Despite declarations from NBC,Office producers and Steve Carell himself that the NBC comedy’s May 16 series finale would be Scott-free, increasing buzz suggests the Dunder Mifflin legend may turn up after all.
Insiders tell TVLine that producers mounted an 11th hour effort last month to coax Carell into making a cameo in the show’s hour-long swan song. And while no one is confirming that the final diplomatic push proved successful, no one is denying it either.
Well, no one save for Carell’s personal rep, who tells TVLine that while his client was on set for the final episode, he did not, in fact, shoot any scenes.
On the flipside, a source close to the show cryptically teases, “Don’t rule anything out.” An NBC spokesperson, meanwhile, declined to comment.
For his part, executive producer Greg Daniels — who back in January told reporters that there aren’t “any plans for him to come back” — now appears to be taking a silence is golden stance. When TVLine approached him for comment last week, he side-stepped the question, preferring to follow NBC’s “super mysterious” lead by staying mum.
Steve Carell: We were sent a script. Our company was sent a script some years ago that was a version of this one. That was a couple of incarnations ago. I really liked the premise. I thought that the characters had a lot of potential. I just liked the world. I think the world is really funny and that it’s something that we haven’t seen before.
We were watching you film multiple takes and it was interesting to see how your performance evolved throughout. Is that how you generally approach a scene?
Carell: Better that it evolve than devolve. It’s nice to be able to try different things with each take and to find things that work and don’t work. You never know. You never know until you put it in front of an audience. But it’s nice to have options when you’re shooting it. You try to look at it, even incrementally, performance-wise and you try things that might be a little more broad or a little more grounded. Once they’re editing and finding the exact tone of the movie, you have those options.
We saw you were doing a stunt on the first day. Was that scary?
Carell: It was a little bit scary. It takes time to get used to being up that high. It wasn’t so much the height as the fact that the bottom is plexiglass and you could look down 50, 60, 70 feet. I don’t know how high we were. There’s something disconcerting about that. I know at the Grand Canyon they have that plexiglass walkway that you can look down. I think some of the casinos there have the same type of thing. If you have a fear of heights, it’s a little disconcerting. After a while, though, you get used to it. Like anything, you start to trust it.
The stage at the Wadsworth Theater in Westwood, California seems average enough. With its run down seats, bland walls and single stall bathrooms, it could double for any average high school auditorium. There’s nothing spectacular about it. Except on this Monday morning.
On this Monday morning, Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are flying through the air on harnesses sporting long blond hair and bedazzled purple velour jumpsuits. They land on the stage, introduce themselves as magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton and proceed to dance about like a couple of old men whose best days are way past them. And that’s exactly what they are.
It’s February 6, 2012, day 21 of 48 on the set of Don Scardino’s March comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The film, set in the world of professional magic, is the story of two magicians (Carell and Buscemi) who are long-time partners. Split after years of working together, they’re forced back together when another magician (played by Jim Carrey) begins to steal their spotlight and relevance. It’s a return to physical comedy for Carrey, the feature directorial debut of TV vet Scardino, and a role that seems right in the wheelhouse of the lovable, hilarious Carell, also a producer.
Co-starring Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin and more, the film is scheduled for release March 15 and we were on set to capture some of the magic, as it were.
There were plenty of breakout hits from the 2013 Sundance Festival earlier this year, but the one bought for the most money because of its potential mainstream appeal was “The Way Way Back.” Starring Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry and more, the film was the directorial debut of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the writers of “The Descendants“ which won a Best Adapted Screenplay award in 2012. Off a relatively small budget, “The Descendants” went on to gross $177 million worldwide for Fox Searchlight, so when the same studio saw Faxon and Rash’s latetest effort, they jumped at the chance to distribute it, putting their money where their mouth was with a hefty sum of money ($10 million reportedly).
Now the film has been dated for Fox Searchlight and will receive a July 5th bow. Summer counter-programming has seen positive success in recent years. Focus Features had a similar indie hit in the summer of 2010 with “The Kids Are All Right” and Searchlight themselves obviously had excellent reach this year with “Beasts Of The Southern Wild,” released at the end of June last year and “The Tree Of Life” at the end of May in 2011. They’ll be looking for similar success with “The Way Way Back” (you can watch a clip from the film here).
In Las Vegas, you can tell a lot about a man by his game of choice. The mysterious loner often gravitates to the poker room. Blackjack draws the big spender with the mountainous chip stack, while Rat Pack wannabes belly up to the craps table looking for lucky dice or a lucky dame. So it takes a brave man, a confident man such as Steve Carell, to earnestly claim as his game the arguably uncool roulette. “It allows me to move at a much more leisurely pace,” he says. “You have to wait for the ball to go around and around. I find it comforting that it’s not as fast-paced as many of the games are. I sat down to play poker once and was done in about seven minutes. It was ugly.” He pauses. “I have absolutely no game.”
He may not have game, but he certainly had the clout to assemble an allstar comedic cast (Jim Carrey, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin) to lampoon the high-stakes world of Strip magicians in the new movie The Incredible BurtWonderstone—right in their own backyard. Carell even got the blessing of legendary illusionist (and 20-year Strip headliner) David Copperfield, who served as a consultant on the film and makes a hilarious cameo. “They were poking fun at my world, but we have a sense of humor about ourselves,” Copperfield says. “It was a great experience and so much fun.”
