'Welcome To Marwen' stars Steve Carell and Leslie Mann on 'feeling like idiots' in mocap leotards

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

Steve Carell has admitted to feeling “like an idiot” while wearing a skintight grey leotard for the performance capture scenes in his new movie Welcome To Marwen.

Carell plays the dual roles of Mark Hogancamp and Hoagie in the new film from Robert Zemeckis, which uses state of the art visual effects to bring the fantasy doll world of Marwen to life. The fictitious, war-ravaged, Belgian town plays a huge part in the film, and it was all created using performance capture CGI.

Carell and co-stars Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, Gwendoline Christie, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever, and Eiza González acted out their scenes in a high tech “volume”, wearing figure-hugging lyric suits covered in dots.

Carell says it was a liberating experience.

“We all got to be such good friends,” jokes Carell, “that it wasn’t awkward in that sense. Misery loves company. We all felt like kind of idiots walking around in these grey onesies, with sensors all over us, and these weird helmets.”

Steve Carell plays a man who’s jumped by a group of jerks in a bar, completely wiping him of his memories. So, he builds a land of dolls to help him put the pieces together. (Universal)

Leslie Mann, who plays Mark’s new neighbour Nicol, echoed her co-stars sentiments.

“The [mocap] suits were very unflattering, by the way,” Mann tells Yahoo. “They were made out of this very thin polyester, grey material that just hangs on your body in all the wrong ways.”

“They put these sensors all over your body, and they animate you as you act out the scene, so it’s very cool, you can look at a monitor and watch yourself be animated into the doll.”

Both stars likened the experience to working in theatre, where your own imagination has to do the heavy lifting.

“You don’t have props,” Carell explains. “You like have a chair and that’s your car. But the reality is there are a hundred technicians on computers manipulating all of this world and its backgrounds.”

Welcome to Marwen hits cinemas on New Year’s Day, 1 January. Watch a trailer below.

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