'Minions: Rise of Gru' star Steve Carell is bananas for the 1970s

Watch: Steve Carell gets nostalgic for the 1970s

The Minions return to cinemas this week in their latest outing — Minions: The Rise Of Gru — which was a huge 1970s nostalgia trip for its star Steve Carell, who voices the villainous mastermind.

Ah, the 70s. The decade of platform boots, extravagant afro hair, round sunglasses and... Minions? Yes, they were around too, alongside a younger version of the evil Gru.

Speaking to Yahoo ahead of the release of the film, Carell revealed some colourful memories of growing up during the decade – especially when it came to fashion. “I had big, big flares – they were really wide,” he said.

Minions: The Rise of Gru. (Universal Pictures)
Minions: The Rise of Gru takes place in the 1970s. (Universal Pictures)

“I had one pair of pants when I was a kid that were purple stripe bellbottoms. And I had big, frye boots. As soon as my brothers stopped wearing their boots, I would be clomping around in them – I was way younger than them.”

The film, which is Carell’s fifth outing as Gru (there’s a sixth on the way next year, in the shape of Despicable Me 4) also brought back memories of the music from the decade, which features in the soundtrack.

Read more: Kevin Hart wants a Minions cinematic universe

“I loved vinyl,” he remembers. “We had records — or my brothers had records! —so I would listen to them.”

And he’s delighted to see that vinyl is having a whole new lease of life.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: (L-R) Kevin the Minion, Steve Carell, and Bob the Minion attend the Hand and Footprint Cement Ceremony for Illumination's Minions to celebrate
(L-R) Kevin the Minion, Steve Carell, and Bob the Minion. (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

While the 70s is having a cinematic moment this year – both Licorice Pizza and, more recently, The Black Phone, have been set in the decade – Carell believes the it was the perfect setting for an origins story for Gru and his adorably silly yellow crew.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru sees his character as a 12-year-old, desperately hatching a plan to join supervillains, The Vicious 6. Things don’t go smoothly at the start, but Kevin, Stuart, Bob and the latest Minion, Otto, plus The Vicious 6’s ousted leader, Wild Knuckles (voiced by Alan Arkin), all give him the help he needs to achieve his dream. To be a supervillain.

Minions: The Rise of Gru. (Universal Pictures)
The Vicious 6 in Minions: The Rise of Gru. (Universal Pictures)

“We felt it would be interesting to see the genesis of Gru’s character in relation to the Minions and it was an added bonus that it would have happened during the 70s, so we could mine all those 70s tropes for the movie,” he said.

Read more: Despicable Me is the most successful animated franchise ever

The film is full of them, from the music and the movies, to the fashion and groovy language that all went with the disco era.

The film was originally scheduled for 2020, with its first trailer released early that year but delays due to COVID have made Minions: The Rise Of Gru the longest-advertised animated film in cinema history, with a campaign spanning nearly two and a half years.

Watch a trailer for Minions: The Rise of Gru

Its all-star voice cast includes the return of Julie Andrews as Gru’s Mum, Pierre Coffin as the voices of the Minions and Russell Brand as a younger Dr Nefario, together with Arkin, Taraji P Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Dolph Lundgren, Jean Claude Van Damme and Danny Trejo.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru is in cinemas from 1 July 2022.