HOLLYWOOD — In this reporter's humble opinion, the '60s TV show "Get Smart" is one of the funniest programs of all time. So, when MTV News screened the movie adaptation Thursday night as part of our Sneak Peek Week, building up to Sunday's MTV Movie Awards, people like me were delighted to learn two things: 1) For once, Hollywood didn't screw up a remake. 2) Yes, Steve Carell really is that nice.
"I always knew this was where I'd end up, based on my physical gravitas," the "Office" star said of his new role as an action star. "It's basically this and then adult films."
The film was screened at L.A.'s swank ArcLight Cinemas to a crowd that practically laughed itself hoarse. Afterward, the humble Carell entered to roaring applause and sat down for a Q&A with our very own Mr. Entertainment, Josh Horowitz.
"It's a very difficult thing to decipher," Carell pondered, when Horowitz hit him with the tough question of who would win in a battle of superspies. "I'd have to say Jason Bourne; meanwhile, Maxwell Smart would be seduced by James Bond."
Once the crowd began asking questions, however, things truly got seductive. One fan offered Carell's film an unusual compliment, to which he repeated: "I think we have the new poster: 'A perfect drink of movie awesomeness.' "
For those who haven't heard, Carell shows off some fancy dance moves while portraying Maxwell Smart in the June 20 release. When asked about his moves, the funnyman didn't try to 86 the comment; instead, he got up and asked Horowitz to dance.
"We're actually going to do more of a senior prom dance," Carell joked, pulling the moderator close and putting his hand on Horowitz's butt.
A fan asked Carell about kissing his love interest in the movie, the beautiful Anne Hathaway. "Was it good stuff? It was very good stuff," he grinned. "It was kinda the best sort of stuff."
He also made reference to a tender moment he shares with his co-star the Rock. "Very, very, very good stuff," Carell teased. "And he smells like fresh-baked cookies."
But in all seriousness, Carell repeated many of the same thoughts he had when we visited the "Get Smart" set so many months ago, insisting that the stars just wanted to bring back the irreverent comedic style perfected by Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and the rest of the original cast.
"We all loved the source material. Everyone involved in the movie loves the original 'Get Smart,' " he explained. "It was our idea that it would be a spy movie that was a comedy, rather than a spoof of a spy movie."
Carell loved the material so much, in fact, that he gave the crowd a major revelation: He's already thinking about making "Get Smart" his first official franchise. "I think everybody involved with this one would love to do another," he said to the crowd. " 'Get Smart 2' depends on the success of 'Get Smart' 1."
Naturally, this being Hollywood, several aspiring actors stood in line to ask Carell a question about getting started in the business. It took the funnyman more than 14 years to get his "40-Year-Old Virgin" break in Hollywood, and his advice was simply to keep taking every bit of work you can find until you get noticed.
"This is really fun, really easy," he said of his recently acquired role as motion-picture leading man. "And they pay you way too much."
"Get Smart" opens in theaters June 20.
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