In more than three decades, Steve Carell has established himself as one of the best actor-comedians in Hollywood. He has done extensive work both on the small and big screens, fetching him plenty of accolades, both critically and commercially. Steve Carell’s status as an A-list actor has been secured across varying roles in comedy and drama, his most famous being Michael Scott in the NBC sitcom, The Office.
With more than 70 credits to his name, there are plenty of roles fans of the actor can point to as the one that made them fall in love with him. However, in this article, we examine five roles that set him apart as a talented actor.
Five Roles That Prove Steve Carell is a Great Actor
1. Andy in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Before Steve Carell proved to be a comedic genius in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he starred in the 2004 comedy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, as a dimwitted weatherman named Brick Tamland. He played a supporting role in the film, but it was enough for audiences to get a glimpse of his talents.
A full show of Steve Carell’s talent as a comedic actor came the following year in the film, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He wrote the movie, alongside famous comedy writer/director Judd Apatow. The film was a critical success, with Steve Carell’s performance leading the praise.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin was nominated for 19 awards, with Steve Carell earning 12 out of it’s 19 nominations, including multiple Best Performance awards such as the OFTA Film Award, MTV Movie + TV Awards, Golden Schmoes Awards and a few others.
2. Michael Scott in The Office
If The 40-Year-Old Virgin was the big screen proof that Steve Carell could play a comedic role to perfection, his role as Michael Scott in The Office was the small screen equivalent.
Although the show did not enjoy national and global popularity in its first season, it catapulted to the top of comedy show rankings in its subsequent seasons and Steve Carell’s performances were the primary driver.
His role as an oddball supervisor of a paper company was a hit, it transformed the Massachusetts-born actor into a household name. Carell’s Michael Scott was so critical to the show’s success that it is generally believed that the show lost its edge after he left in the seventh season.
For his performances on the show, he earned a total of six Primetime Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe, 12 SAG Awards, and three Writers Guild of America Award nominations.
3. John du Pont in Foxcatcher
Having made his name playing comedic roles, there was some hesitation with the idea of Steve Carell becoming a dramatic actor. But he shunned skepticism from critics and fans who doubted his ability when he appeared in the true-crime drama, Foxcatcher.
In the film, he played John du Pont, a wealthy man who was convicted of murder. Just as he led the praises for the critical successes of The 40 Year Old Virgin and The Office, Carell was at the center of the praise for Foxcatcher after it premiered to critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival.
His performance in the film got Carell his first Academy Awards nomination for Best Actor. He also earned BAFTA Awards, as well as Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a drama for his work in the film.
4. Gru in the Despicable Me film series
With no human face for the expression of emotions, voice acting can be a challenge even for talented live-action actors. Steve Carell was able to dispel any worries when he voiced the villain, Gru, in the Despicable Me film series.
His performance was critical to the commercial success of the film series which made more than $1 billion at the global box office.
5. Mark Baum in The Big Short
Steve Carell took up another dramatic role in The Big Short, playing Mark Baum. His character in the film was the third time he was playing a real-life person in a drama.
As one would expect from an actor as talented as Carell, his role drew critical praise. It contributed to the film’s nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. As for Carell himself, he got a Golden Globe Award nomination for his efforts.
Steve Carell has appeared in more than 75 movies and TV shows over the course of his career. He has been nominated for more than 130 awards, winning more than 30 of them and proving that indeed, Steve is not just your ordinary average actor.