The Office made him a household name, but these facts about Steve Carell will prove you don't know him as well as you might think. Carell is, by all accounts, a private man, reluctant to get too personal in interviews. You won't find scandals in his past, stories of bad behavior on set, or tales of him being rude to fans. In fact, he seems as nice and normal as he is talented - and that's saying a lot.
Nevertheless, Carell has had a fascinating life and career. He started off doing broad comedy, and gained fame as Michael Scott on The Office, but has demonstrated a knack for drama as well, thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn in Foxcatcher, and starring roles in Beautiful Boy and Welcome to Marwen. Off-screen, he's a devoted husband and father. Carell might call himself boring, but little-known details about the actor prove that even normalcy can be compelling when you're talking about a star with his versatility.
He Owns A General Store In Massachusetts
In addition to being an in-demand actor with a busy schedule, Carell has a side job as owner of the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield Hills, MA. He and his wife Nancy both grew up in the state and continue to vacation in and around the small town.
In 2008, Carell learned the local general store was being put up for sale. Wanting to preserve it for the community, he stepped forward to purchase the business, and became the official owner a year later.
"The main impetus to keep it going is that not many of those places exist and I wanted this one to stay afloat," Carell told The Patriot Ledger. The actor is known to swing by for a visit whenever he's in the area.
He Almost Wasn't Michael Scott
Playing Michael Scott on The Office catapulted Carell to stardom. He came within an inch of not getting the role, however. When an American adaptation of the British series was shopped to NBC, executive producer Ben Silverman wanted Carell for the role of Dunder Mifflin's hapless boss.
Before things got rolling, the actor accepted a supporting part on a different NBC sitcom called Come to Papa. Figuring Carell wasn't available, the producers instead hired Bob Odenkirk to play Michael. But then they got word the network wasn't too keen on Welcome to Papa, and the show likely wouldn't last long. That turned out to be true, so they gave the role to their original choice.
It Was His Parents' Idea For Him To Become An Actor
Left to his own devices, Carell might have become an attorney. After graduating from Ohio's Denison University, he seriously contemplated attending law school. While discussing this and other options with his parents, they suggested he give acting a try.
Carell told The Guardian:
I had always done plays for fun. But it had never been anything in my mind to try it professionally. And they said, you should try it, you should give it a shot. You'll never know unless you try.
He Knows How To Play The Fife
A lifelong history buff, Carell once joined the Acton Minuteman Group, an organization whose members dress up in colonial garb for parades, re-enactments, and other public displays. Their purpose is to bring history alive for new generations. As part of his membership, he learned how to play the fife, a flute-like instrument.
Playing the fife is apparently like riding a bike, in that once you know how to do it, you never forget. Carell has demonstrated his ongoing ability on several talk shows.