LOS ANGELES — Compared with his memorable roles in “Bruce Almighty,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “The Office,” Steve Carell’s character in his next movie is a pretty normal guy … with one major exception.
“It’s a guy who has reached middle age and it hasn’t happened to him,” Carell said of the aptly titled “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” “He’s not weird or creepy, he’s just missed some opportunities.”
Carell co-wrote the script with director Judd Apatow, although he insists it’s not based on his own experiences.
“Actually though, a lot of people seem to be identifying with the subject matter, which is a little scary,” Carell said. “We did a ton of research before we wrote. You’d be surprised. There’s a lot more people than you would think.”
In the movie, the title character, an electronics-store employee with a massive action-figure collection, isn’t actually so concerned about his lack of sexual experience. “And once the guys he works with find this out, they decide they’re gonna remedy the situation … and all hell breaks loose,” Carell joked.
Another “Anchorman” vet, Paul Rudd, plays Carell’s co-worker, while Catherine Keener (“The Interpreter”) plays his girlfriend, who has demanded a no-sex relationship.
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” opens August 19. In the meantime, fans of the “Daily Show” alum can catch him alongside pal Will Ferrell in “Bewitched,” opening June 24. Carell plays Uncle Arthur.
Along with shooting “The Office,” Carell also has several movies in the works, including the animated “Over the Hedge” with Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling and Avril Lavigne; and the movie adaptation of the ’60s TV comedy “Get Smart,” in which he will play Maxwell Smart. “I’m a whore, I’ll take anything that comes along,” Carell joked about his packed schedule.
Last week, Carell began filming the independent comedy “Little Miss Sunshine” with Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, and directed by music-video veterans Jonathan Dayton and Valeria Faris.
“It’s about this road trip, bringing this 7-year-old girl to one of these little miss beauty pageants … and all hell breaks loose,” Carell joked. “I play the suicidal brother of the mother of the kid, so it’s a little bit different.”
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