Entertainment News40-Year-Old Virgin: Universal Thought Steve Carell Acted Like a Serial Killer

40-Year-Old Virgin: Universal Thought Steve Carell Acted Like a Serial Killer


The 40-Year-Old Virgin basically launched the film career of Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow and Steve Carell, but it almost never got made.

During an appearance on Conan, Carell explained the amazing reason Universal was so interested on getting rid of the movie.

“We’d only been shooting for five days and [Universal said,] ‘We’ve been watching footage and you look like a serial killer,'” said the 53-year-old actor as the audience roared with laughter.

Of course, the movie went on to become a Box Office hit movie earning $109 million and another $68 million worldwide.

“We would test the movie, and the place would explode,” said Apatow in an interview with CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg at SXSW. “It would explode when Steve started singing … It’s one of those magical things, you don’t know why it works and it makes people laugh, and it’s probably the only time you’ll ever see Seth Rogen dance like that.”

Released in 2005, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” quickly became a cultural phenomenon, solidifying its place as a classic in the romantic comedy genre. Directed by Judd Apatow, who also co-wrote the script with Steve Carell, the film not only launched Apatow’s career as a blockbuster filmmaker but also cemented Carell’s status as a leading man in Hollywood. This blog post will delve into the film’s production, its outstanding ensemble cast, its performance at the box office, and its lasting impact on cinema and culture.

Production Background

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” marked Judd Apatow’s directorial debut, though he was already known in the entertainment industry as a skilled writer and producer. The concept of the film arose from a sketch idea originally conceived by Steve Carell during his time on the improv comedy show, Second City. Apatow, sensing the potential for a full-length feature, encouraged Carell to develop the idea into a movie script.

Filming began with a modest budget estimated at around $26 million. Apatow and Carell’s script was only partially complete when filming started, allowing for a significant amount of improvisation during production. This improvisational method not only contributed to the film’s authentic humor but also allowed the cast to bring a unique dynamism to their characters, which became a hallmark of Apatow’s directorial style.

Cast and Characters

Steve Carell starred as Andy Stitzer, the titular character whose lack of sexual experience becomes the central theme of the movie. The film features an ensemble cast including Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Romany Malco as Andy’s co-workers who vow to help him lose his virginity. Catherine Keener plays Trish, Andy’s love interest, adding depth and charm to the romance aspect of the film.

The supporting cast, including Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, and an early appearance by Jonah Hill, all contribute memorable performances that resonate with audiences for their humor and humanity. The chemistry among the cast members is palpable, with each actor providing a performance that blends seamlessly with the next, creating a community of relatable and endearingly flawed characters.

Box Office and Reception

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was released on August 19, 2005, and was an immediate box office success. It opened to $21.4 million in its first weekend, topping the box office. The film consistently performed well, eventually grossing over $109 million domestically and approximately $67 million internationally, bringing its worldwide total to around $177 million. These figures were particularly impressive given the film’s modest budget and R-rated content, which typically narrows the potential audience base.

Critically, the film received acclaim for its innovative blend of humor and genuine warmth. It holds an 85% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an average score of 73 out of 100 on Metacritic, signifying generally favorable reviews. Critics praised Carell’s performance as both endearing and hilarious, and Apatow’s direction was lauded for its ability to balance crude humor with sweet, character-driven storytelling.

Cultural Impact

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” set a new standard for adult comedies. It eschewed the typical crassness of the genre in favor of a more character-centered approach that offered not only laughs but also moments of genuine emotion and vulnerability. The film’s success paved the way for a new wave of comedies that focused on adult themes with a more thoughtful presentation, influencing countless films and filmmakers.

Apatow’s subsequent projects, such as “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” followed this blueprint of blending humor with heart, which has become a defining feature of his work. Moreover, the film launched or boosted the careers of several of its stars, including Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Elizabeth Banks, who would go on to become significant figures in Hollywood.


“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is more than just a successful comedy; it’s a seminal film that reshaped its genre and established a new framework for storytelling in comedy films. With its perfect blend of humor, heart, and a touch of raunchiness, it struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. The film not only exceeded expectations at the box office but also left a lasting imprint on popular culture. Its influence is still felt in films and television shows that strive to achieve that same balance between comedy and emotional depth. In the years since its release, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” has rightly earned its place as a beloved classic, continuing to entertain and resonate with new generations of viewers.

Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

Share post:



More like this

Casting: Mountain Bikers

Casting: Mountain Bikers in Pennsylvania.   Casting directors are now casting...

Casting: Models who live in Berkshire County

Casting: Models who live in Berkshire County in Massachusetts. Casting...

$750/Day Magnum Insurance Commercial Casting Call

$750/Day Magnum Insurance Commercial Casting Call in Chicago, Illinois. Casting...

Short Promo Miami Open Casting Call

Short Promo Open Casting Call in Miami, Florida. Casting directors...