Dinner for Schmucks' Jay Roach Compares Steve Carell to LeBron James
07.20.10 by Ryan
This July could be called "Steve Carell month" considering the actor appears in two movies opening in four weeks: the currently playing Despicable Me, where Carell supplies the voice for supervillain Gru, and Dinner for Schmucks, which opens July 30, and finds Carell as Barry, an unintelligent man brought to an "idiot-off" dinner party by Paul Rudd. Director Jay Roach talked to Filmcritic about his "dream team" comedy ensemble for Schmucks, which includes Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement, and Ron Livingston. Roach agreed that Carell could be considered the "LeBron James" of the group.
That's so funny that you say that because we were just talking about how — much like LeBron James — Carell is this valuable free agent because he's leaving The Office. He is up for grabs, and I want to work with him again and again. I'm glad that he'll have more free time. I'm not happy that he's leaving The Office, but I am happy he'll be available.
Roach admitted that he drafted his Schmucks ensemble by poaching his "favorite actors from all of my favorite TV shows and comedy movies," but his efforts kept him from directing Little Fockers, the movie that comprises his other "dream team" ensemble.
I didn't really have a choice. The schedule didn't allow it. When Ben [Stiller] and Bob [De Niro] popped free and the planets sort of aligned, I was booked on Schmucks. We shot them exactly at the same time. They finished a week before us and ended a week after us. It just wasn't in the cards. But Paul Weitz is a great director, so I'm happy to be a supportive producer. He has a great take on it. I worked with the writers on a script for a long time before we brought Paul in. So I still feel a pride of ownership on it. Fortunately, I didn't have to be the one losing sleep over it during the shoot, though.
There's no chance of Dinner for Schmucks and Little Fockers to have a Lakers-Celtics rivalry however, as Schmucks opens July 30, and Little Fockers opens December 22.