The Get Smart movie turns Steve Carell into an action hero. He makes his usual deadpan jokes while fighting seven foot tall baddies, skydiving and dodging lasers.
Steve Carell Trains to Get Smart
"I never thought in a million years I’d be doing anything like this," he said. "It’s crazy and just so much fun. I mean, I’m an action guy now so that’s going to be my new career path. I’m going to get really bulked up and just do action movies. It’s just fun and I say that to Anne every day, 'How the heck did we end up in this?' It’s just really, really fun and very silly but one of the things that I wanted to do is have my initial sort of pitch when they were talking about tone with this was that it be sort of a comedic Bourne Identity. That was tonally what I was hoping for and I think so far it’s kind of hitting that. We’ll see."
Now Carell has to time his one liners exactly to the explosions that pyro guys have rigged for each take. "There’s so many people involved with something like that. That big explosion, that obviously I have no control over delivering the line and having something explode behind me exactly on cue and that just speaks to the fact that those guys really know what they’re doing. We did one take of that because frankly, we could do it 50 more times and I don’t know if timing wise it could have gotten better than that. Which I think puts a lot of, I don’t know pressure, but a lot of responsibility on everyone’s shoulders individually. My responsibility and I think all the other actors feel that responsibility to live up to that and to try to do our job the best we can, but also to just have fun, because it’s Get Smart. It should be just fun and so far everybody I have to say is having a ball. I think this is the most fun I’ve had doing anything. Every day we just laugh like little kids."
Even though there are expensive special effects involved, Carell still has a chance to deliver many alternate lines, even though only one will end up on film. "Yes, it’s call DVD extra because none of that stuff will see the light of day. It’s like, 'Yeah, try another one' and I’m thinking to myself they’ll never use this. This is what it turns out to be is that they have a four-disc CD of bloopers. It’s fun. You never know. You can get it as scripted and its fine and then if you go fishing a little bit and try a few more. [Director] Pete [Segal] is always very amenable to that and yeah, its fun to play around and just see what other sort of attitudes, because also I think it’s giving him an option when he starts to edit. He’s not sure exactly where the tone will be at a certain part of the movie or what you’ll need. Will you need a joke or will you need something more serious? So to give him some options to play with is always helpful."
Carell may be joking, the but action is all serious. "You read the action on the page but then day to day I got the sense that I think it will be very funny. Then when I saw what they put together it’s funny but it’s not goofy silly action it’s real. It looks like an action movie which I think is pretty cool. It’s got me psyched."