Steve Carell in Real Life Vs. Dan in Real Life
- Monday, October 22, 2007
I thought you were really fantastic in the film. It’s amazing how versatile you are. Obviously, you’re an excellent comedian, but to see you play such a serious role, and do it so well, was a real treat.
Well, thank you. Hey, I like this press conference! Can we get that on the tape?
[Speaking into mic:] STEVE … WAS … AWESOME!
Thank you! I think this is the best interview I’ve ever done.
Well, we all need to hear it every now and then, right?
Yeah, because you just never know. I was just talking to my parents and saying, “I think the movie turned out well. I’m proud of it.” I was explaining the press junket and how I’m talking to people. They came and visited me on the set, and they watched the dining room sequence, which was a BEAR to shoot. But there’s no way of knowing. Once I’m done with it, all these other elements make it into what it is.
What I liked the best was that you showed what it’s really like to be a man. So often, movies portray men as super-confident and egotistical and incredibly sure of themselves—especially with women. But here, you’re a real man with insecurities and a lot of vulnerability. You nailed it, and as a woman, I thought it was great to see, frankly.
Thank you. Some men care about appearing that way. I don’t know if it’s an age thing or a personality thing—there isn’t that sense of bravado. That sense of insecurity is strong. Sometimes they’re in conflict. You’re trying to look cool, to present your best self. And it’s not going to always be so.
How long have you been married?
Do you remember feeling that way?
All the time! I was not a good dater. I literally don’t remember ever asking a girl out on a date. It was always someone I had been working with or had become friends with. We’d sort of find ourselves on a date. You know, everybody goes out to dinner and now it’s just the two of us, sitting at a table, and that turns into a date. That’s the way my romance seems to have gone. I was always far too shy and insecure.
Is that what happened with your wife?
Yeah! She worked at Second City [in Chicago] and I worked at Second City. We became friends. She was also bartending across the street. After I’d do a show I’d go across the street and sit and talk to her. We became friends that way. We sort of backed into the idea of going on a date. I remember, it was such a roundabout thing, because we’re both so shy. I remember saying, “Well, boy, if I was ever to go out on a date with someone like you …” and she said, “I bet I’d date someone like you.” We danced around it for weeks until I finally said, “You wanna?” and she was like, “Oh … okay.” It was so stupid and so sloppy, frankly. It was not neat or cool, but romantic in its own right. It was just two people who gravitated to one another. And I think that kind of speaks to the movie, too—it was two people who could not not fall in love. They’re good people and they didn’t want to, because they could not perceive of it not hurting others. But ultimately they couldn’t help themselves.
What’s changed for you with your success [as an actor]?
I have a h---uva lot more money than I used to! Honestly, that’s the most perceivable difference in my life. I will definitely be able to send my kids to college now – which was a question. That was my barometer for success. If I could support a family, send my kids through school and provide for them – that was really all I was hoping for, from day one. And to make a living as an actor, that would have been completely satisfying. So all of this is so far beyond any of my dreams or expectations.
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