Gru of the Despicable Me franchise has become one of Steve Carell's most famous characters -- but after seven years he's now added a second role to the animated series. In Despicable Me 3, Carell not only once again voices the famed bald supervillain, but also plays his own twin brother, Dru. In the finished film, the two parts wind up having rather similar voices, but Carell recently told me about the process that it took to get to that place:
Yeah, we played around at first. And I, again, didn't want to be too method actor-y about it... With the first one we stumbled upon that voice because it seemed to be kind of funny. And it was the same thing with Dru. I figured, 'Well, they're related, so there's a similarity in their voices,' but he's kind of coming at life from a different place. So that should be reflected in his voice. But yeah, they're so open to suggestion and we just played around.
I sat down with Despicable Me 3 stars Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig at the Los Angeles press day for the blockbuster earlier this month, and it was at the end of our chat that I brought up the development of the voice for Dru. Evidently Step One is just not thinking about it too hard, but he did ultimately find influence in the way the character was raised (which is to say living a life of affluence).
There is a subtle difference between the voices of Gru and Dru, as the latter's is just slightly higher pitched than the formers -- but there is some logic to the idea of twins having similar voices. Of course, Carell has demonstrated an immense talent for doing a wide variety of voices in animated work thoughout his career - from the hyper Hammy in Over the Hedge, to the Mayor in Horton Hears A Who! to Gary in Saturday Night Live's Ambiguously Gay Duo shorts.
Given Steve Carell's comments about "playing around with it," it actually would be very cool if there were some Despicable Me 3 behind the scenes material that showcased the development of Dru. We don't know when in the process or where he wound up settling on the voice that is featured in the movie, but it would be great if it were inside of a recording booth.
You can watch Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig discuss developing the voice for Dru in the video below!