Steve Carell’s likely pulled another hit out of his hit with the magical new comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”. Moviehole caught up with the amiable comedic actor to talk tricks, the rubbery-faced Jim Carrey, and romancing Olivia Wilde.
What film would you magically disappear from the box office just when ”Incredible Burt Wonderstone” comes out? Maybe ”A Good Day to Die Hard” - that one pose a threat to you?
Oh, I would never want any other film to disappear, I think all films can wonderfully co-exist. There should be lots of wonderful choices for all of our moviegoers…. Ha Ha!
Come on… what if there’s another two-hander comedy, similar to yours, possibly one involving magicians, opening the same week?
No, I think I’d have to draw the line there.
So let’s get straight down to business. Tell us about getting to ‘do it’ with Olivia Wilde in a movie. How awesome was that!?
It was pretty ridiculous! I mean, let’s face it, the fact that there’s even a love scene between Olivia Wilde and I is fairly ridiculous to begin with.
But that’s the benefit of being a producer right, you can choose who you bed in the movies!?
Hey! It was in the script, it’s not like I wrote that scene! Ha Ha!
Still, it’s a very good choice. Much respect to you, man.
Yeah, she’s really good… and she’s a really funny, talented actor. I give her a lot of credit, she’s very smart, she’s really talented. I remember we had a lot of people come in and audition for the part of the magician’s assistant, and she just had a confidence and a really deft touch with the comedy, which I thought was special. She’s really special.
I take it you and Jim Carrey were familiar with each other – being that he was in ”Bruce Almighty”, and you were in the sequel?
Yeah, and we’ve done some stuff together in the past. I had a little part in Bruce Almighty, and then we did – though we didn’t see each other – an animated film together, so it was fun to actually be in a scene with him again.
He’s wicked funny in the movie; was it your idea to cast him?
It was my idea to ask him, but I had no idea how he’d respond. But he jumped right in! I could not have been happier that he wanted to be a part of it. He’s this really legendary guy, he’s so committed to his work, he’s so inventive, and it’s hard not to – when you’re doing a scene with him – not just stand there with your mouth agape, witnessing it all.
You guys looked ripped in the movie! What’s with packing on muscle for this film, I mean… it’s not ”Die Hard”!?
Yep, there’s some muscular stuff going on.
First time in a gym, then?
Yeah, but you saw Jim Carrey – especially in that scene in the hot coals, where he lays on them – that dude is rippppped! He looks great.
But yeah, I mean, I figure my character is this super-egotistical peacock of a performer so he has to be pretty vain. I figure that’s what he had to look like.
I take it you did some research into magic, and had a few secrets revealed to you?
We did, yeah. We learnt some magic, we conferred with magicians, and I saw a bunch of magic shows. David Copperfield was a consultant on the movie – he also makes an appearance in the film – and he designed that ‘Hangman’ trick for us, which is in the movie. That trick was done without any sort of camera trickery, it was shot as a stage trick; we actually had to learn the trick and be sworn to secrecy.
So Copperfield will come after you if you reveal it?
Yeah and then some!
Did you learn some tricks yourself? What about the ‘condom’ one [in the ‘love scene’ with Olivia Wilde], have you applied that in the bedroom yet?
I learnt a few, yeah. Any sort of sleight of hand, that’s difficult because to become an expert at such things takes years and years. It’s an art. I tried to get good enough just so I can fake it.
Are we talking about the love scene again?
Ha Ha! Well I did learn the little condom switcheroo trick for the bedroom scene. That was actually a sleight of hand, that wasn’t done in the camera. I did that trick.
Vegas is a glitzy place isn’t it? Was it shot there?
Some of it, about three weeks. I often think, thousands of years from now, when an archaeologist stumbles upon the ruins of Las Vegas what they would make of the place. Know what I mean? It has a pyramid, it has a small scale version of New York City…
Yeah, it’s a bricks-and-mortar acid trip!
Yeah, what would they make of it, if all history had been destroyed? It is unlike any other place in the world. It’s funny because all of the costumes and wigs and the get-ups in this movie seem so outrageous but walking around Las Vegas nobody even batted an eye. We fit right into our surroundings.
Come on, some people must have recognized you and Jim Carrey!?
Not really, no, they just thought we were some performers from one of the local venues.
So you’re doing an ”Anchorman” sequel next, which we’re all really pumped for, but what about “Get Smart 2″? Any chance of you and Catwoman playing Maxwell Smart and 99 again?
Boy, um, we haven’t even talked about that. I have not spoken to Warners about that in a long time. Yeah, I dunno… I guess ‘never say never’? But that’s not on the books as far as I know.
We start Anchorman in about a month. It’s a really busy year, I have a few movies coming out, and I’m shooting a couple of things, so it’s turning out to be a pretty busy year.
You’ve just made a drama called ”Foxcatcher”, about an Olympian that’s murdered. Doesn’t sound like a Steve Carell movie!? Heck, sounds like an Oscar movie!
Finished shooting that last month. I can’t wait to see it either. It was a great experience. Bennett Miller is a very gifted filmmaker, so that was a lot of fun and extremely different.
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” opens this week