Gru makes transformation to super-dad in Despicable Me 2

The characters Gru and Lucy in a scene from the movie Despicable Me 2.
The characters Gru and Lucy in a scene from the movie Despicable Me 2. Universal Pictures

MAKING the transition from super-villain to super-dad is no easy feat.

But Gru, the animated baddie who made a name for himself by stealing the moon, appears to have left the criminal world behind to become a family man in Despicable Me 2.

"At the start of the movie, Gru has decided to set aside his past and completely become a dad," said star Miranda Cosgrove.

"You can tell they've definitely become a family."

Cosgrove plays the eldest of Gru's three adopted daughters who won him over in the first film and inspired him to settle down.

With the help of his hilarious and dim-witted yellow minions, Gru attempts to start his own range of jellies and jams.

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But it's not long before he is dragged back into the game by the super-secretive Anti-Villain League, or AVL.

They enlist his help to sniff out a villain they know to be hiding undercover at the local mall.

"He's more of a hero in this movie," Cosgrove said.

"He takes all of the things he learned as a villain to help catch this bad guy." Gru is teamed up with novice AVL agent Lucy Wilde, voiced by Kristen Wiig, much to his initial displeasure.

But the pair soon finds a mutual respect for each other, with the potential for their feelings to blossom into love.

But Gru's not the only one with a romance.

Cosgrove's character Margo is now at the age where she notices boys, and they notice her.

Gru finds himself out of his depth when she falls head over heels for the suave Antonio.

"I like all those scenes," Cosgrove said.

"It reminds me of my dad when I first liked someone."

With her breakthrough Nickelodeon TV series iCarly wrapping up last year after six series, Cosgrove is entering a new phase in her career and life.

She's just finished her first year of university at the University of Southern California, where she's studying film.

"I've done home schooling for most of my life, so it was always really important to my parents and me for me to go to college," she said.

"It's cool to get to be in college and be on a normal campus since I never got to go to high school.

"People come up to me after classes but sometimes I forget I'm in acting when I'm at school. I'm just in my sweats trying to find my classes."

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