carell-gru-despicable carell-gru-despicable
Feature Film

Steve Carell Promotes “Despicable Me 2” as Gru on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

Here’s a new way of promoting an animated movie: having a voice actor dress up as their character for a talk show appearance. That’s what Steve Carell did on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week when he appeared as Despicable Me 2′s Gru.

(Thanks, Jen Hurler, via Cartoon Brew’s News Submission Forum)

  • me

    *deep inhale*…

  • Skip

    Great idea, poorly executed.

  • Joe G

    I wouldn`t be surprised when the promotion of the next Pixar movie ” Finding Dory”, Ellen would dress up as a fish on her show.

  • jmahon

    It was awesome when Jane Lynch did it as Sgt. Calhoun, but this seems so, soooo forced.

  • Pat Lewis

    Oh, by the way–anyone who complains that every animated movie now has to star a million Hollywood celebrities instead of actual voice actors? This is exactly why. So they can do stuff like this.

    • geoff

      Yeah, because heaven forbid John DiMaggio or Jim Cummings or EG Daily or any of the countless lesser known voice actors interview and promote their work.
      I PVR’d this for the gimmick, which I would have done for any other case, well known celeb or not. Did other viewer’s tune in to see Steve Carrell? Or Gru? Or just because they regularly watch Ellen?

    • Funkybat

      The Hollywood marketing machine is built around name brands. In a few cases, the “brand” is a character concept itself, like “Jack Ryan” who is portrayed by a variety of actors, but even then “Tom Clancy” and the star of that particular film get heavy billing as well.

      I do feel animated films could forgo some of this and still succeed because they have strong brand awareness just by being “Disney” or “Dreamworks” and the whole “from the creators of _______” bit is enough to get the kids and parents interested in seeing more from a familiar, trusted source. But execs are risk-averse and want to hedge their bets. The better films cast actors who fit the characters well, others cast the celeb based on name recognition and then leave it to the animators to deal with bringing life to an often generic vocal performance.

      I feel bad for the veteran voice actors out there. But the fact is even the best of them are basically akin to live-action “character actors” who are similarly talented, but always get supporting or bit parts in features, even if they are widely recognizable to the general public due to being in dozens of films. A few of them advance to star level such as John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but many others will always be treated as “journeyman actors.”

  • Gagaman

    I’m in that strange part of the television again.

  • A) This was some dipshit actor shilling for cash and the audience and it’s very sad


    B)Steve Carell is in a solid swing as an actor, he loves the films (as I do- bias stated) and he’s gettin’ an ok paycheck to have some fun and promote a fun and cool product

    Personal Conclusion:
    I had a smile on my face and my kids would laugh so I love it. I think it’d be better served w/ an off-the-cuff type as Jimmy Kimmel or Conan but still enjoyable. Good stuff man.

    • Funkybat

      I liked the portrayal (though obviously he can’t move as dynamically as Gru) but agree that this gimmick would have been more fun playing off of Conan or Craig Ferguson. I think they chose “Ellen” because they are aiming to reach the main ticket-purchasing demographic for the film, which is moms.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    My boyfriend showed me this–at first I figured “Okay, so they’re going to show Gru on a tv screen talking to Ellen. Then I saw an actual person dressed as Gru walk in. Then it kicked in–or rather my boyfriend explained that it actually was Steve Carell dressed as his character.

    I actually think he pulled it off rather well–and loved when he remarked “I’m going to destroy your chair!”

    Also, I loved watching him dance.

  • Scott550

    Aw, hell–Andriana Caselotti got paid $970 to be the voice of Snow White in 1937, and she lived the REST of her life in that state…

    • Animator606432

      Probably because of the god awful binding contract she signed. I seriously don’t understand how she was so screwed over when it came to that.

  • mick

    Where do they get those audiences? The wonders of mixing valium and diet pills

  • Toonio

    Unbelievable… how many hot moms go to Ellen’s show (giggity…)

    And more unbelievable is seeing how an actor cannot move as the character he portrays… go figure.

    • GregR

      He doesn’t portray the character. He does the voice.