He has mined comedy gold as a 40-Year-Old Virgin, an oblivious Officeboss, and a reluctant singleton fumbling with Crazy, Stupid, Love. Now Steve Carell, 49, is putting a darkly humorous spin on the apocalypse inSeeking a Friend for the End of the World, a (last chance at) love story costarring Keira Knightley. Thankfully, real life is less complicated, he tellsShawna Malcom. “We don’t live this strange lifestyle,” says the low-key, L.A.-based star, who has two children with his wife, Nancy. “It’s very ordinary, which is what I love about it.”
Seeking a Friend takes place in the weeks before an asteroid is due to destroy Earth. Did you think about how you’d spend those last precious days?
My thoughts gravitated toward food, like a very good pizza. We’ve had deep-dish delivered from Giordano’s, Gino’s East, and Lou Malnati’s in Chicago. You can just call and have it shipped to you on dry ice.
Thanks to your films, you’ve emerged as a romantic leading man. Is that where you saw your career going?
I know you’re asking that with a sense of irony because clearly, no. How did I end up in films with people like Keira Knightley and Julianne Moore? All these beautiful leading ladies and me—it’s kind of shocking.
What was your worst pre-fame gig?
At one point, I was a wine telemarketer. Talking people into buying wine on the phone is not an easy job to begin with, but when you don’t know anything about wine and you really don’t drink it, it becomes even more difficult.
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