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Steve Carell Almost Lost A Nipple Filming Infamous 40-Year-Old Virgin Scene, Bringing New Meaning To ‘Ah Kelly Clarkson!’

Steve Carell screaming during waxing in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Playing Andy Stitzer in The 40-Year-Old Virgin served helped boost Steve Carell's movie profile after mainly being known from television. But the real moment he became a movie star was the infamous wax scene, where Andy was turned into a human jack-o-lantern. Of course, the scene also gave us the iconic line “Ah, Kelly Clarkson!” But screaming the Voice coach’s name took on a new meaning, as The Office alum almost lost his nipple filming the infamous scene, according to The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s director.

While “Ah Kelly Clarkson” is an innocent line, it and its namesake have never been associated with the loss of body parts… until now. But that’s what almost happened, according to the comedy movie’s director and writer Judd Apatow. The 40-Year-Old Virgin director spilled to Vanity Fair how the waxer in the scene may have fibbed about her experience, which worked out eventually.  

[The actress waxing Steve] is a liar. Because she said that she was a professional waxer, and you know what maybe she had waxed once or twice. But I think she was just a great actress who said she could wax to get this gig and then really injured Steve. And you know what? I’m glad that she lied; I’m glad that she did. Because if she has been better at waxing, this wouldn’t have been as funny.

According to Judd Apatow, the actress in the scene might not have been the only one who lied. He was doubtful of Steve Carrell’s claim of never being waxed before filming the infamous moment. The director/producer speculated the film and TV actor had some manscaping done before as his chest hair was too even. The Trainwreck director used Carell’s natural hair design as evidence.

Judd Apatow drawing over Andy Stitzer getting waxed in The 40 Year Old Virgin

(Image credit: Vanity Fair)

Filming The 40-Year-Old Virgin's wax scene was all about capturing the reactions of Romany Malco, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. The three actors held back their laughter at first. Eventually, the director was trying to capture their genuine reactions. Of course, the hilarity faded as Judd Apatow director pointed out the moment where things almost took a dangerous turn.

She is too close to the nipple! That’s very dangerous. He almost lost a nipple there. Notice this: That is real hair.

The near-dangerous hair removal incident led to the daytime host being shouted out in agony. This isn’t the first time Judd Apatow had addressed using the pop singer’s name. He revealed that Kelly Clarkson's name was on a list of clean words for Carell to shout during the scene. He gave Seth Rogen credit for putting her on the list, as well as crafting a dirt list. Clarkson eventually confronted the Knocked Up actor over the public constantly saying her name, eliciting an apology from him.

Going back to the waxing scene itself, Judd Apatow revealed the scene was Steve Carell's idea, as he co-wrote The 40-Year-Old Virgin's script with the director.

This is an idea Steve had. We were trying to think of ways they could fix him up and make him look better. And we knew that it was kind of a generic idea that had been done in a zillion movies and Steve said maybe you should wax my chest and do it for real, and Steve said, ‘Maybe you should wax my chest and do it for real. It would be funny if you hurt me.’ And that was his commitment.

Thankfully, the Hollywood actor was down to take one for the team and created comedy gold in the process. Of course, The 40-Year-Old Virgin will continue to be regarded as one of Steve Carrell’s best roles. If you want to bust out laughing at Carell’s pain again, you can stream the classic comedy with a Hulu subscription, an Amazon Prime subscription or an HBO Max subscription.

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