Steve Carell returns as Gru in Despicable Me coronavirus PSA

despicable me villain gru
Steve Carrell voices Despicable Me villain Gru in a new coronavirus PSA. Pic credit: World Health Organization

Actor Steve Carell recently returned in the form of his popular Despicable Me villain Felonious Gru to help encourage health and safety guidelines.

The actor lent his voice to the animated character as part of a public service announcement for children during the coronavirus pandemic that has been affecting the world.

Steve Carell teams with WHO, others for coronavirus PSA

Steve Carell, known for his many roles including Michael Scott on The Office, returned to animated form as Gru from the Despicable Me movies thanks to Chris Meledandri’s Illumination animation studio.

They teamed up with the bosses from World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Foundation to deliver the new PSA as a way to promote safety measures amongst children.

“At this challenging time, we must find all ways possible to provide hope to people while sharing advice that can protect our health,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization said in a statement.

“WHO is excited to be working with Illumination and Steve Carell and the joys of the (Despicable Me characters) Minions and Gru to promote the importance of physical distancing, keeping active and connected, and being kind and compassionate to overcome COVID-19,” Dr. Adhanom added.

New PSA features Despicable Me’s Gru and Minions

The World Health Organization shared the video clip of the animated PSA on their official YouTube channel. It features not only Gru but those other cute characters from the films, the Minions.

In the video, Gru pops up on the screen with Carell providing his recognizable villain’s voice. The Despicable Me bad guy then gives out some important tips for everyone during this “challenging time” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those tips involve things to do while staying home and practicing physical distancing such as staying active, trying new recipes, making video calls, or just finding ways to have some fun.

He also encourages everyone to do something his villain isn’t used to. Gru says “try to be kind to each other” as “this is a tough time for everyone.”

Illumination’s partnership makes for the first time any Hollywood studio has partnered up with WHO, the UN Foundation, and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, according to Variety’s report.

Reportedly, the new PSA will also be available in other languages including Spanish, French, Arabic, and Portuguese to help spread the message globally.

Actor Steve Carell famously provided the voice for Felonious Gru in three different Despicable Me films, with the most recent back in 2017. He’s slated to reprise the voice role once again for 2021’s Minions: The Rise of Gru.

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