Throw two Steves and an Anne in front of a mike, and you end up with one heartfelt rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," one very filthy joke involving hygiene products and a heap of insults strewn.
Such was the case Wednesday night at Soho's Apple store, which hosted a Q&A moderated by "The Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert featuring his former "Second City" and "Daily Show" cohort Steve Carell and actress Anne Hathaway. The latter two headline the comedy "Get Smart," the big-screen version of the '60s TV series opening Friday.
"Where does the myth come about that you're a nice guy?" Colbert asked Carell in front of a loudly appreciative audience. "I've known you a long time. You are cutthroat."
Within 30 minutes, Colbert managed to impugn Carell's manhood, comedic talents and work ethic, while also mocking Hathaway's looks and asking for her Manhattan address, presumably to hit on her later.
"It's so unfair that I have to bust that up. That was fun," said Hathaway after taking the stage and witnessing Colbert's ribbing of Carell.
Before the official questioning began, the two stars milled around the Apple store and fielded questions about their secret-agent caper. As coolly professional super-spy Agent 99, Hathaway got into killer shape for the role. "I just worked out with a trainer three or four times a week and ran three miles every morning, and for the rest of it, relied on my stunt double," said Hathaway.
This week, the actress has been dealing with coverage of her split from Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri, whose financial dealings are being investigated by the state of New York. She demurred from discussing the headlines, and when asked about promoting a film while her personal life was in the news, answered: "It's always hard."
How would Agent 99 deal with the paparazzi following Hathaway around? "She would adopt a really kick-(butt) disguise. She'd try to outwit. With me, I need a little help," she said. "Today I was leaving where I'm staying and there was paparazzi there. My brother, before I could do anything, opened up an umbrella and shielded me when I got into the car. Sometimes you brush it off with a very Zen attitude."
As for Carell, he wouldn't make much of a spy in real life. The comedian says he'd be "terrible. I cannot be stealthy. I cannot lie well. I don't think I'm a very good deceiver. I can blend into a crowd pretty well. I'm pretty bland. Nobody makes a very big deal out of me, which is great."
In the film, Carell gets to smooch both Hathaway and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. So, who has the softer lips? "Dwayne Johnson works out, and his lips mirror that aspect of his body. He has very full and powerful lips," Carell said. "Hers are clearly more feminine, but no less intriguing. It's just apples and oranges."