Initially, Steve Carell was not sure about the minions in the first stage of “Despicable Me”. Carell reprises his role as Gru in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Rise of Gru is the sequel to 2015’s Minions and features vocal performances by Danny Trejo, Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Pierre Coffin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews.
Carell made his debut as a supervillain, who became the adoptive father of Gru, back in 2010 in the movie “Despicable Me”. “Despicable Me” became incredibly popular and inspired the creation of two sequels. Beloved by everyone, the tiny yellow creatures, the minions, have spawned their own spin-off of the main Despicable Me franchise with minions. Now Rise of Gru combines the two worlds of the franchise, as it is a prequel that focuses on the origin story of Gru and how he met the minions.
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Despite their popularity, Carell wasn’t always thrilled with the presence of minions in Despicable Me. In a recent Late Night interview with Seth Meyers, Carell talked about his reaction when he was first introduced to the minions. The team brought concept photos of the minions and described them exactly as they appeared on the screen. But on paper, the minions did not seem as attractive as on the screen. Watch the full exchange between Carell and Seth Meyers:
Seth Meyers: What was it like when the idea of minions was first explained to you?
Steve Carell: I thought, “Good luck with that.” Because they showed me a picture, and I thought, well, of course, these are cylindrical yellow objects that either have glasses, or one eye, or two eyes. They explained to me that they don’t speak English, they speak gibberish, so you can’t really understand them, and they are funny. And I thought: “Good, good, good for you guys.” And it turned out to be a stroke of genius.
Voices of Pierre Coffin and Steve Carell in Minions: The Rise of Gru
Before the minions the world knows and loves today, it’s understandable why Carell had such a hilarious reaction to the “Despicable Me” minions. On paper, the idea of minions seems confusing and even, perhaps, ridiculous. The Minions are eccentric on screen in their final performance, but completely confusing on paper. As Carell points out, gibberish-speaking tiny cylindrical creatures do not inherently seem attractive to the general public.
But, of course, the minions were a “stroke of genius.” As one of the most popular aspects of the first Despicable Me movie, Minions gained enough fame and attention to spawn two offshoots dedicated to minions, making Despicable Me a franchise rather than the one-off cute movie that the directors probably expected to see. Cute chatty creatures will return in Minions: Rise of Gru, and it won’t even be the end for the minions. “Despicable Me 4” has already been announced, which will undoubtedly return the minions to the audience.