Steve Carell on Working with Professional Doll Handlers on ‘Welcome to Marwen’

     December 18, 2018

Steve Carell has had yet another very busy year with a number of challenging performances. Beautiful Boy hit theaters in October, he plays Donald Rumsfeld in Adam McKay‘s upcoming movie Vice, and then there’s also Welcome to Marwen, which takes Carell into the world of performance-capture for the very first time.

The movie is based on the documentary from Jeff Malmberg called Marwencol, which tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, a man who was nearly beaten to death and lost a significant amount of his memory. Ultimately Mark had to take his recovery into his own hands so he created a World War II town and populated it with dolls that represent his friends and also his attackers. Carell leads the movie as Hogancamp and in Robert Zemeckis‘ big screen adaptation, that means playing Hogancamp as he builds and photographs Marwen as well as his doll alter ego, the dashing fighter pilot Captain Hogie.


Image via Universal Pictures

With Welcome to Marwen hitting theaters on December 21st, I got the chance to sit down with Carell to talk about the story he was eager to bring to screen, even before joining the cast of Zemeckis’ film. You can check out what he had to say about that, trying performance-capture for the first time, and the inevitable loss of doll arms and legs during production in the video interview at the top of this article.

Here’s the official synopsis for Welcome to Marwen:

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Flight, Cast Away) directs Steve Carell in the moving true story of one broken man’s fight as he discovers how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.


The screenplay for Welcome to Marwen was written by Caroline Thompson and Zemeckis, while Oscar®-winning producer Steve Starkey (Forrest Gump, Flight), Jack Rapke (Cast Away, Flight), and Cherylanne Martin (The Pacific, Flight) of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner produce alongside the director. It is executive produced by Jackie Levine, as well as Jeff Malmberg, who directed the riveting 2010 documentary upon which this film is based.

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