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Steve Carell Calls DESPICABLE ME’s Gru ‘a Good Dad’

Steve Carell Calls DESPICABLE ME’s Gru ‘a Good Dad’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Steve Carrell and his DESPICABLE ME character, Gru, share the same desire to be a “good dad.”

“I think the things that align with me in terms of Gru are the fact that all he cares about is being a good dad,” the father of two told Today. “And I think that reflects who I am.”

Carrell’s kids are grown now—his daughter, Elisabeth Anne Carrell, is 22, and Carrel’s son, John Carrell, is 20.

Carrell previously told Movieguide® how he relates to his character:

I think it’s tricky because I don’t want to be that overprotective dad, but at the same time I do want to protect them. I understand what the character in the movie is going through because you don’t want to see your kids get hurt, that’s the main thing. You just don’t. They’re going to have their hearts broken at some point and you can’t ultimately protect them against having that happen, but boy, I’m just enjoying their childhood as long as I can, let me put it that way. Cause I know there’s another period of time that’s going to be a very very different and difficult growth period for all everybody—for my wife and I as well.   

Gru’s a villain, and makes some very untraditional choices. But once he adopts three little girls, taking care of them becomes his priority.

“It’s one of the things I loved about this series is that for all of his other faults and little foibles, he’s a good dad and he is incredibly committed to his kids. So I think he’s a good role model,” he said.

“He took pride in being a villain and being a horrible person and stealing things and being despicable,” Carell said. “And then when he met these three little girls, his heart softened and changed and he saw the value in being the dad and the value and family.”

Though Carrell hasn’t garbed himself in a tutu for his daughter’s party like Gru has, THE OFFICE actor tries to make his kids feel special on their birthdays.

“I tend to try — I go overboard a little bit with my kids’ birthdays, especially when they were little. I tried to make them special without embarrassing them,” Carell said.

In DESPICABLE ME 4, Gru and his wife Lucy welcome a new little troublemaker in their family–Gru. Jr. But when villains Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina come after them, the family goes on the run.

Carrell previously said he’d like to have Will Ferrell in a DESPICABLE movie, and he’s getting his wish. Ferrell will voice Maxime and Sofia Vergara will voice Valentina.

The fourth movie in the DESPICABLE ME franchise comes out July 3, 2024.

The first DESPICABLE ME movie won a Movieguide® Teddy Bear Award® for its values and message. Part of Movieguide®’s review reads:

DESPICABLE ME is a very witty, heartfelt animated movie about an extremely sinful villain transformed by the prayers and love of three little girls. The villain named Gru, who wants to be the greatest thief in the world. He adopts three little girls, Agnes, Marge and Edith, so he can so he can sneak robot cookies into his rival’s lair and steal a shrinking ray gun. What Gru does not expect is that the three little girls steal his heart and transform him through their innocent prayer, love, goodness and kindness. The third act becomes a race to the finish, but the race ends in ways nobody expects.

It is seldom that a movie is clever enough to truly surprise the audience. In many ways, DESPICABLE ME does just that. Right at the beginning, the three little girls each pray a sincere prayer to be adopted. Clearly, their prayers are answered. Best of all, the heart of the story is a story of redemption, a story about the transforming power of love. There’s a lot of cartoon violence, slapstick comedy and some scatological moments, however, so parents need to be cautious.


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