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Steve Carell is "The 40 Year Old Virgin"

Carell on Starring in "40 Year Old Virgin" and His Painful Waxing Experience

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Steve Carell stars in 40 Year old Virgin

Steve Carell and Catherine Keener in "The 40 Year Old Virgin"

© Universal Pictures
Steve Carell ("The Office") co-wrote and stars in the comedy movie, "The 40 Year Old Virgin." Carell and "Anchorman" producer Judd Apatow team up to tell the story of a man who's lived a full life but has never done that one thing that most people his age have done hundreds of times.

STEVE CARELL ON THE SET OF "THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN:"

Will “40 Year Old Virgin” hurt your sex symbol status?
That has never, ever been anything near the forefront of my mind. No, if anything, it will accentuate my sex symbol status which I’ve really cultivated over the years.

How did you wind up co-writing this role for yourself?
I just fell into that really. I mean, I did “Anchorman” and Judd [Apatow] and I became friends and he said that he wanted to direct something and was interested in pursuing something with me. I pitched him the idea for the virgin movie, which he liked, and then he took that and pitched it to Mary Parent at Universal. She liked it and it just started to snowball from there. It happened very quickly.

Did you meet any 40-year-old virgins?
I didn’t personally. I read a lot of case studies. There are more people out there than you think who are this person, or variations of this person. So it’s not something completely off the wall or fantasy.

What did you learn?
So many of them are just normal people who kind of slipped through the cracks, not for any… As that was coming out of my mouth, I thought maybe not the most correct choice of words. But just not necessarily weird or phobic or having emotional problems, but just people it just never happened to. And at some point they gave up trying. That’s kind of the crux of this character. He had a few opportunities along the way and it didn’t pan out and at one point he just gave up trying.

Is he broken-hearted over it?
No. He’s just kind of shut down that side of himself and he’s just kind of turned inward in a lot of ways. He’s made a comfortable life for himself within that person, who he’s become. And then he meets these guys and he meets a woman who helps bring him out of that. So actually the story, I think the title kind of leads people to believe it’s a really over the top crazy sex comedy but it’s really not. It’s actually a very sweet relationship comedy.

Why the R rating?
It’s just raunchy. It’s sweet - I don’t know how they’re going to market it because I think it’s both really sweet and grounded and real, and yet there’s going to be that element of raunchiness here and bawdy. I’d say bawdy more than raunchy. But it’ll be fun. I mean, it’ll be fun to do that balancing off of this real love story between two people and then some of the other craziness that happens.

You endured a waxing for this film. What was that like?
[Showing off patches that had been waxed on his chest] It actually looks like a face. It’s like the nose and the mouth. That was a very excruciating day. Actually, I insisted when I pitched it, I told Judd- - we did it on camera. We had five cameras because obviously you could only do one take of it. And I told Judd, “It has to be real. It won’t be as funny if it’s mocked up or if it’s special effect. You have to see that this is really happening.” And I think it’s pretty clear that it is because my skin gets incredibly red, like immediately. And in the middle here, there’s a close-up camera and you can see the blood beading to the surface.

Did you regret it?
No. It was funny. And looking around at the crew trying not to laugh was a complete reward.

What happened when you got home?
Well, my wife was a little freaked out for a while. Now she’s kind of used to it. But that’s as much as it’s come back, seven weeks. That was early. I think when we wrap, I’m going to just shave it all off, just so it all starts at the same place.

Did they hire professionals?
They hired an actress who had some experience waxing. She was fine, she did a good job, but it literally was like throwing caution to the wind and just saying, “Okay, I hope she knows what she’s doing,” and just knowing there’s literally one take of doing it, so you had to get it right.

Were there any other painful sequences?
No. I just make out with a lot of women in this movie. And the fact that I co-wrote it is indicative. I tried explaining that to my wife, too. I come home, she’s been taking care of a one-year-old and a four-year-old all day and I slump down on the couch, “Oh, what a day.” One day I actually came in, “Oh, what a tough day of shooting,” and I was serious. She looked at me and said, “You just made out with Elizabeth Banks for 12 hours,” who is this gorgeous, gorgeous actress. She’s like, “I have no sympathy for you at all.”

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