Steve Carell Talks Sneaking Into See Steven Spielberg's Jaws As A Kid, And It Sounds Like It Traumatized Him A Little

general mark naird in uniform in his office on Space Force
(Image credit: netflix)

Think back to the time when you were a kid and you thought it was so cool to see a movie that was not age-appropriate. When you got to see a PG-13 or an R-rated film before becoming a teenager, it either makes you feel like the coolest kid in your class – or it haunts you as a mistake that leaves you understanding why the film was rated for mature audiences in the first place. Steve Carell can relate in that he snuck into two movies as a kid that evidently scarred him for life.

Steve Carell pleases kids and fans alike making his return as animated villain Felonious Gru in Minions: The Rise of Gru. In this Minions prequel, there’s a scene when the minions and Gru sneak in to see Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and The Office actor recently told Screen Rant just how much he can relates to that experience:

I snuck in to see Jaws. I snuck in to see The Exorcist.

Considering The Exorcist and Jaws fall under two movies that sold the most tickets, it makes sense to find these movies worth sneaking into. However, Steve Carell was 11 when the former hit theaters, and 13 for the latter. Being so young, the actor regrets the rebellious move and calls it a "mistake." Said Carell,

Inadvertently, it was a mistake. I wanted to see The Exorcist, but there's a reason why kids should not go see The Exorcist. And Jaws? I didn't swim in the ocean [after]. I still don't love it. I'm not a big fan.

There are plenty of reasons why Jaws and The Exorcist are considered the scariest movies of all time. Jaws is one of those movies that can make anyone be afraid to step foot into the ocean. One would like to float in the water looking up at the sun without having to worry about a toothy sea fish waiting to sink its teeth into you.

And don’t get me started on The Exorcist! Watching a movie about the demonic possession of a little girl as she vomits, spins her head around, and spider crawls can give anyone nightmares for weeks. Steve Carell may have had traumatic experience watching these two movies, but they haven’t stopped him from making us laugh on the big and small screen for years.

Despite how terrifying Jaws was, people still love the Spielberg flick 45 years later. Fans frequently post on social media about this shark-centric horror film as one of the greatest ever made, and share their favorite moments and quotes.  Sailing trips everywhere are spent saying “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It was a massive hit on the big screen in 1975, and its popularity has been perpetuated for decades thanks to home video and TV (something James Gunn pointed to when discussing the HBO Max release of The Suicide Squad). 

One movie kids don’t need to bother sneaking into is the PG-rated animated film Minions: The Rise of Gru – which tells the untold origin story of Gru’s quest to become the world’s greatest supervillain. Be sure to hear the voiceover stylings of Steve Carell as he portrays his iconic role in the family-friendly 2022 release in theaters now.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.