Actor keeps focus as Vegas magician


Steve Carell had his poker face on during filming of "Burt Wonderstone" in Las Vegas last week.

Movie extras say Carell, who plays "Wonderstone," an arrogant magician, seldom broke character off camera.

"He was the most focused actor I've ever seen on a set," said Bob Somgynari, who has worked on 18 movies filmed in Las Vegas.

During the midweek shoot outside Bally's, former star of the hit TV series "The Office" wore a red velvet costume and red boots. When he came out in character, he sported a flowing wig that gave the appearance he was channeling famed illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy.

"That's what I think he was going for," said Somgynari, a retired GM quality control monitor from Lordstown, Ohio, and standup comedian.

Much of the scene had to do with Wonderstone and his partner, Steve Buscemi, having an argument in a Plexiglas cube that was suspended 70 feet in the air by a crane.

Buscemi, who plays Wonderstone's partner, quits after an ankle-busting fall from the cube, with Wonderstone showing no sympathy.

Wonderstone gets his comeuppance when the arrival of a hipper magician (Jim Carrey) raises the stakes.

Dozens of extras were given cameras or allowed to bring them to resemble tourists on a busy Strip sidewalk. Camera-carrying extras are usually banned from sets.

Also on the set was "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, who plays a casino executive.

While Carell stood ramrod straight between takes, focusing on his character's lines, Gandolfini was seen thumb wrestling with a young boy.

ROACH'S SUPERFIGHT SCENARIO

Manny Pacquiao's Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach sees the megafight between Pacquiaoand Floyd Mayweather Jr. taking place late this year.

"I think they will both have one more fight, a tuneup fight. I think it will definitely happen," he told Mario Diaz, the former KTNV-TV, Channel 13 sports anchor now at WPIX-TV in New York.

Roach's scenario came a day after Mayweather tweeted a jab at Pacquiao: "Step up punk."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Joyce Mack, one of our city's grande dames, was injured Saturday in an automobile accident inside Las Vegas Country Club estates, sources confirmed. Mack, in her 80s, was driving when her car struck a gate in front of Colleen Maloof's home. Mack was hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital. ... KTNV-TV, Channel 13 weather anchor and reporter Ashlee DeMartino was one of the most qualified media members on the Miss America beat last week. She competed on the Arizona pageant circuit for a year and finished first runner-up in Miss Mesa competition at the Miss America state level. She parlayed her dance background into an NFL cheerleading job for the Arizona Cardinals. "I was surprised at what girls go through to look that statuesque, from butt glove to keep swimsuit in place to Spanx (body-shaping undergarments) to help the evening gowns flow to padded bras and electrical tape" to, well, you know.

SIGHTINGS

Thirty of Wilhelmina's top models, including Gabriel Aubrey, Sarah McNeilly, Anna Zanovello and president Sean Patterson, kicked off a Las Vegas weekend at The Bank nightclub at Bellagio. ... Miss America's Outstanding Teens, touring Wayne Newton's Casa de Shenandoah Ranch on Thursday.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Still waiting for friends to arrive for New Year's Eve party." -- From David Letterman's Top 10 Signs You're Already Having a Bad Year

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.