20 Things You Didn't Know About The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Steve Carell's Hollywood breakthrough turns 15.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin Steve Carell
Universal Pictures

The 40-Year-Old Virgin has turned 15 years old, the smash hit rom-com which made Judd Apatow a filmmaker to watch in his directorial debut, while also confirming Steve Carell's viability as a leading man.

Released to strong reviews and grossing an impressive $177.4 million against a $26 million budget, the film was one of the most successful R-rated movies of 2005, outgrossing the likes of Sin City, Saw II, and even Steven Spielberg's Munich.

But Apatow and Carell have both gone so far in the past 15 years that it's easy to take for granted the envelope-pushing success that The 40-Year-Old Virgin really was.

Produced by a rather skeptical Universal, the movie suffered through a heap of creative issues both before and during shooting, forcing Apatow, Carell, and the fantastic ensemble cast to pivot and make the best of the resources available to them.

And beyond that, there are so many fascinating stories about the movie's creation, from characters being unexpectedly gender-swapped to a certain actor's medical emergency during the shoot...

20. Universal Thought Steve Carell Looked Like A Serial Killer

The 40-Year-Old Virgin Steve Carell

Just a week into shooting, Universal suspended filming over concerns that Steve Carell's titular protagonist Andy Stitzer looked too much like a serial killer.

Though this was their primary bugbear, executives also felt the footage wasn't funny, that Paul Rudd was overweight, and that Judd Apatow had shot the film "like an indie."

As a result, Carell and Apatow decided to tweak Andy's character to make him more approachable and, in the director's own words, "a little more Buster Keaton-esque."

Thankfully shooting was able to resume a few days later after Carell and Apatow pleaded with the studio, but had they failed to find a compromise with Universal, it's entirely possible the movie would've been permanently shut down.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.