Despicable Me 3’s Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig talk Minions merchandise, poofy bangs and The Great British Bake Off
Also: why Carell’s school nickname was Pepé, who the best big-screen villains are and what superhero film they’d like to star in
Kristen Wiig knew Despicable Me was a phenomenon when she started seeing Minions everywhere. “Even in our sleep,” laughs the Saturday Night Live vet, who re-teams with Steve Carell for Despicable Me 3.
The animated adventure picks up with ex-villain-turned-agent Gru (Carell) and his wife Lucy (Wiig) on their mission to stop eccentric diamond thief Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a 1980s child star with a penchant for mullets, shoulder pads and Michael Jackson tunes. But the couple’s plan hits a snag when Gru discovers his long-lost twin brother Dru (also Carell), who convinces him to return to his criminal past.
Here Wiig, 43, and Carell, 54, talk about throwback haircuts, superhero movies and Despicable Me’s indecipherable yellow creatures.
What’s one ’80s trend you’d like to bring back?
Wiig: Perms. I had so many perms.
Carell: What about a perm did you love?
Wiig: It just made your hair super, super curly for a long time, and then it’d wash out a little and you’d have wavy hair.
What hairstyle or fashion trend do you regret most?
Wiig: A poofy bang. You’d get a curling iron and curl your bangs under, and tease it a little bit and lift it up and spray.
Carell: Was that to frame your face?
Wiig: I don’t think I thought about it that much. It was like, “Oh, my friend is doing that!” It was just the thing to do; you had poofy bangs.
Carell: That’s a great character name: Poofy Bangs.
What’s the weirdest Minions merchandise you’ve ever seen?
Carell: I received a Minions piece of luggage. It’s a yellow, beautifully made carry-on [bag]. I wouldn’t say it’s weird, but you wouldn’t expect it.
Gru’s dad was known as “The Bald Terror”. What was your childhood nickname?
Carell: They called me Pepé in high school. I had grown a moustache and for some reason [my friends] associated Pepé Le Pew with having a moustache, which I don’t know if he really did. It was sarcastically a play on, “Look how suave Steve looks with a moustache in high school.”
Wiig: Wigs. Even now when I see people I went to high school with, it’s always Wigs.
Who’s the best big-screen villain?
Carell: Hannibal Lecter [in The Silence of the Lambs]. He was both charming and horrifying.
Wiig: Dr. Evil [in the Austin Powers franchise], because I’m a huge fan of Mike Myers. He’s just making fun of villains.
What’s your go-to comfort TV show?
Wiig: Real Housewives. I like New York and Beverly Hills best. I can’t pick [a favourite cast member] – it’s like picking children.
Carell: The Great British Bake Off. My wife and I have been watching that a lot. It’s very sweet.
Wiig: No pun intended. Or was one … tended?
What’s the ultimate summer movie?
Wiig: I saw Romancing the Stone in the theatre four times.
Carell: I remember seeing E.T. and being so uplifted. Certain movies you see and you feel like you’ve been given a gift. They’re so joyous and so much fun and so great to share with an audience.
Would you ever do a superhero film?
Carell: I’d like to play Superman or Batman. Has anyone jumped in on those yet?
Wiig: Yeah, they’ve done a few. Female Hulk, but I look exactly like the Hulk, only with a wig on. My face looks the same.
Carell: But when the clothes rip, some of the top stays on.
Wiig: You can’t be indecent – it’s for kids, after all.