Just A Minute With: Carell, Hathaway on "Get Smart"

Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:06pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A lot of people, including Steve Carell himself, were surprised when the genial star of "The Office" landed the coveted role of Maxwell Smart in the new film version of the classic 1960s TV show "Get Smart."

Audiences may be even more surprised to see just how many serious action scenes Carell and co-star Anne Hathaway (Agent 99) handle in this hard-edged reworking of the Cold War-era spy spoof that opens across the United States on Friday.

But all the fighting, kicking, punching and gunplay in the movie were nothing compared to the verbal sparring that took place -- always friendly, of course -- when the two stars sat down together to talk to Reuters about making "Get Smart:"

Q: Above all, this film is obviously a very penetrating analysis of cold war politics.

Steve Carell (deadpan serious): "It is, very. It's also an action comedy."

Anne Hathaway: "I'd describe it as "comtion.""

Carell: "When we first discussed it, we wanted it to be a legitimate spy movie that's also funny. I wanted it to hold up, with characters that could potentially exist and situations that had stakes to them ... we are not people you'd normally see in an action movie, and I think that's part of the comedy."

Q: Do you feel like you're the Tracy & Hepburn of action movies now?   Continued...

<p>Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell from the movie "Get Smart" pose for a portrait in Los Angeles May 30, 2008. The movie opens in the U.S. on June 20. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>