Steve Carell shares the bad acting habit he picked up on The Office
Steve Carell has retained a key habit from his time filming The Office US.
The actor played the flawed but lovable paper company boss Michael Scott in the American version of the deadpan sitcom.
As well as its sharp writing and its oddball sense of humour, The Office is known for its mockumentary framing.
With the unusual setting of the characters being filmed for a fictional documentary, the series included regular instances of characters “breaking the fourth wall” and interacting with the cameras, looking straight into them in moments of incredulity.
Despite leaving the programme in season seven in 2011, and the show’s eventual end in 2013, Carell has admitted to still occasionally looking into the camera when he’s not supposed to on his other projects.
“I have never had a job where I didn’t look into the camera at some point,” Carell told his former castmates Angela Kinsey (Angela) and Jenna Fischer (Pam) on their podcast about the show, Office Ladies.
Kinsey added that she’s struggled with the same habit in her work after The Office.
“Same for me!” she replied. “I actually had a director say ‘Um, Angela. You just looked right down the barrel.’”
Elsewhere in the rewatch podcast, Carell revealed that he only watched one minute of the original UK series as he wanted to avoid taking inspiration from Ricky Gervais’s equivalent office manager character, David Brent.
“I chose not to watch the British version because I didn’t want that to influence whatever this version was going to be,” Carell explained.
“[Ricky Gervais] was clearly so great at it, he was such a distinctive character. I didn’t want to do an impression of him.”
Carell received six Emmy nominations for acting for his work on the show. To this day, both Michael Scott and David Brent are often considered classic TV comedy characters.
Office Ladies releases episodes weekly and has featured other stars from the show, including Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Mindy Kaling (Kelly) and John Krasinski (Jim).