London Film Festival: Steve Carell Says 'Foxcatcher' Got Under His Skin

Foxcatcher Still - H 2014
Courtesy of New York Film Festival

Foxcatcher Still - H 2014

Director Bennett Miller also explains how the du Pont family, and its lawyer, responded to the movie

Steve Carell has revealed how playing eccentric millionaire John du Pont in Bennett Miller’s reality-based wrestling tragedy Foxcatcher is something that remains with him to this day.

"It’s something I still think about," he told reporters at the BFI London Film Festival on Thursday, speaking ahead of the film’s gala screening and U.K. premiere.

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"As a group, we went to Pittsburgh to film this and, without sounding too pretentious, I feel like we all disappeared for a while. And then a few months later we all emerged from this experience together. I still talk to Channing [Tatum] about the experience and it’s very present in all of us."

Although du Pont shot and killed Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in the film, Carell said he doesn't see the man, who died in prison in 2010, as a villain.

"You can’t have contempt for your character," he said.

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Miller said that in making the film, he had been in touch with the lawyer for the du Ponts, whom the director maintained are still a "large and influential family."

"He expressed his reservations, he wasn’t pleased that this was happening and wasn’t about to cooperate, but he also said he wasn’t going to do anything," he said. "We also had a couple of brushes with other family members who were curious and actually helpful."

With regard to the Oscar buzz that has been developing around Foxcatcher, in particular the possibility that Carell could land a best actor nod, the funnyman said he was trying not to pay attention.

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"It’s nice that people are talking about the film in that way, but you can’t really give it too much credence," he said.

He also repeated what he said at the Toronto Film Festival, that the makeup he wore to transform into du Pont made him "off-putting" on set, helping him to stay in character.

Foxcatcher was recently added to the lineup for the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival, which kicks off Dec. 10, alongside fellow BFI London Film Festival titles and awards hopefuls Wild and The Imitation Game.