The comic/dramatic skill of Steve Carell

He likens impro comedy to chess. And if that’s the case, Steve Carell is a grand master because whether the role is comic or dramatic, he’s brilliant.

With the release of Despicable Me 2 and the return of his wonderful animated creation, the supervillain/superdad Gru, it’s a good point at which to look back over the work of Steve Carell to date, as we’ll soon be seeing more of the dramatic side of this fantastically versatile actor. Although he shone to start with in small comic roles in Bruce Almighty and memorably as Brick Tamland in Anchorman, he really burst into consciousness in a lead role as Andy in The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Steve Carell_Little Miss SunshineSince then, as much as I’ve enjoyed his brilliantly funny turns in films like Dinner for Schmucks, Get Smart and Date Night and in TV’s memorable The Office (I really must catch his latest The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), I’ve also admired his roles that hint at a darker, more serious side  – the widowed dad romancing Juliette Binoche in Dan in Real Life and most stunningly as Frank, the suicidal brother in Little Miss Sunshine. He recently combined the best of both comic and dramatic elements for me as Cal, the husband learning to remake himself in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

So now as we get to enjoy more gorgeous Gru “shrink ray!!” and very soon more Brick in Anchorman 2, we can also look forward to his more edgy roles in the comedy drama The Way Way Back, playing Toni Collette’s less-than-nice boyfriend and the one I’m really waiting for, Bennett Miller’s new movie Foxcatcher, where Carell joins a cast including Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum and portrays John du Pont, paranoid schizophrenic and killer of Olympic wrestling champion Dave Schultz. Wow. I think somebody just whispered Oscar.

Before that, have a read of one of the interviews he’s done recently for Despicable Me 2 here and enjoy some of Carell’s fabulously deadpan humour:

“You got to be pulling on my leg!”

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