Steve Carell is a rare actor who has a reputation around Hollywood for being an incredible nice guy, an all-around good person. He’s basically the Tom Hanks of TV (although, he has his fair share of movies, too, including an Oscar nomination for Foxcatcher). In fact, the Space Force star was so beloved on The Office — where he was number one on the call sheet — that when he left the series after seven seasons, the cast retired his number on that call sheet. In the eighth season, Rainn Wilson was number two on the Call Sheet. There was no number one.
Andy Greene, who wrote The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, was hard pressed to find anything negative said about Steve Carell on The Office. He has an entire chapter in the book basically devoted to how wonderful a person he is. “There was never a false note with Steve because you believe he is true in everything he does,” on crew member said. “He was just the greatest,” said another. “He is truly the loveliest man in Hollywood.”
Three people in the book, in fact, offered the same example of what a spectacular human being Carell was. On location, they said, when everyone was jammed into a van, Carell would be the first to hop out, open the door, and “help everyone out of the van. He’d help the crew out of the van. I have never seen that in anyone before or since … he would stand there, and he would help every single person out of the van. And if you had a chair, he’d grab your chair and walk it over to the trailer. He was always such a gentlemen. And so kind.”
“I don’t remember in the nearly ten years of that show that Steve Carell ever said a bad word about anybody,” another co-worker on the sitcom noted. “He was so gracious and so kind. He’s just a class act.”
“He became a sort of big movie star during the course of The Office, but nothing ever changed. He was still the same Steve,” said another.
Producer Randy Cordray, who has been working in television since the 1970s, said of Carell, “To this day, in my long and varied careers, Steve Carell is the most wonderful and most professional actor and the best human of anyone I have ever worked with.”
It is nothing but high praise. However, Kim M. Ferry — the hair department head for eight seasons of The Office — did have one story to share about Steve Carell, where he actually expressed anger, although (again) even this story reflects well on the actor.
“There was only one time when he told me about being upset,” Ferry said:
One weekend, he was trying to teach his daughter Annie how to ride a bike and he had a lot of paparazzi that started showing up outside of his house and started taking pictures of her. They were saying, ‘Hey, over here!’ They were kind of heckling, and at one point, [Steve’s daughter] was trying to ride the bike, and she stopped, started crying, got off the bike, and she ran into the house.
He was livid. At that point, he walked across the street, and he said, ‘Look! I’m right here. If you want to take pictures of me, take pictures of me. You want to take pictures right now, I’ll stand here for an hour. But do not ever hurt my daughter like that. She didn’t sign up for this. She just got born into my family and I am famous. Why can’t I have an experience with my daughter private?”
One paparazzi literally stood in front of the other guys and said, ‘You know what guys? He’s right. We should go. We’ll all go.
That story may say more about Steve Carell than any other, because it may represent the first time that the paparazzi actually listened to an actor and moved along. Then again, Carell’s most generous act on The Office may have been the time he talked Greg Daniels out of ruining Jim and Pam’s wedding by featuring a horse going over Niagara Falls.