Video:Peter Segal Interview - Get Smart at Wonder Con 2008with Rebecca Murray
Director Peter Segal and the stars of 'Get Smart' - Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway - made the trek to the 2008 Wonder Con to discuss their comedy film. Based on the classic TV series, Carell and Hathaway play spies who have to save the world.See Transcript
Transcript:Peter Segal Interview - Get Smart at Wonder Con 2008Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2008 San Francisco Wonder Con.
Get Smart Director Peter Segal
Peter Segal: "Steve (Carell) loved the show and he didn't sign on because he looked in the mirror and said, 'Hey, I look just like Don Adams.' He loved the show. The fact that he has an uncanny resemblance And then Anne (Hathaway) has an uncanny resemblance to Barbara Feldon. When she came in to audition, and yes, she auditioned - she wanted to audition she sat down next to Steve and I had this antique lunchbox that someone gave me from the series. And it was weird because she looked exactly like Barbara. Barbara had a short hairstyle and actually in the movie Anne came up with the idea to wear a wig in one scene."
How tough is it to do a movie where there's fans, but they're the older generation, and then there's people who really don't know Get Smart?
Peter Segal: "Well, the great thing about it is that I am the older the older generation now, unfortunately, and I grew up with the show, so I represent the folks who grew up with the show. And yet I've got kids I've got an 8-year-old and I've got a couple of teenage girls - and that's our job. We've got to make a story that's funny enough and exciting enough to interest them. And so far we've had a few test screenings and it was it did very well."
There was nothing you had to go back and reshoot from those test screenings?
Peter Segal: "No, no, no, not at all. But yeah, you have to embrace the fans in this because they're very loyal fans. You know, we can never do as well as the TV show. I mean, it's a tough act to follow, Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. But if we can do half as well as them, and people realize that we care about the show and we love the characters and we love the origin, then hopefully that will translate."
How tough is it to update that and keep it fresh and keep it now, when that was so involved in Russia back then?
Peter Segal: "Well, you know, the original series was born during the Cold War era. There's a lot going on in the political landscape right now that we can still have fun with. It was a very intelligently written show back in the '60s and there's no way that a bunch of dumb guys like us can do as well, but we're trying. We're trying. It's kind of a remedial Get Smart."
Did you let Steve Carell just go for it in this? Did you have to rein him in or what happened?
Peter Segal: "He was like a Rottweiler let off his leash."
Peter Segal: "Yes. No, I don't even know what that means. He's an improvisational guy and so sometimes, we'd like do a scripted take and then I'd say, 'Run. Just do anything you want.' And he'd be like [standing completely still and silent]. I'd say, 'Well, anything?' 'No, I actually liked the script page that time.' So I mean, it was sometimes he'd do an improv and sometimes we stuck with the script. Tom Astle and Matt Ember did a great job and it was a very funny script. That's always such a good place to start from when you are an improvisational actor. You don't want to just stand there in front of a white wall and just, 'Taa-daa!' You've got to start with something and we had a very good script. But Steve's improv did make it even better."
Some of these lines that Smart used to always say, did you make sure you got them all in?
Peter Segal: "Well, it's hard to get them all in but we got most of them in. We were nervous about them because we wanted to do them just right, and Steve wanted to perform them just right. He said actually that those were some of the hardest moments for him, when he was doing the 'Would you believe ' and the 'Missed it by that much.' But it's so much fun when you see it in a big theater. They actually get applause and that's such a warm feeling."
What's happening with Shazam?
Peter Segal: "Working away on the script. The writers strike was not a favorable thing. That kind of delayed us for three months, but John August is hard at work. We're working away."
And there's no casting yet?
Peter Segal: "No."
Wait, what about The Rock? Everybody says he's in it.
Peter Segal: "You know, I would love for Dwayne to play Black Adam. We don't have a deal yet. We're going try to work it out with his schedule. But first things first. We've just got to get a script. But he would be the perfect (Black Adam)."
Do you have a start date yet?
Peter Segal: "Script first, start date second. I think it goes script first, budget second, start date."
Are they going to hassle you about your budget?
Peter Segal: "It's going to be big. This is a big film, but so far there's been nothing but enthusiasm on the part of Warner Bros and New Line."
Will it be the biggest budget of any film you've done?
Peter Segal: "Probably will be. Yeah, yeah."
Are you ready for that?
Peter Segal: "Oh yeah."
It's more of a headache, right, when you get more money?
Peter Segal: "You know what? I'm so numb by the amount of money we spend making movies that you can't You have to be responsible but you have to just realize also they could build a bridge between two countries for what it costs to make a movie. So at some point it's all relative."
But it wouldn't be as entertaining.
Peter Segal: "No, bridges are not as funny."