Carell’s washed-up Wonderstone finds that to save Vegas from Carrey’s David Blaine–inspired illusionist, he must mend fences with longtime stage partner Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) and rediscover what made him love magic in the first place. The leading man insists, however, that they aren’t sending up the subculture. “It’s not a parody,” Carell says. “So much of it is based in reality. You don’t have to push it too hard.” During the weeklong shoot on the Strip, outside Bally’s, and around Fremont Street, Carell sported a deep “tan” (which can only be described as burnt sienna), at least one monochromatic velvet suit, and a feathered mane that channeled Siegfried. Or Roy. Or both.
“As ridiculous as you might think I look,” Carell says, “I walked around Vegas and nobody batted an eye.” Adds Wonderstone director Don Scardino, “He didn’t stand out. He fit in perfectly.”
Steve Carell may seem like an unlikely choice for an HBO film, but he’s signed on for a brand new project opposite The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini. The two men recently appeared together in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and they apparently had such a good time, they are ready to work together on an equally oddball project. The two men have signed on for HBO’s Bone Wars, which will fittingly follow two paleontologists.
Set in the period just after the Civil War, Bone Wars will follow two men who are racing to be the first to find fossils of various dinosaur species. The TV movie will follow the real-life trajectories of the two men, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, which spans multiple decades and, according to Deadline, led to the discovery of over 160 dinosaurs. Unfortunately, strife as intense as a feud between two men can also lead to plenty of personal problems. Still,Bone Wars is described as a comedy.
Carell is set to take on the role of Cope and Gandolfini will play Marsh in the project. Both men will also executive produce the TV movie, along with Thom Hinkle and Alexandra Ryan. Currently, the project is still looking for a writer, so it could be a while before we hear more details about Bone Wars.
Bone Wars is the third full-length TV project HBO has greenlighted in just a couple of days. Yesterday, the subscription cable network announced it would put together a Mikhail Gorbachev project with the help of Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Gorbachev himself. Today, HBO also announced it would create a documentary about Nora Ephron’s life. We’ll keep you updated as Bone Wars moves forward at the network.
Lisa Kudrow is looking to find love on Web Therapy with Steve Carell.
The Office vet has been tapped to guest-star in the Showtime comedy’s third season (premiering July 22 at 11/10c), EW.com reports, playing a possible beau for the leading lady’s newly single Fiona. The catch: He’s a cult leader.
Also tapped to appear in the new season are Megan Mullally, Billy Crystal, Chelsea Handler,Sara Gilbert and, as previously reported, Kudrow’s former Friend Matt LeBlanc.
My mom was a psychiatric nurse. She worked the night shift at a hospital psych unit and she’s the strongest person I know: physically, emotionally, mentally. She’s extremely intelligent, an avid reader and raised four boys while sleep-deprived. She worked all night and essentially worked all day, with us, getting us to school. I have so much respect for her. She set the bar really high for women, in my mind.
My mom is a very modern woman. She took it upon herself to go back to work. We weren’t extremely well off, we were a middle-class family, and she didn’t have to go back to work, but she wanted to afford us more. So she went back to work and it was completely selfless, and she and my dad tag-teamed in terms of raising us kids.
My parents didn’t go on vacations, they didn’t throw lavish parties, it was really about us. It was about our education, it was about raising us kids the right way. I think that was instilled in me. So my wife [actress Nancy Carell] and I, that’s really our vantage point, too; what we do is really to help our kids [Elisabeth Anne, 11, and John, 8] develop into the best people they can be.
There was no chance, ever, that my parents would get divorced. Good times, bad times, for better or for worse; the letter of the law, they really committed to that notion. My wife and I will be married 18 years this year, and we’re both Catholic as well, so maybe that’s sort of instilled in us, too: you know, that this is a commitment and this is what it should be. Although I think I also got lucky with my wife. It was definitely a sense of humour thing. She’s really smart, really pretty and really funny. I mean, jackpot! The question was, “How am I gonna end up getting this person to like me?” I got the way better end of the deal. I knew very early on that this was the jackpot, this is what you never thought would happen – and then it does!
And for his next Hollywood trick, Steve Carell will magically appear on… Pawn Stars! The former anchor of The Office – and star of the big-screen prestidigitation comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone — returns to the small screen for a segment on History‘s popular reality series, EW has learned. He’ll be seen looking around the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, drawing the attention of Rick, Old Man, Corey, and Chumlee, and negotiating with Rick over an item that he’s interested in buying.
Carell, who along with his daughter is a Pawn Stars fan, also filmed a promotional tie-in spot for the Vegas-shot Burt Wonderstone that will unspool during Pawn Stars‘ March 11 episode: In the integrated ad, Rick needs help assessing the value of a magician costume so he calls in an “expert,” who is revealed to be Carell (see photo).
Burt Wonderstone hits theaters on March 15. Carell’s guest spot on Pawn Stars will air sometime this spring. And the Office series finale airs May 16, for those holding out hope for a secret cameo from a certain someone.
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