QA: Steve Carell goes through '20 or 25' assistants a year, snaps fingers because yelling 'too much of an effort'

A giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth is not usually a source of yuks, but it is in the movie ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.’ The romantic comedy stars Keira Knightley and Steve Carell. The 49-year-old comedic actor spoke to about what he’d do if the end was near, missing his ‘Office’ castmates, and 'Anchorman 2' plans.

FOX411: You have the reputation for being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.

SC: That’s so not true. That’s just false. Anything nice that’s said about me is diametrically opposed to who I am.

FOX411: So how many assistants have you gone through this year?

SC: Around 20 or 25. I don’t bother to learn their names anymore because I know they’re going to be gone. There’s lots of finger snapping. I don’t yell anymore because it’s too much of an effort. I just have utter disregard for everyone. I trust you won’t print any of this. I wouldn’t want anyone to know the truth.

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FOX411: 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' certainly has an unusual premise.

Steve Carell: It sort of defies description in a lot of ways. I would describe it as a dark comedy about the apocalypse. It’s the flip side of all the big Armageddon movies with the astronauts and the President. It’s about what ordinary people might be choosing to do given this very heightened bit of information.

That’s one of the things I liked about the movie given the subject matter that is actually very uplifting and positive. It’s a metaphor for life itself, which is to live it. We all have an end date though we don’t necessarily know when it’s going to happen so it’s a cliché, but why don’t we live life to its fullest? I think it’s a very strong and positive message to put out there.

FOX411: Did it make you think what you would do?

SC: Oh sure, I think most people will ruminate on that once they’ve seen the film. It’s hard to say (what I would do) who knows what you would actually do. I tend to think I would just eat a lot of junk food, like the ultimate in junk food, but who knows?


FOX411: Do you think you’d be manly and brave or curl up into a ball weeping?

SC: I will say, because this will be in print, that I would be manly and brave, because I think to say anything else would reflect poorly on me. I wouldn’t want to give people the wrong impression of me. I would face it with the bravery I face every day of my life.

FOX411: I read that you popped behind the counter of your favorite pizza place and helped out. Is that true?

SC: No. I think it may have come about because I own a general store in Massachusetts. When I’m in town I jump behind the counter and ring people up and sell penny candy and serve coffee.

FOX411: Why did you buy the store?

SC: It’s in the town that my wife and I live in during the summer in Massachusetts. This old 150-year-old general store that I think was otherwise facing at best an uncertain fate, and I just wanted to preserve it, that was really the intention. We literally sell penny candy and fresh baked muffins. It’s pretty adorable.

FOX411: Do you wear an apron and lean on a broom handle?

SC: See now you’re pushing it and I detect a slightly mocking tone (laughs).

FOX411: When do you start filming ‘Anchorman 2?’

SC: In February or March. I don’t think I’ve had more fun ever working on something. Everyone felt the same way, the entire cast, that’s why we all wanted to do it. It’s mostly selfishly for ourselves. I think the motivation was completely selfish. We just had so much fun the first time we wanted to do it again.

FOX411: Was it weird the first time you woke up and didn’t have to go into work on ‘The Office?’

SC: The weirdest part was how not weird it was. I think it was just time and I was ready. It was fun to watch the show unfold this year, and I miss the people, but not doing it.

FOX411: So no guest appearances?

SC: No, I think people who say they want to see that, it’s better in theory than in practice. When people say they’d love to see Michael Scott come back, I challenge that. I don’t think they would actually. I think the imagining of what he’s doing would serve better than actually seeing it.