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Steve Carell Is Playboy’s June Interview

Steve Carell Is Playboy’s June Interview


The Most Clueless Boss on TV Chats about Almost Losing a Nipple,
Playing Likeable Idiots on Screen, and Takes a Courageous Stand Against Mosquitoes

“I don’t feel any different or assume anything now I didn’t assume before. I don’t want to be some a**shole who expects the world to bend to his will just because he sold a few tickets at the multiplex. That said, I do love prostitutes,” modestly states Steve Carell on his stardom in Playboy’s June Interview (issue on newsstands and at Friday, May 9).

In addition to chatting about his upcoming movie Get Smart hitting theaters June 20, the normally self-effacing comic sat down with Playboy Writer Eric Spitznagel and opened up on his character in The Office, his friendship with Steven Colbert and compares the BBC version of The Office to its American counterpart. After chatting with Carell, Spitznagel said, “When he hosted Saturday Night Live, Carell joked during his monologue that ‘money falls from my a**.’ The more you talk to Steve Carell, the more you realize he really does believe his success is just that random and inexplicable.”

Following are selected quotes from Carrel’s interview:

On the challenges The Office and Get Smart face as remakes of classic comedies:

“I feel very much the same about the original Get Smart as I do about the original Office. It’s not about trying to be better than the original. You want to make something that isn’t just an impersonation or a copy, because if that’s the point, why even do it? The challenge is to take elements of the original and reexplore it in a new context. The most difficult part for me was incorporating some of those famous Maxwell Smart sayings: ‘Would you believe…?’ and ‘Missed it by that much’ and ‘Sorry about that, chief.’ All of those lines are so ingrained, and we’re all familiar with the delivery behind them. So I wanted to pay homage to them without necessarily changing anything just for the sake of change. It was a bit daunting.”

On using live bullets on the set of Get Smart:

“Well, no, they weren’t live live. They were blanks. You see, in the magical world of filmmaking it’s always to the producer’s advantage to keep the cast and crew unharmed for the duration of the shooting schedule. Blank rounds are especially helpful if the director wants to do more than one take with living actors.”

On the American version of The Office compared to the original on BBC:

“Just before The Office came out most critics were dubious about our chances of succeeding. There was almost an animosity for the show because the BBC version was so beloved and Ricky Gervais was so brilliant. So in our minds, we realized there was no way to win that battle. There was nothing we could do as a cast or writers or producers to dispel people’s preconceived notions. We just had to put it out of our mind and do the best job we could. There’s a huge freedom. We knew if our version just didn’t suck, people would be amazed.”

On his dad having a hard time watching The Office:

“At first it was probably a little difficult for him to watch his son make such a complete a** out of himself week in and week out. But now he has come to accept that I am, in fact, an a**. He has come to terms with that, and now he fully accepts me and my a**iness.”

On his character in The Office:

“Michael is a man without an ounce of self-perception. He doesn’t understand how others view him. He has an enormous emotional blind spot. I’ve heard the rule of thumb is, if you don’t know a Michael Scott, then you are Michael Scott.”

On Steve Colbert:

“Actually, The Daily Show gained credibility because I left. The only bright side of leaving was I hated everyone involved with the show—Colbert, in particular. He seems to be very intelligent on TV, but trust me, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Everything is written for him. His scripts need to be spelled out phonetically. I just got tired of carrying him. He has no idea what he’s talking about. He can hardly spell his own name.”

On if Colbert would like that description of him:

“Maaaaaaybe. [laughs] Yes, Stephen and I are old friends. He is a lovely human being. I also enjoy his Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor.”

On waxing his chest for 40Year Old Virgin:

“They put wax on my nipple without any oil, which is what you’re supposed to use to protect the nipple from actually being detached. My waxer wasn’t a professional. She was just an actress who said she had some experience with waxing, but obviously she hadn’t. I came dangerously close to becoming… what would you call it? I’m sure this magazine has a word for it. What would you call somebody who has just one nipple?”

On if he would consider waxing again:

“Not a chance. I’ll never endure that again. And I don’t think my wife would like it much either. When I came home after the shoot and she saw my chest, she was horrified. She thought my chest was smiling at her. She does not care for the man-o’-lantern.”

On how he makes acting sound like it’s just a job:

“Because that’s what it is. It’s just a job. That’s part of the reason I moved to Chicago when I was starting my career. I wanted to work. New York was way too competitive and too big a pond, as was Los Angeles. I figured in Chicago I might not make any money, but at least I would get some experience and learn something. It wasn’t about being discovered or showcasing myself or trying to get somebody to notice me.”

On his parents encouraging him to become an actor:

“I knew I could become an attorney and might be good at it, but there was never a question in my mind about whether I would enjoy it. Of course I wouldn’t. But enjoyment and a career seemed mutually exclusive. It was really a practicality issue. And becoming an actor didn’t feel practical or realistic. It took my parents to get me out of that pragmatic way of thinking. They said, ‘It’s your life. You have to live it, and you’ve got to enjoy it. If acting is how you’re going to enjoy it, then you’ve got to take that chance.’ So they absolutely gave me permission.”

On if people expect him to be funny all the time:

“No. And I hope you haven’t expected that, because I clearly have not made this a very amusing interview. I can only imagine what people will think when they read this: Woooow, that guy is dull. He must’ve been a gem to hang out with. As you can probably tell, I’m not someone who tends to be on. I don’t perform. Well, frankly, I’m just not that funny. [laughs] I don’t have much to say, and what I do say is ineloquent.”

On saying something cruel:

“Hmmm. Let’s see. One horribly negative awful thing? [long pause] I’m trying to come up with something. It’s tough. [another long pause] Does it have to be a person, or can it be an animal or object? I don’t know. I’m thinking, I’m thinking. [another long pause] Okay, I’ll go so far as to say this: Sometimes in the summer mosquitoes can get sort of annoying.”

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  1. Kristen wrote: Lmfao. This interview is hilarious.

    I love “If you don’t know a Michael Scott you are a Michael Scott”

  2. JD from wrote: Steve Carell is a horrible man. Everybody says so. They say he won’t sign autographs, punches dogs, mistreats the elderly and routinely makes fun of Canadians. No, seriously, I can’t think of too many celebs that everyone seems to agree aren’t full of themselves and are so likable. He makes me laugh as any character. Michael Scott is one of the best though. Michael is so uniquely stupid. Anybody can pretend not to understand big words or add and subtract but Michael is profoundly and uniquely stupid. He’s the most uniquely idiotic character I’ve ever seen. Love it.


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