We’ve all heard the classic line about how it’s always more fun to play the villain, but surprisingly you never hear about the benefits of playing the asshole hero. Sure, playing the baddie allows a sense of freedom from consequence, but a bastard protagonist not only gets to do all that, they also get a chance at redemption, the heart of the one they love, and a big win at the end. And that was just one of the pleasures that Steve Carell got to experience playing the titular magician in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
As revealed earlier today, last year I had the pleasure of joining a group of fellow journalists on a visit to the set of the new comedy and after shooting a scene – and while still in full costume - Carell was kind enough to sit down for a long chat about the film. Read on below to learn all about the magic, the crazy costumes, and the general douchebaginess of his latest character.
How did this project begin for you?
We were sent a script. Our company was sent a script some years ago that was a version of this one. That was a couple of incarnations ago. I really liked the premise. I thought that the characters had a lot of potential. I just liked the world. I think the world is really funny and that it's something that we haven't seen before.
We were watching you film multiple takes and it was interesting to see how your performance evolved throughout. Is that how you generally approach a scene?
Better that it evolve than devolve. It's nice to be able to try different things with each take and to find things that work and don't work. You never know. You never know until you put it in front of an audience. But it's nice to have options when you're shooting it. You try to look at it, even incrementally, performance-wise and you try things that might be a little more broad or a little more grounded. Once they're editing and finding the exact tone of the movie, you have those options.
We heard you were doing a stunt on the first day. Was that scary?
It was a little bit scary. It takes time to get used to being up that high. It wasn't so much the height as the fact that the bottom is Plexiglas and you could look down 50, 60, 70 feet. I don't know how high we were. There's something disconcerting about that. I know at the Grand Canyon they have that Plexiglas walkway that you can look down. I think some of the casinos there have the same type of thing. If you have a fear of heights, it's a little disconcerting. After a while, though, you get used to it. Like anything, you start to trust it.
How many variations of these costumes do you get to wear?
Boy. There's different stage costumes for our stage work. We also travel back. There are flashbacks to earlier versions of Burt and Anton. Their costumes chance accordingly. Also, what Burt and Anton wear as their street clothes are very specific to them as well. They're clearly in costume even when they're not on stage.