Steve Carell offers “Foxcatcher” acting inspiration
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- We caught up with Steve Carell before the premiere of “Foxcatcher” on 16th October at the London Film Festival.
- Foxcatcher tells the true story of Olympic wrestling medalists Mark and Dave Schultz who develop a relationship with wealthy sports patron, John du Pont with tragic consequences. View trailer.
- Steve’s performance as eccentric millionaire John du Pont is magnificent. We found out more about how he prepared for the acting role that some suggest he might win an Oscar for.
We caught up with Steve to find out more about Foxcatcher:
- The world knows that you’ve primarily made your name through comic roles, were you surprised to be offered the role of John du Pont? I was surprised! It was my agent who threw my name into the hat for the role. I wasn’t actively pursuing the opportunity or any movie like it. I read the script and got it , but yes I was surprised. I’ve always played characters with mushy centres but John du Pont doesn’t have that. However, primarily I see myself as an actor and not simply a comedy actor so I felt if the director, Bennett Miller felt I was capable of doing this role, then I was.
- Du Pont has very distinctive mannerisms, are they based on his real life behaviour? Yes I studied video footage of du Pont in action produced for documentaries he commissioned. He had a specific way of talking and a specific demeanor. His physical presence was very off-putting to many people. I got the most out of raw footage from documentaries, which allowed me to see his sharper side.
- How important was it for you to create an unbiased characterization of John du Pont? It was important to me. I didn’t think of du Pont as a villain. I think it’s very important if you are an actor that you shouldn’t have contempt for the character that you’re trying to portray. Otherwise it will filter the way that you portray them. The goal wasn’t to make any statement but to create an honest portrayal of the man.
- Did you also meet the Schultz family to gain a deeper understanding of du Pont? I did meet the Schultz family to find out more about what du Pont was really like. I also spoke to people who worked for him and were coached by him. They all said how unnerving he was to be around.
- You also had to wear a prosthetic nose how did that affect your performance? It influenced the performance more than I anticipated. Once when all that makeup went on people responded to me differently. People found me very off-putting, so organically I stayed in character, as no one wanted to talk to me!
- Finally you’ve been tipped for an Oscar for your performance in Foxcatcher. Do you think you’ll be nominated? We’ll have to wait and see…
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