Funnyman and dad, Steve Carell dishes about starring in the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who, his kids, and wacko celeb baby names.
Q. Were your children psyched that you did a kid-friendly movie?
A. Very! The timing is perfect -- John [age 3] is just getting into Dr. Seuss now, and his older sister, Elisabeth, loves going to the movies, especially animated ones. I'm excited too: It's amazing to hear your voice coming out of a cartoon that also kind of looks like you. It's a Who version of me. Bizarre!
Q. You have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Do your kids get it?
A. Elisabeth definitely does. She understands irony at 6, and my wife [comedian Nancy Walls] and I are responsible, for better or worse! It's not like Nancy and I taught that to her, though -- she just absorbs a lot. I think it's great when your child can surprise you with a sophisticated comedic angle on something. My son is still very young: He thinks Tom and Jerry bashing each other is the height of comedy.
Q. Do your kids understand what you do for a living?
A. John doesn't, but Elisabeth is starting to get an idea. If she happens to see me on TV, she'll look up and say, "Daddy, it's you!" and then go right back to what she's doing. Six-year-olds are very wrapped up in their own lives, and that's the way it should be. She did think it was odd when the person at the drive-thru asked for my autograph the other day, though.
Q. Your kids have such normal names -- where's your Suri, your Shiloh?
A. [Laughs] We thought Elisabeth was pretty, and John is a family name. I guess we went pretty old-school. My kids will be unique by not being unique.
Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the March 2008 issue of Parents magazine.