Steve Carell Admits He Was Nervous Meeting Kelly Clarkson Years After ’40-Year Old Virgin’ Wax Scene

Actor Steve Carell appears, wearing glasses.
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When an actor makes another person’s name into a famous catch-phrase, how is that person supposed to react? One comedian recently admitted that he was fearful of the consequences of doing so.

Actor Steve Carell opened up about meeting singer Kelly Clarkson during an interview on The Tonight Show earlier this week, telling host Jimmy Fallon that, at the time of his chance encounter with Clarkson, he was nervous to meet the singer whose name he made into a famous movie line.

Carell famously screamed out “KELLY CLARKSON!” during a scene in his movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin. The film in question came out in 2005. In the scene, Carell was getting a wax on his chest hair done. His friends in the movie had advised him to do so in order to help him connect with women.

But Carell’s character wasn’t so sure about the idea. Carell — who as most fans know, is naturally hairy — didn’t trim his chest hair first, which made the experience incredibly painful for the character, and likely the actor, too. When the wax strip is yanked from his chest, Carell’s character screams out Kelly Clarkson’s name.

It’s an iconic scene that has been said time-and-again by fans of the movie ever since.

Earlier this year, the singer and actor actually met for the first time ever at the Golden Globes awards show.

“She is awesome! She’s the best,” Carell said to the host, according to reporting from People.

He spotted the singer at the awards show, and knew the polite thing to do was to talk to her.

“My wife and I saw her at some awards thing and my wife said, ‘There she is!’ And we had to go over and we kind of accosted her and said, ‘Hi, we’ve never met, but I really wanted to introduce myself.'”

Carell told Fallon that he was nervous to speak to Clarkson, because he didn’t know what she thought of him turning her name into a comedic catch-phrase.

“I thought she’d be mad at me about that. I wasn’t sure, ’cause I’d never met her over those years,” Carell said.

As it turned out, Clarkson was just as excited to meet Carell as he was to meet her. In a separate interview from May, Clarkson herself had nothing but good things to say about the comedic actor.

“He was so nice!” Clarkson said, according to a report from E! News. “I love when you meet people that you love and they’re lovely. That doesn’t always happen. He was so cool. His wife was so rad.”