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Steve Carell got his big movie break starring alongside Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty. While it was undoubtedly an exciting moment in the actor’s career, it also wound up being extremely dangerous. That’s because his character’s big moment originally featured a lot more chaos, including a whole bunch of fire.
In the movie, he plays another news anchor, albeit a fictional one -- the obnoxious Evan Baxter. After his character gets the promotion that Bruce was hoping for at their news station, Jim Carrey’s character uses his God-like powers to humiliate him while he’s on air. He takes control of his voice to turn him into a babbling idiot and takes control of the teleprompter and sabotages his news report just to add insult to injury. It’s one of the movie’s most memorable moments, thanks to Steve Carell’s scene-stealing performance.
According to the actor, though, there was actually a lot more to the scene that helped make him a movie star. An extended version of the scene saw his character going through a lot more:
That was basically the first time I was ever in a movie. The part they cut is when Jim Carrey makes my nose start to bleed profusely. They thought, ‘too mean of him to do as a character’ and then my head bursts into flames.
So that sounds like a lot to endure for your first big movie role, especially since Bruce Almighty didn’t rely on CGI to bring Evan Baxter’s horrors to life:
It wasn’t even a digital effect. It was a real, live practical effect. They ran a gas line down my back and they put a coil on top of my head. They put gel on my head so it wouldn’t burn and they ignited this enormous four-foot flame. I’m sure it’s in some DVD extra somewhere.
That was the most terrifying thing ever. You could hear them venting the gas line before it happened. And then I knew it was going to go full-blown torch. I can see the crew in front of me, they all lit up because the flame was so bright. Terrifying.
It’s a shame that he went through so much for the scene only for it to wind up on the cutting room floor. At least his character got his own spin-off movie -- in the end, that was probably a better deal, even though it meant Evan Baxter, and by proxy Steve Carell, had to suffer even more.
Would you have liked to have scene this deleted scene in Bruce Almighty? Let us know in the comments section below.