WHOS ON FIRST

I don’t like covering press conferences. You don’t get to use your own microphones like you do at a roundtable. Instead, because I’m covering for radio, I have to sit in the very back of the room so I can plug in a cable from a mult box (called that because it has outlets for multiple tapers to plug in and get audio from the studio supplied mikes) to my DAT recorder. Also, because press conferences mix together radio journalists with print and online writers who don’t have to worry about sound quality, there is often laughter or coughing right in the middle of that good sound bite you might want to use.

Still, that didn’t stop me from getting up at 7:15 on Sunday morning in order to make it to the Four Seasons for, yes, a press conference! But then not every press conference teams up two of the funniest men in America, Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, who were promoting the CGI animated “Horton Hears A Who.”

And while they might not have been that hilarious, they did say some interesting things. Jim, who’s now been a part of two Dr. Seuss tales onscreen (he also played the Grinch in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”), said he was always a fan of odd things as a child and so naturally  loved all things Seuss. He also told us his passion for comedy came about because his father was a funny guy and he wanted to be more like his dad.

I’ve heard a lot of actors  say that voiceover work for an animated film is  easy because it doesn’t take as long as making a live action movie and you can wear whatever you want to each taping session. Jim and Steve disagree though, insisting it is hard work because there’s so much more you have to imagine. You have to take a big leap of faith that each scene will turn out all right once the animators do their work.

Probably the most interesting moment of the press conference came when Steve talked about how he never thought he’d ever be in movies, but thanks to his first big movie role in Jim’s “Bruce Almighty,” he now has a film career.

The session ended with questions about the stars’ big upcoming projects. Steve said he’d never thought he’d get to be an action star, but he’s getting the chance in “Get Smart.” Meanwhile, Jim is in the midst of filming “A Christmas Carol” for director Robert Zemeckis, which is a big challenge because they’re using the motion capture process Zemeckis used for “Polar Express” and “Beowulf.” Jim said you have to create a whole world in your head. He’s paying special attention to getting right the various English accents he’s using for the multiple characters he’s playing in the film. He also said he related to the story of “A Christmas Carol,” as he himself had a “Christmas Carol” type moment that helped put him on the right track a few years ago, although he refused to get more specific.

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