In an interview with HeyUGuys, Steve Carell said that he was able to delve into the character’s mindset more than usual because he had the huge advantage of reprising the role of Gru so many times. “I’ve had so many of these films now to create this Gru character and it’s not something you normally have to do in animation – develop a character through subsequent films and then go back and do an origin story to that character when they were 11 “Carell explained. “I was trying to think about how serious this kid was about what he wanted out of life … he’s trying to define himself as who you are at 11 and trying to figure out what you want to be, who yours is will be friends, who will stand behind you, who is your tribe.”
Ultimately, Carell added, playing young Gru was like an experiment, trying different approaches. “It’s very cooperative, very silly. We just always have a lot of fun trying all kinds of things,” he said.
As it turns out, Carell was further helped by the fact that some of Gru’s experiences even mirrored his own from his youth. In Minions: The Rise of Gru, Gru and some of his minions sneak into Jaws at the cinema. Carell admitted to Screen Rant doing the same thing, sneaking into both Jaws and a much scarier movie, The Exorcist.