that much emphasis of making a fashion statement.
My daughter on the other hand, she likes to make bold fashion statements. She doesn’t really care what others think, she’s not in to what every one else is wearing. I like to think of them as my little trendsetters.
Do you have plans for more animated films?
Steve: There will be a Despicable Me 2. They’ve already set a date for the release – July 4th, 2013.
I’d love to hear about your first acting job, how you got started.
Steve: My first paying job was in Chicago, Second City Touring Company, 1988. It was how I viewed my success as an actor. I was able to quit my job waiting tables and act full time. All I ever wanted to do, was to be able to make a living. All of this other stuff was a complete surprise. I never thought I’d become an actor. I always thought I would be a lawyer. Acting came later, I was filling out law school applications and was stumped by the essay question, Why do you want to be a lawyer? I couldn’t answer that. My parents suggested acting. They told me to choose a career that would fulfill me and even encouraged me to move to Chicago and become an actor.
That was a great lesson and a gift. It let me off the hook to pursue my dream.
If your kids wanted to act would you encourage it?
When the time is right. I want them to be kids. I don’t want them to have a career. I want them to be kids and to go to college and experience life. My parents encouraged me to experience life and to have interests. I’m hoping to offer my kids opportunities — music, art, theater, sports, whatever their interests are. I learned a great lesson from my parents – it is my kids life, all I can do is give them the best foundation I can.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
There’s a scene at the end that turns into all out chaos and a knock down drag out fight. There’s a shot of Julieanne (Moore) watching the fight and you see little bits and pieces of arms and legs in the fight and we were laughing so hard. I wish the camera had been on us. It was a bunch of adults acting like 12 year olds. it was the most ridiculous looking thing. We look like were were about 7 – we felt like a bunch of puppies.
When is your wife going to be in a movie with you?
She’s got a small part in a movie that I’m filming right now with Kiera Knightley. I’m encouraging her to write, she is really talented and doesn’t give herself enough credit. She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and I just really want her to get out there. I am her biggest fan.
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I really can’t wait for a chance to see this movie, Steve described the movie as being very human, a movie with real characters who are interesting, with real life experiences that are funny. There are moments of rolling laughter. Laughter that will last minutes and the movie has many twists and turns we won’t see coming. Have you seen it yet? Did it live up to his description for you? I wish we could all go see this film together. One giant Mom’s Night Out! Wouldn’t that be grand? Guess which questions (2) I asked and earn some good ol’ KSW bragging rights. Check out the movie, the trailer and the Crazy Stupid Love Facebook page here.