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False ME232 TAG TEAM By Fred Topel Individually, Steve Carell and Anne Hathway are two of the hottest stars in Hollywood. He’s got TV’s The Office and films like The 40- Year- Old Virgin, and she’s got dramas like Brokeback Mountain and comedies like The Devil Wears Prada. Together, however, they make an unusual pair. 20 years her senior and hardly the fashion icon, Carell plays Maxwell Smart in the new movie remake of the classic TV comedy. Hathaway is the suave and debonair Agent 99, the real brains and brawn of the operation. The action comedy puts both actors in precarious situations, a first for each. “ I never thought in a million years I’d be doing anything like this,” said Carell. “ It’s crazy and just so much fun. I mean, I’m an action guy now so that’s going to be my new career path. I’m going to get really bulked up and just do action movies.” Well, now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is in politics, we need somebody to take his place. “ I think I’ve already taken that mantle,” joked Carell. This is a dramatic shift in Hathaway’s career as well. “ I don’t usually go out there and say, ‘ Okay, now it’s time to do an action role, now it’s time to win an Oscar,’ just because the latter will probably never happen and the former who would have thought it,” she said. “ This one just sort of fell from the sky. I never expected to get it. I just really wanted to meet Steve Carrel which is why I auditioned and you can imagine my shock when I got the role.” A career full of blockbuster movies and hit TV shows still comes as a surprise to the humble Carell too. Just a few years ago, he was a correspondent on The Daily Show, just happy to have steady work. Now he’s cramming several films into the summer breaks from his show. “ I guess the secret is that it’s not that hard but people complain about it a lot,” said Carell. “ Frankly, we show up and we have 100 foot trailer with a bed in it where you can take a nap and you have

False ME233 people who will get you food. It’s really, really cushy so I wouldn’t even think to begin to complain about working, overworking. Frankly, I’m also the sort of guy who’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So when it does I want to have done as much work as I could have possibly done in that time period. I want to do good stuff but I just don’t want to do a bunch of crap and make a lot of money. I also know that it could all disappear tomorrow so I’m just trying to enjoy it in the day. It’s been fun.” Hathaway enjoyed getting buff for her role. “ A lot of martial arts training, just general conditioning,” she recalled. “ I wanted to get some dance in to try to get the grace of the character but that sort of fell by the wayside. So I’ve been trying to do it on my own. I also for a second thought about doing some improv comedy training but [ then] I just thought it was probably better to let Steve take care of that and just try to keep a straight face.” Mrs. Carell may have an issue with her husband cavorting on set with a twenty- something in spandex, but he keeps it professional. “ It is a hyper, hyper sexual relationship and the movie will be triple X,” joked Carell. “ It’s a totally different take on Get Smart. It starts as you’d think it would start which is sort of acrimonious. 99 is a very seasoned spy veteran and I’m the new guy in town and completely inexperienced in terms of any sort of field agent stuff. It kind of starts from there. It’s friendly, competitive but there’s a certain amount of animosity and rubbing each other the wrong way. Of course, what blossoms from that but love? It’s a comedy too so I don’t think any of it is taken too seriously.” A longtime fan of The Office and his movies, Hathaway paid more attention to keeping her cool than exploring any sexual tension. “ I think that’s the reason why I got the role was because in audition I was able to [ keep a straight face],” she said. “ It’s almost impossible to keep up with him and match him joke for joke because he’s a genius at it and even if I were good at it, I’m not a genius and I have very little experience doing it and he’s just Steve Carell. It’s what he’s known for. So I don’t ever beat myself up for not being able to match him beat for beat, but in the audition I was able to keep a straight face as he just went off and was making everyone else crack up, so I think that got me through the door.” While nostalgia for the TV show is probably what made studio execs green light the Get Smart film, the actors have made it a point to make it their own. Carell struggled to avoid replicating the mannerisms of Don Adams, who your parents can tell you all about from the original Get Smart. “ The original’s better,” said Carell. “ That’s all I’ll say. How can I compare them? I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to do an impression of Don Adams. I don’t want to channel him but I want to do the character justice. I think a mistake [ would