One of Steve Carell’s most memorable movies was almost never made.
Carell said The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the 2005 film directed by Judd Apatow and also starring Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, was temporarily shut down after only a week.
“We were actually shut down after the first week of shooting because the studio was freaking out,” The Big Short star, 53, said during an appearance on James Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio. “Universal saw the dailies and thought, ‘This guy looks like a serial killer.'”
In the hilarious movie, Carell plays Andy, a nerdy 40-year-old who spent more of his life focused on video games and action figures than on romantic endeavors.
Carell said that the only scenes the studio had seen at that point were of him “riding around on a bicycle.”
“I think there was one scene where I’m like walking down the street, looking at images of like breasts and things and freaking out,” said Carell, who was memorably waxed in the movie.
The actor said the production was abruptly shut down before lunch and that he and the other crew “had to go in the studio and plead our case.”
The solution? Universal Pictures put a special editor on the flick, and movie magic was made — fo’ sho.
Inside the Actors Studio featuring Steve Carell premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.