Tina Fey and Steve Carell became friends while making “Date Night.”
TV star Tina Fey had to dodge taxi cabs, tourists and paparazzi to get to the premiere of her new action comedy, “Date Night.”
Before she hit the red carpet at New York’s Ziegfield Theater, Fey celebrated for her role on the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” stole the show by embracing her fans. Fey signed countless autographs and shook outstretched hands.
“We love you, Tina,” some yelled.
It was a bit of an interruption for director Shawn Levy and co-stars Steve Carell, Taraji Henson, and Jimmi Simpson, who were already doing interviews across the street. They complimented Fey’s quick wit and dirty sense of humor.
“Date Night” is the story of a married New Jersey couple (Fey and Carell) stuck in a relationship rut. To enliven their marriage, they go out for a night on the town in New York. They show up at a trendy restaurant without a reservation, pretend to be another couple who is “on the list” — and are mistaken for criminals. They spend the rest of the night fighting for their lives and rediscovering their romance.
Carell said his off-screen relationship with Fey is so solid that he likens her to his own wife.
“She’s a lot like Tina, you know, really smart and really funny. We’re not wacky all the time, but we enjoy each other’s sense of humor, and I always will go to her as a barometer for what might work and what might not,” Carell told ABCNews.com. “[My chemistry with Tina] came pretty naturally. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while and … we just sort of clicked with each other and became friends.”
Like an old married couple, Carell and Fey repeat each other’s one-liners. After Carell told reporters his best date night was “the Oscars this year,” Fey told ABCNews.com, “A lot of times Steve and I have this comment that the only time we have a fancy date with our spouses is if we go to the Oscars and I did get to go … this year, which was a pretty cheery date night.”
Tina Fey and Steve Carell Go on a ‘Date Night’
Carell’s most uncomfortable scene in the movie? He and Fey do “a very, very sexy dance” at a strip club.
Fey echoed Carell, saying independently that her outfit in the strip tease scene was very stiff. “I called it my ‘Exit to Eden’ outfit,” she said. “It reminded me of Rosie [O’Donell’s] outfit that she had to wear. I couldn’t even … move my rib cage. I felt like a parrot.”
Director Shawn Levy told ABCNews.com, “You know what, in the movie [Fey and Carell are] equally funny. Offscreen, I’ve got to give a slight edge to Tina. It’s only because her humor goes dirty a little more. She’ll kind of shock you … and she’ll just kind of every once in a while drop a really dirty joke. It’s completely cool and … you feel like you’ve gotten a taste of forbidden fruit.”
Co-star Taraji Henson, who plays a New York detective in the film, agreed with Levy. “I’m going with girl power. Tina Fey. Girl power!”
Alec Baldwin, Fey’s “30 Rock” costar who came out for the premiere, chimed in: “Three words about Tina Fey: sexy, smart, funny.”
Jimmi Simpson, (one of the thugs who pursues Carell and Fey in the movie) played it down the middle: “Definitely Tina Carell. Yeah Tina Carell is so much funnier than Steve Fey. Seriously though, Steve’s funnier.”
Steve Carell described the wrost date of his life: “I went to a Jethro Tull concert when I was a sophomore in high school and I shook [my date’s] hand goodnight. My brothers mocked me mercilessly after that. I wasn’t a player, as they say.”