What comes to mind when you think of Steve Carell? Is he a comedic actor, or something more? Through a multitude of performances, Carell has proven that he will not be defined by past roles. Rather, he is an amalgam of nuanced collective decisions and experiences. Throughout the mid-2000s, audiences came to know him as a wacky comedic force to be reckoned with. As Michael Scott in The Office, he demonstrated impeccable comedic timing and a knack for improvisational wordplay. On the big screen, from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Anchorman, Carell made a name for himself playing awkward characters with a painful lack of self-awareness. But that’s not all he’s about. Upon leaving The Office in 2012, Carell initiated a remarkable career transition by taking on more challenging roles, like his performances in Foxcatcher and The Big Short. While he may be most well-known for his turns in comedies, our latest installment of Icons & Outliers takes a look at why it would be a shame to consider Steve Carell as anything but one of cinema’s most fascinating and unpredictable outliers.

In Robert Zemeckis’s upcoming drama, “Welcome to Marwen,” Carell stars as Mark Hogancamp, a man who builds an entire town out of miniature figurines as a way to cope with and recover from a brutal physical assault. In anticipation, be sure to watch “Marwencol,” a documentary about Hogancamp, streaming now on Fandor! 

Enjoyed this installment of “Icons & Outliers?” Check out our previous looks at other iconic outliers, like Sandra Bullock and Jim Carrey. And for more on actors with fascinating career trajectories, kick back with our videos about Matthew McConaughey, Robert Pattinson, Ellen Page, and Adam Sandler.