By Andi Berlin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, December 1, 2005
He was that dumb guy in "Anchorman," and also that dumb guy in "The Daily Show" and that dumb guy in the slightly dumb Jim Carrey movie. Now Steve Carell is playing the dumb boss in the NBC sitcom "The Office" and has managed to take a few minutes out of his schedule for some intelligent conversation. (Editor's note: This interview was a conference call and included questions from several other media outlets.)
Wildcat: You've obviously got a lot going on right now with your TV show and this new script you're writing for Universal.
Carell: Oh, I'm an international superstar. People are going to be so sick of me. I'm just about to reach my saturation point.
Wildcat: Do you have any doubts about these career choices? Are you worried about being overexposed?
Carell: My goal is to be completely overexposed. In the next nine months, I'm going to pack as much in as possible and then sort of disappear in a fiery wreck of a career. That is my ultimate goal. And I have some wonderful agents and managers that are setting me up on that course. You know what, I've had no master plan. ... Up until this point, I've sort of taken every job I've been given, aside from appearing in pornography. I've pretty much done anything that's been handed to me.
Wildcat: After being in "The Office," if you were given a hatchet and a piece of flint, would you survive in the Yukon wilderness?
Carell: I think that's the only thrust of the show. That really is all the show has hoped to achieve is to be able to teach people how to survive in the wilderness. If you just watch five minutes of one episode, you would have enough survival skills to climb Everest. But that's, I think that goes without saying. I think that most situation comedies on major networks will give you the same sort of valuable life lessons. Honestly, I think our show strives to do nothing more than make people laugh. And if anyone takes some sort of greater lesson from it, perhaps you've been watching too much television.
Wildcat: What single gem of advice do you have for embarrassingly old virgins everywhere?
Carell: Um, keep on truckin'?
Wildcat: Can you recall the first job that made you really say to yourself, "I've finally made it"?
Carell: Um, I did a McDonald's commercial where they were promoting triple cheeseburgers, and I had three arms. So there was a guy standing behind me using his arm to help me eat the triple cheeseburger, along with my own two naturally attached arms. And I thought when I was doing that, "This is it. I am a complete and utter success." There was no way I could have achieved a higher goal. And you know, frankly it's been downhill from there.
Wildcat: If you and Ricky Gervais from the BBC version of "The Office" were to get in a fight, what weapon would you choose from the Office?
Carell: I would have a stapler and I'd try to staple him with it. And he would have a three-hole punch. And he would be trying to punch holes in that sort of web of skin between my thumb and my forefinger. And that would probably be the extent of our fight. I would be stapling him in the arm and he would be trying to put punch holes in the fleshy part of my skin. It would be bloody; it would be a bloody awful mess. It'd be kind of horrifying; they could put that on pay-per-view, I think, and earn millions of dollars. I mean, who wouldn't want to see that fight?
Wildcat: Where in mythology did you get the inspiration for Brick from "Anchorman"?
Carell: You know what Brick is? Brick is the minotaur, because I don't think everyone completely understands the minotaur and what his significance is. Because he's sort of half-man, half-beast in a way. And I think, I think Brick is mostly beast and partly man? I don't know, I don't even know what I'm talking about.