Steve Carell has emerged as one of the most sought-aftercomedic actors in Hollywood with starring roles in such box-office hits as The40-Year-Old Virgin, Evan Almighty and Horton. Carell topbills Warner Bros.' newaction comedy Get Smart as CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart who's sent on hismost dangerous and important mission: to thwart the latest plot for worlddomination by the evil crime syndicate known as KAOS.
It also happens to be Maxwell's very first mission.
"I'd say it's 80 percent comedy, 20 percent action, 15 percent heart, 35 percentromance, 10 percent adventure and probably less than one pecent horror," Carell describes thefilm. "Put that all together and youhave more than 100 percent, which is more, really, than you can expect from anymovie."
Q: One of thegreatest things about comic actors is their unique physicality and their uniquevocal patterns. What do you think your mannerisms are as a comic actor?
Steve Carell: Wow.You know what? As soon as you start to talk about your own mannerisms you arescrewed because if you're aware of your own mannerisms, or even beyond that,like what makes any one thing funny to people, I really ascribe to the ideathat if you start deconstructing it too much, it is immediately not funny. If you start over-thinking it or trying tofigure out some sort of formula, it's math. It's not anything organic.
Q: Can you talkabout your character, Maxwell Smart?
Carell: He starts asan analyst. He's someone who aspires tobe a spy but is now middle-aged and has not gotten to that point and has notbeen promoted. And, through a series of events that you see early in the movie,he is promoted to spy and at that point is able to incorporate all these thingshe's been working on all along. The onething that I loved about Maxwell is that he is not an idiot. He's not a fumbling fool. He's actually very proficient. In a fight he can handle himself. He can shoot a gun. He's able to incorporate all these thingshe's been working on all along. He'sclever. He gets out ofsituations—sometimes counter-intuitively, but he gets out of them. He's not a fool. But he's quirky. He'svery earnest.
Q: Can you talk aboutwhat it's like to make an action movie?
Carell: Honestly, itcould not have been more fun. It'ssomething you dream about as a kid. Itis literally like playing in a sandbox for several weeks, and pretending. Thereare parts of the movie that Anne Hathaway and I are hanging off the sides ofbuildings and rappelling underneath a plane and having a fight on top of amoving SUV that is also on fire and about to smash into a train. All of thesethings are a far cry from anything I've ever done before. So, yeah. As you could imagine, it's just so much fun.
Q: How far wouldyou go before a stunt person would take over?
Carell: Probablythe riskiest thing I did was being pulled behind a moving SUV down traintracks. That was a little scary. Thestunt people are so good and they really make sure that you're safe. I never felt that my life was in peril atany point. I think it plays as anaction movie as well as a comedy.
Q: Do you want totalk about the number of gadgets that Maxwell Smart has?
Carell: Well,there's the Cone of Silence but it's absolutely unusable. The Shoe Phone makes an appearance and a lotof people are asking about the Shoe Phone because it doesn't seem to fit withmodern technology. And there's a veryclever way in which the shoe phone is integrated into the movie—very plausibleand makes sense plot-wise. I have thislittle gadget which you see a tiny bit of in the scene in the airplanebathroom. It's a tiny Swiss army knifethat has several gadgets within it, including a crossbow, a flamethrower, andsome other things that you find out along the way. So, the gadgets are alive and well.
Opening soon across the Philippines starting June 19, GetSmart is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company. This action comedy will have a sneak preview on June 10 (Tuesday) at Trinoma in Quezon City.