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The Office's Steve Carell Revealed The Trick To Pulling Off A Great Talking Head Scene

NBC millennial touchstone "The Office" features plenty of great characters in the show's "talking head" interviews, including Dwight (Rainn Wilson), Kelly (Mindy Kaling), and even guest stars like Charles Miner (Idris Elba). But no one is funnier getting interviewed about life, love, and events at Dunder Mifflin than the Scranton department's boss, Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

Michael is well-meaning, but the manager's self-delusion and childish ignorance often result in hilarious comments to the documentary crew. This includes the eventual meme "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott – Wayne Gretzky," as well as his incredible explanation for stepping on a George Foreman grill.

On set, Carell tried not to break into laughter during scenes with other actors. He told The New Yorker in 2010, "If someone is doing something great, it's selfish to ruin the take." However, he could barely keep it together for "Office" talking heads scenes. Here's how he ended up pulling them off.

Carell deliberately underplayed The Office interviews

Steve Carell recently appeared on the "Office Ladies" podcast, hosted by former "The Office" co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. During the interview, Carell spoke about filming the long-running series. In particular, the actor shed light on the making of the "talking head" confessional scenes: "What was so great about those talking heads, and so terrifying in a way, was they were so well written, you just didn't want to screw it up."

Carell and other cast members deliberately chose not to overplay certain jokes as a result. He explained in the same interview, "Really ease off and make it seem like this was just a natural extension of what this guy's thinking." This only made the absurd things Michael or Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) would say in the interviews that much funnier.

Regardless, Carell still found it hard not to break during these scenes, especially shooting "Fun Run," the Season 4 episode when Michael hits Meredith (Katharine Patricia Flannery) with his car. But he's also grateful that he had a job where he was laughing all the time. As he said to his fellow actors on the podcast, "What a gift. Who has a job like that?"