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Steve Carell does double duty in 'Marwen' and 'Vice'

Steve Carell plays a beating victim who escapes through his imagination in
Steve Carell plays a beating victim who escapes through his imagination in "Welcome to Marwen."

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He's everywhere this holiday movie season

(Starts at 1:02)

Steve Carell got his first big break in 1996 on the short-lived "Dana Carvey Show" where he and fellow Second City alum Stephen Colbert put their improv chops to work. But he tells John Horn that improv doesn’t always help when he's working on a film. And he should know — he’s got three movies in theaters this holiday season. In each, he plays a real person: David Sheff — a father dealing with his son’s addiction in “Beautiful Boy”; Donald Rumsfeld in the Dick Cheney biopic, “Vice” (opening Christmas Day); and in the film that’s most important to Carell, he plays a man whose life truly inspired the actor. In “Welcome To Marwen” (Dec. 21), Carell plays Marc Hogancamp, a man who was the victim of a brutal beating that left him with severe physical and emotional wounds. Marc heals himself by building a miniature world in his backyard where he can escape through his imagination. (His story was originally told in the 2010 documentary, “Marwencol.”) Carell talks with John about why his mother’s death drew him to the story and how he goes about playing real people on screen.

The best scripts you haven't heard of ... yet

(Starts at 19:22)

Every year, Franklin Leonard compiles a roster of what are considered the best screenplays in Hollywood that are not yet produced. Called “The Black List,” the annual tally is not only a reliable aggregator of important movies poised to be made (past Black List scripts include “Argo”), but also a real-time snapshot of what executives believe are the key themes in storytelling. This year, it’s biopics and horror.