Even though Jim Carrey didn’t want to do Bruce Almighty 2, that did not deter any of the filmmakers from moving ahead. When they came up with the idea that Bruce’s nemesis, Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), could lead the sequel, even Carell had faith in the project.
Steve Carell on Evan Almighty
“Mostly because of Tom [Shadyac],” said Carell. “The first movie I ever did was Bruce Almighty and Tom took very good care of me. And it was funny, when I went to the premiere of that I had no idea I’d even be in the final cut. And it was right here at the Universal Amphitheater and I remember going and sitting there and there my scene was intact. And I had so much fun doing it and it was sort of a dream. A couple of years before I got the part, I remember watching Liar, Liar. And I was watching the outtakes and Jim Carrey just making everybody laugh and just how much fun they looked to be having. And then two years later it was exactly and then I was in the outtakes. And then the chance to work with Tom, again, sort of on a one on one basis, was like a dream come true. How the last few years came about was very surreal for me. He actually came and pitched it to me and I thought that he was going to pitch the idea of a sequel, starring Jim, and then maybe featuring me, as another thorn in his side sort of character. But then when he said, ‘We’d like you to play the title role,’ I was like, ‘You had me at “Hello.’’’ I was totally there.”
God only came to Bruce in the first film, so Carell never met Morgan Freeman until it was Evan’s turn to speak with the almighty. “I never met him on the first one. I saw him from a distance at the premiere, but I was far to nervous and shy to approach him and say ‘Hi.’ And I was almost too shy to approach him on this one as well. He’s just a presence. He walks around people have a great amount of respect and reverence for him really. He’s such a fantastic actor and all you want to do is be around him.”
God has a message for Evan and that may be the moral of the film, but Carell wants to concentrate on the laughs. “I was hoping that the movie had a strong message, but subtle message, about our environment. About taking care of it and taking care of each other and acts of kindness to one another. And sort of leaving people with a bit of a positive message and making people happy, but my goal beyond that was to make it funny without making it preachy or overly sentimental or overly precious. I don’t think this movie crams any message down anybody’s throat. I think it’s done with a fairly light touch.”
Though many reports claim Carell was filmed actually putting the ark together, the actor set the record straight. “I think one day a guy said, ‘This is an auger. And you put it here and you press down here.’ I didn’t get any training. I am so not handy. There is no way. It would take me several hundred years to build one of those ribs for that ark. The amount of work that would take. I could maybe build a boat the size of this table that would then sink. No way.”
Evan Almighty opens to theaters on June 22nd.
For the stills, posters, trailer and more movie info, go to the Evan
Almighty Movie Page.
Stay tuned for updates.