DALLAS - Actor Steve Carell and director Robert Zemeckis are in Dallas this week to talk about their new movie “Welcome to Marwen.” FOX 4’s Shannon Murray saw the film and got the chance to sit down with them for an interview Thursday morning.
“Welcome to Marwen” is the true story of a hate crime victim who overcomes the trauma through a make-believe world where he is the hero surrounded by powerful women.
Carell plays Mark Hogancamp. After the devastating attack, he copes by creating the Belgium town of Marwen, set during World War II.
His intricate art installation helps him heal. But he learns he cannot escape his real-life demons.
The film is directed by Zemeckis, who has also directed iconic films like “Back to the Future,” “Cast Away” and “Forrest Gump.”
“He’s a legend. No way around it. His body of work, there are few people who you can say I not only grew up with his films but they really impacted me in so many ways and formed how I look at film and informed the kinds of things I would want to do. So many things have been said about him. He’s a master,” Carell said.
Zemeckis is known for visual effects. In “Welcome to Marwen,” he uses motion capture to turn the actors into dolls in the town of Marwen.
He said he knew immediately Carell would be a good fit for the role.
“He's such a great comedic actor. You know, he’s such a magnificent dramatic actor. So he fit the film perfectly because I knew he could do the Hogie doll, his alter ego with all that fun and swagger. And then I know he can do the emotional and the fractured character in the real world,” Zemeckis said.
“I, on the other hand, wasn't sure about Bob Zemeckis. I’m like, ‘What have you done? I'm not familiar with your body of work,’” Carell joked.
The one thing Carell said was a real challenge in the movie was his character’s love for high heels.
“It is so difficult to wear. They sent me… my kids didn't quite understand because I’d get these high heels in the mail to practice in at home. So I’m walking around in high heels and I started with 3-inch heels and I moved to 4 or 5. By the end, I'm walking around on these stilettos. It is so excruciating. It might actually be the hardest thing I've ever had to do for a movie. I had numb feet for weeks,” he said. “It's one thing to just walk in them. It's another thing to look like you're comfortable walking in them. I set up a video camera and I filmed myself walking around in high heels. It was… it was an adventure.”
“Welcome to Marwen” opens in theaters on Dec. 21.