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Inspiration For The Work: The catalyst for the movie was a comment by Arnold Schwarzenegger that the people he hates most in the world are losers. The screenwriter Michael Arndt took offense to this comment, believing that everyone is a loser in some way, but that doesn't make them a bad person. He wrote the screenplay to refute that kind of black-and-white thinking.
Playing Against Type: Steve Carell, whose type really hadn't been established yet, but has not since played a role this subtle and understated.