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Steve Carell and Paul Rudd: Two 'Schmucks' discuss 'The Office'

December 4, 2009 |  4:51 pm

Paull_rudd Steve_carell Fans who tune in for a weekly dose of Steve Carell’s portrayal as Dunder Mifflin’s loveable boob of a boss Michael Scott have Paul Rudd to thank? Well, kind of.

During a break between scenes earlier this week on the set of their new movie, “Dinner For Schmucks” — a remake the 1998 French film "Le Diner de cons" about a group of men who have a weekly dinner party and invite the most pathetic guests they can find — the two talked “The Office.”

While the funnymen filmed 2004’s laughfest “Anchorman,” Carell was about to audition for the American adaptation of the popular BBC mockumentary-style show.

“Paul’s the one who told me about the original,” Carell recalled. “I had never seen the original. He actually put the fear of God in me. He said, ‘It is one of the best television shows I have ever seen, you have to see it,’ which gave me the impetus not to watch it because I thought if it’s that good, I can’t see it. I didn’t want to measure myself against it because I’ll never measure up. I didn’t want to copy. I wanted to make it my own.”

His instinct seems to have worked; the show is now in its sixth season.

“I’m sorry I did that to you,” Rudd quipped. “Well, clearly it’s all worked out for the best. I still think you should think long and hard about doing the show. “

“I’m debating,” Carell said.

Would Rudd ever consider a guest-starring role on show?

“I’d love to,” he said, speculating, however, that maybe he'd gotten on Carell's nerves too much to get an audition.

If the scribes behind the show are reading, Carell already has a character in mind for his friend.

“He’d be good as Jan Levinson-Gould’s ex-husband!”

“Well, can you make a call?” Rudd nudged.

Looks like a cameo as a nanny for Jim and Pam’s baby is out of the question.

“They’ve already determined that the baby is not going to be an enormous part of the series,” Carell said. “I don’t think they’re planning on making it ‘The Office Baby’ show. I think they’ll have the baby and everyone will be extremely happy. But I think they want to keep it focused on the workplace and not get it too domesticated. I don’t even know if those episodes are written.”

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photos: Paul Rudd, left, and Steve Carell. Credits: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images; Jason Merritt / Getty Images.