Capote director Bennett Miller likes to blend fact with fiction and find the buried truth that lies in between. In Foxcatcher, which debuted to raves at May’s Cannes Film Festival, he investigates another infamous murder, the bizarre 1996 shooting of an Olympic wrestler by blue-blooded benefactor John du Pont. ”There’s something about it that’s mysterious, a story that seemed on the surface sensational and at times absurd and funny, but had a very dark undercurrent to it,” Miller says.
Steve Carell plays against type as the eccentric and erratic du Pont, who turned his Pennsylvania horse farm into an Olympic training facility for champion wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo). To help locate a character far from his deadpan Office boss, Carell wore a prosthetic nose. ”Just the reflection of what you see in other people and how they respond to you, I could tell that I was off-putting,” he says. ”It was a little creepy.”
Miller, who memorably cast Jonah Hill in Moneyball, saw an advantage in playing with Carell’s public persona. ”That it’s not obvious was part of the reason why it was right,” Miller says, ”because who we think [du Pont] is and who he turns out to be are very different things.”