Steve Carell on ‘Seeking a Friend’, Working with Dogs and the Upcoming, ‘Hope Springs’

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steve-carell-seeking-a-friendLooks like Steve Carell is steering away from light comedy.

The former Office star is starring in the dark comedy Seeking A Friend for the End of the World.  In an interview with Reuters, he said, “I thought the script was oddly funny and dark and absurd, but also moving and relevant.  I thought it would be very challenging to try and mine any sort of comedy based on this dark premise.”

Carell admits that he probably wouldn’t be able to score with his costar Keira Knightley in the real world.  “It would take the apocalypse to make it work,” he said.  “These are two people that, given any other circumstance, wouldn’t become friends, let alone drawn together in a soulful way…All of those things melt away and it becomes about who they are, what they need and what they care about.”

But the 49-year-old is quick to note that Knightley was a much better costar than the dog he shares the screen with.  “There were a few dogs, actually.  There was the main hero dog, the junior varsity dog and a third dog,” he said.  “They got increasingly stinky the lower you went on the ladder.  Their breath became worse.  Their dispositions became more ornery.  Our main dog seemed to have an awareness that he was being filmed and would favor the lens.  He would know how to compose himself in the shots.  Dog Number Two and Three just wanted out by any way possible.”

Next up, Carell has another darker role playing a therapist opposite Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs.  He said, “It was an interesting acting exercise because you have to limit any sort of impulse to judge, which is what a good therapist would do.  There are no raised eyebrows, no cynicism.  I tried to be almost faceless in it because it’s not how he feels about them, but about how he wants to help this couple.”

Despite his big-screen success, Carell is still asked if he regrets leaving his role as Michael Scott on The Office.  “I had a great job and good friends and a solid income,” he said.  “I just felt like if I’m going to leave, I better leave before I get too comfortable.  I figured it was time to try something else.  You never know what might be on the other side.”

Seeking A Friend at the End of the World is now playing in theaters and Hope Springs will be released August 10.

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