Steve Carell Gets Real and Gets 'Smart'

Get Smart i i

Steve Carell plays hapless agent Maxwell Smart in Get Smart. Tracy Bennett/Warner Bros. hide caption

itoggle caption Tracy Bennett/Warner Bros.
Get Smart

Steve Carell stars alongside Anne Hathaway in Get Smart.

Tracy Bennett/Warner Bros.

Actor Steve Carell has elicited laughs with his deadpan humor in films like Little Miss Sunshine and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Now, the star of NBC's The Office takes on a vintage role for the summer blockbuster season: Carell plays the always eager Agent Maxwell Smart in Get Smart, based on the 1960s television cult classic.

Carell talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about awkward moments on film and his unexpected fame.

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 24, 2007.

The 'Real Life' of Actor Steve Carell

Steve Carell and Alison Pill

Steve Carell and Alison Pill in Dan in Real Life. Merie W. Wallace/Touchstone Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Merie W. Wallace/Touchstone Pictures

By the end of The 40 Year Old Virgin, the title character had lost his virginity — and actor Steve Carell had become a star.

The actor, who was a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show for several years, has gone on to films including Little Miss Sunshine and Evan Almighty, and next summer he'll star as hapless secret agent Maxwell Smart in a Hollywood adaptation of the vintage TV series Get Smart. And of course he's got a central role on NBC's The Office.

Now Carell is starring in Dan in Real Life, a big-screen comedy about a newspaper columnist who dispenses advice about parenting — never mind his own problems on the home front. Among other things, he falls in love with a woman without realizing that she's his brother's girlfriend.

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