Chatting with Steve Carell of Crazy, Stupid Love and Ryan Gosling Ab’s Co-Star

Crazy, Stupid, Love starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s Abs (giving my all time 6 pack ab fave Ryan Reynolds a run for his money) opens july 29.

Synopsis – At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream—good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his “perfect” life quickly unravels.

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Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling starring in Crazy, Stupid, Love

In today’s single world, Cal, who hasn’t dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome lothario Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can’t be found at Supercuts or The Gap.

Cal and Emily aren’t the only ones looking for love in what might be all the wrong places: Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is in love with his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who harbors a major crush of her own…on Cal. And even Jacob’s new-woman-every-night modus operandi is challenged when he tries his best lines on Hannah (Emma Stone), a girl he just can’t seem to get out of his mind—maybe because she’s the first woman he’s ever met who doesn’t think this professional player has any game.

Steve Carell is one funny man, very self-effacing and all-around nice guy interview. I appreciated that he took the time to talk to us moms about his career, kids and his funny wife Nancy (remember her, she used to be on the Daily Show.)  The one thing that was clear is that he cares and supports his wife and kids. He is definitely all about making sure that he supports their dreams as did his parents. Did you know he was going to law school and his parents talked him out it. And his kids are truly funnier than both he and his wife.


What appealed to you about this script? I thought that it was very human and that it had real characters going through interesting life experiences and ultimately I thought that it was all very funny and that’s what I was attracted to. There are a lot of twists and turns in the movie as well that I did not see coming. If you see the movie, within the first couple of minutes my character finds out that his wife wants a divorce and he jumps out of a car…I think reading that part where he jumps out of the car really peaked my interest because I’d never seen anything like that in a movie and it says so much about that guy that he is unwilling to un-engage with this woman really to the point where he would rather risk life and limb to get away from even discussing that…and that just spoke volumes to me and I thought it was really funny at the same time.”

What did you enjoy the most? Ryan Gosling’s abs. They were not photoshopped – they were real and I can’t tell you how many questions I have received about his body, which just makes me feel terrible. Everyone asks when will they see my body, which just makes me feel terrible.

I wondered if you learned anything from the movie to apply in real life? I will never jump out of a car if my wife wants to discuss something serious with me. I think I apply my life to scripts as opposed to the other way – it makes the script more real. It was important to me that everyone know that people in a divorce are both culpable. There’s usually fault on both sides and there is rarely a villain. I tried to apply that to the script. My learning really goes back to Ryan’s abs – in order to look like that, you really have to work at it, and also be Ryan Gosling.

This looks like a great parents night out movie. Can you speak to that? I think this is an excellent date night movie. In order to be the best parent and the best spouse, you have to have your own life. Not a secret life, but you have to have your own interests and you have to feel good about themselves in order to be a good parent and a good spouse. If you concentrate all of your efforts into your children but forget your spouse or relationship you won’t be as happy. What’s great about this movie is that it’s really funny. It will make you laugh for minutes. It’s a very real movie, there’s a lot of humanity to it, and a lot of accessibility. There’s a lot parents can relate to and identify with.

General parenting question – if your kids are involved in sports, have you run into a situation with an overprotective sports parent? You meet parents who are overly protective and you also meet parents who are so rabid about pressing their kids into playing hard. There’s a frightening aspect to both. I want my kids to be safe but I don’t want to coddle them. Fortunately my kids aren’t interested in playing anything dangerous. I played goalie in hockey growing up – either my parents trusted that I’d be ok, or they didn’t care about me. They figured if I had the right equipment and good coaching it was ok.

How do you keep your kids grounded and do they think you are funny? I think my kids are much funnier than I am. Sometimes I don’t want them to know how funny they are. They think of me just as a dad. Not a performer. I just want to be a fun dad. I don’t want to be their buddy, I want to be their dad and really define their relationship with them. They have their school buddies and I want to have a different relationship with them than that. The toughest part of being grounded is driving past a billboard with my face on it and they don’t understand why that is there – I don’t want that to interfere with my relationship with them. What I do is a job and I don’t want it to define me or define them. It doesn’t make me special and it doesn’t make them special.

What is your own personal fashion? Are you more like Cal (the character in the movie) at the beginning of the movie or after he’s been transformed? I’m sort of in between. Right now I’m wearing Asiscs running shoes, Banana Republic jeans and a plaid J Crew shirt. As soon as I can I get into T shirt and sweats. My wife and I change as soon as we get home.

What traits do you see in your kids that you worry about or think is great? They both have a great sense of irony. Not only do they understand it, they know how to employ it. Not cynicism but irony. They understand irony as a concept and that is very funny to both my wife and me. They are both funny but they don’t strike me as little show kids.

My girls are 6 and 9 and loved you in Despicable Me.Do you have plans for more animated films? There will be a second Despicable Me. They’ve already set a date for the release – July 4th, 2013.

I’d love to hear your first acting job. My first paying job was in Chicago, Second City touring company, 1988. It was how I viewed my success as an actor. I was able to quit my job as a waiter. All I wanted to do was be able to make a living. All of this other stuff was a complete surprise. I never thought I’d become an actor. I had a goal through high school and college to become a lawyer. I was stumped by the essay question, Why do you want to be a lawyer? I couldn’t answer that. My parents encouraged me to move to Chicago and become an actor.

If your kids wanted to act, is that something you would encourage? When the time is right. I want them to be kids. I don’t want them to have a career. I want them to be kids and to go to college and experience life. My parents encouraged me to experience life and to have interests. I’m hoping to offer my kids opportunities. I learned a great lesson from my parents – it is my kids life, all I can do is give them the best foundation I can.

What was your favorite scene to shoot? There’s a scene at the end that turns into all out chaos and a knock down drag out fight. There’s a shot of Julieanne (Moore) watching the fight and you see little bits and pieces of arms and legs in the fight and we were laughing so hard. It was a bunch of adults acting like 12 year olds. it was the most ridiculous looking thing. We look like were were about 7 – we felt like a bunch of puppies. (I agree – this was one of the best parts!)

When is your wife Nancy going to be in a movie with you? She’s got a small part in a movie that I’m filming right now with Kiera Knightley. I’m encouraging her to write and she doesn’t give herself enough credit. She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and I just really want her to get out there.

Steve Carell is a big movie star so I want to thank him for talking to us mommy bloggers.
Visit Crazy, Stupid, Love on Facebook for more clips from the movie.

Disclosure: NYC Single Mom was not compensated for this post.

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