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Steve Carell on Dan In Real Life

Published October 25, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Disney.
Dan In Real Life Dan in Real Life

The poster for Dan in Real Life promises the wacky antics of a guy falling asleep on a buttery stack of pancakes. There is no such scene in the film, nor any other broad comedy moments. The "dramedy" features a more sedate Steve Carell, but it does not have any big emotional breakdown moments either.

Carell Talks About Real Life


"I don’t think the story lent itself to a big, emotional breakdown," said Carell. "In my mind, this is a guy who is just doing his best to get through and get by, and raise three daughters by himself. Not someone to wallow in self pity, just someone who has put other people and other things ahead of himself, and kind of loses a part of himself in the process."

The title refers to the title character's advice column. While on a family reunion, Dan tries to follow his own advice and not fall for his brother's girlfriend, nor indulge his daughter's lovelorn obsessions.

"That’s the element of the movie that I can identify with, and I think a lot of people can. I love my kids, I have two little kids, and I love them more than anything, and I put them ahead of any of my own personal needs, and I think people tend to do that. But there’s a danger there I think of losing a part of yourself and not taking care of your own needs, which I think can then affect them, because you want to give your kids the best possible version of yourself. If you don’t feel complete and full yourself, then you can’t do that for them."

Between Dan and Little Miss Sunshine, Carell could have a parallel dramatic career going on alongside his comedy one. The actor has no such intentions or preferences.

Dan In Real Life Dan in Real Life


Dan In Real Life Dan in Real Life

Dan In Real Life Dan in Real Life

"It’s a different thing. It’s just a different sort of muscle I think. I don’t think it’s any more or less difficult, but they’re just different. I think I enjoy them equally. Playing Michael Scott is a very different sort of character, and a fun character to play, but again the show has a different tone to it than, say, a movie like this. I think of it as the tone. I think of it as what the movie calls for, what this situation calls for, and I just wanted to make this guy as truthful as I could, as honest as I could."

And that poster shot raises an interesting question too. Was it Photoshop or old school with Carell getting buttery? "I’ll leave that up for you to decide."

Dan In Real Life opens to theaters October 26th.

For the trailer, poster and additional movie info, go to the Dan In Real Life Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Disney.
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