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 Ive 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 didnt 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 its 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. Thats kind of the crux of this character. He had a few opportunities along the way and it didnt pan out and at one point he just gave up trying.
Is he broken-hearted over it?
No. Hes just kind of shut down that side of himself and hes just kind of turned inward in a lot of ways. Hes made a comfortable life for himself within that person, who hes 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 its a really over the top crazy sex comedy but its really not. Its actually a very sweet relationship comedy.
Why the R rating?
Its just raunchy. Its sweet - I dont know how theyre going to market it because I think its both really sweet and grounded and real, and yet theres going to be that element of raunchiness here and bawdy. Id say bawdy more than raunchy. But itll be fun. I mean, itll 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. Its 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 wont be as funny if its mocked up or if its special effect. You have to see that this is really happening. And I think its pretty clear that it is because my skin gets incredibly red, like immediately. And in the middle here, theres 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 shes kind of used to it. But thats as much as its come back, seven weeks. That was early. I think when we wrap, Im 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 shes doing, and just knowing theres 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, shes 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. Shes like, I have no sympathy for you at all.