Steve Carell has been making us laugh for a long time now; even when he took a dramatic turn in Little Miss Sunshine as a suicidal scholar, he was able to bring a bit of levity to the story and make us smile during a mostly sad situation. But now, with a role in a film that’s getting rave reviews at Cannes, Carell has channeled a deep, dark side of himself that is being called “creepy”.
Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller–who also helmed Capote–said he really had no idea that Carell could bring such a twisted performance to the role, but knew something good would come of it after they spoke and Carell gave his ideas on the character.
“It was so far outside of his comfort zone. I’ve never seen Steve do anything that would give any material evidence that he could do this. We just chatted and I heard how he thought and was thinking about the character, and I had a vision for it working,” Miller said.
The movie is based on the true story of Olympic gold medalist wrestler Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, and follows his attempt to separate himself from his brother and fellow Olympian, Dave (Mark Ruffalo). After moving to Pennsylvania to live on Foxcatcher Farm–owned by Carell’s character, John du Pont, who is a wealthy benefactor–to train, Schultz realizes that something isn’t right about du Pont. The film has been called a “dark psychological thriller”, and Carell’s performance is enhanced by prosthetics, which alter his appearance a great deal.
“None of it felt like an acting exercise. It was a different experience altogether and I credit Bennett for that,” Carell said.
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