×

Steve Carell on New Film ‘Welcome to Marwen’ and Reprising His ‘Anchorman’ Character

In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming film “Welcome to Marwen,” directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Steve Carell.

Carell told Variety at the film’s Monday premiere in Hollywood that he was inspired by the documentary, but he wasn’t sure it needed to be turned into a scripted feature film. It wasn’t until he met with Zemeckis and learned about the director’s idea involving animation and motion capture that he realized there could be something there.

“We got together and he explained what his vision was, which was essentially to take this world that Mark had created, this miniature world, and bring it to life with motion capture,” Carell said. “That felt like a really fun and interesting way in, to be able to really even see more of Mark Hogancamp’s imagination coming to life.”

Diane Kruger said there was a lot of over-the-top elements, from the crazy accent she had to do as one of Hogancamp’s dolls to the DeLorean time machine from “Back to the Future” (also directed by Zemeckis). She also had to appear in front of a green screen for the first time and act opposite a tennis ball, which she called a daunting task.

“Day one felt like, ‘How am I present in this scene? How can I profess my love to a tennis ball?’ Then I realized, the tennis ball loves me no matter what,” Kruger joked.

Kruger said the film was important for anyone who had been bullied or is experiencing a dark time, and Stefanie von Pfetten, who plays Hogancamp’s love interest, also spoke to the movie’s message of art as therapy. Von Pfetten also said the film is a testament to strong women, with so many of Hogancamp’s female friends helping him on his journey, including characters played by Janelle Monáe, Merritt Wever, Eiza González, and more.

“In this day and age right now, it’s incredibly timely. I love the story about the women coming in his life, and representing an amazing hero-type importance,” she said. “Without using the term ‘feminist’ too much — but hey, we can’t use it enough — I think it’s a feminist film.”

And with the anniversary of “Anchorman 2’s” release date approaching, Carell also spoke about the possibility of playing Brick in another film in the famous comedy series.

“If they make another one, I’ll do another one. Those are really fun. That’s just hanging out with friends and being silly,” he told Variety.

He also said if asked, he would definitely appear on the upcoming “Ron Burgundy Podcast,” which is “hosted” by the character Will Ferrell played in the “Anchorman” films.

“Sure, if he wants me to come in and say some non-sequiturs as Brick, of course. I would in a second,” he said.

More Film

  • Glenn Gainor to give keynote presentation

    Sony's Glenn Gainor Set as CinefestOZ Keynote Presenter

    Glenn Gainor, president of Sony Innovation Studios and head of physical production at Screen Gems, will deliver the keynote speech at the industry program of next month’s CinefestOZ Film Festival. The small but densely packed festival takes place in multiple venues near Busselton and Margaret River in West Australia. It runs Aug. 28-Sept. 1 and [...]

  • avengers-endgame-avatar-box-office-record

    James Cameron Salutes 'Avengers: Endgame' For Beating 'Avatar's' Box Office Record

    Director James Cameron may no longer be the reigning box office champion, but at least he’s gracious about passing the baton. Over the weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” officially dethroned “Avatar” to become the biggest movie in history. For a decade, Cameron’s dazzling sci-fi epic held the top spot with $2.7897 billion in global ticket sales, but [...]

  • A-Beautiful-Day-in-the-Neighborhood-Trailer

    Tom Hanks Channels Mister Rogers in 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Trailer

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood because Sony debuted the first trailer for its Mister Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is inspired by a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Hanks) and Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys), a cynical journalist assigned to write a profile of the long-running television host. [...]

  • For web story

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy,' With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice

    “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer alongside Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”), Claes Bang (“The Square”) and Donald Sutherland, has been selected as the Venice Film Festival closer.  The English-language art heist movie marks Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi’s first time back at Venice since 2009, when his debut feature film, the [...]

  • A woman prays at a makeshift

    Kyoto Animation Death Toll Rises to 34; Suspect Still Too Injured to Be Questioned

    Shinji Aoba, the man suspected of setting a fire that killed 34 people at the Kyoto Animation studio, remains hospitalized and too injured to be officially arrested and questioned. Police in Kyoto have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba but cannot serve it because of his condition. Police sources have raised the death toll from [...]

  • Azania Muendane

    Locations Africa Expo Sends Message in Durban: ‘Africa is Ready’

    DURBAN–The first edition of the Locations Africa Expo and Conference was held this week during the Durban FilmMart, with an eye toward identifying and growing the opportunities to lure incoming productions to the continent. “Locations Africa is trying to service a need on the continent to discuss the physical production…on the ground, highlighting film commissions, [...]

  • The Lion King

    China Box Office: 'Looking Up' Is Surprise Weekend Winner Ahead of 'Lion King'

    Actor and comedian Deng Chao underlined his enduring popularity with mainstream Chinese audiences by delivering a surprise No. 1 box-office hit in “Looking Up” over the weekend. It scored $38.6 million in its opening frame, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway, and displaced “The Lion King” from its perch. “Looking Up” is a family [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content