New York The chest-waxing scene in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" was one of this year's most harrowing movie moments - made only more so with the knowledge that it was, in fact, real.
For the sake of comedy, Steve Carell had his rather bushy chest waxed while four cameras captured the anguish.
"He's like one-eighth lemur," says Seth Rogen, who co-starred in and co-produced the film. "It's disgusting how hairy he is."
With the DVD of the comedy (a summertime hit that grossed more than $100 million at the box office) coming out Tuesday, waxing contests were being held in cities nationwide to promote the release. Part of the winning criteriA: hairiness and best scream.
"I still love watching that (scene) in a room full of people," Rogen says. "I feel like people can really sense that it's real in a way that you don't get in movies often."
To yank Carell's hair, Rogen and the producers of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" turned to Miki Mia - whose unlikely skill set of acting and waxing finally came to fruition. (She acts full time, including the 1997 Japanese horror flick "Junk Food," but when she returns to her native Japan, she helps in an aunt's salon waxing people.)
The Associated Press recently chatted with Mia, the woman responsible for eliciting Carell's "Kelly Clarkson!" curse.
Q: How did you prepare for the waxing scene?
A: Everyone was real quiet. I actually practiced on a couple guys on the set to get warmed up. Steve got trimmed just a tiny bit. I usually trim, but they wanted his hair to look good, so we left it long.
Q: Did that make it more painful?
A: Oh, yeah. I think it was the longest and hairiest person I've ever worked on. I couldn't find his skin or nipple at all.
Q: And this was totally real?
A: Yes. Steve said it was his idea and that he wrote it. Five seconds before, he thought he made the wrong choice! ... I think he was in so much pain, the whole bed was soaking wet from his sweat.
Q: Was it scripted for him to get the whole thing done, or just the four or five strips?
A: I don't think they had any plans; they just let it go. ... I waxed one patch and then (director Judd Apatow) said to do another part. After like eight patches, we all realized it looked like a smiley face. That's when Judd said, "Let's leave it that way!" Steve had it like that for a few weeks.
Q: It looks like you were all having some trouble controlling your laughter.
A: I really love waxing people and when I hear them scream, I love it. I couldn't help myself.
Q: Do people normally yell at you when you wax them?
A: Some do. Why I'm so good waxing people is that I put a little bit of my martial arts into it. I scream and yell at my clients so they don't remember the pain of it that much.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for those who might still want to have their chest waxed?
A: It might look painful, but when you have some problems or stress, it's a great thing to do. You forget about everything and concentrate on one pain. When you come out, you not only forget about your problems, but you look gorgeous!