The Oscar-winning actress, who stars alongside Carell in the new romantic comedy Hope Springs, praised Carell's approach to the role in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"The first time I saw The Office, I thought, 'Who is this? He's absolutely wonderful'," Streep explained.
"His character has a quality of distraction and narcissism that is completely out of his control, but there is a pathos that's very authentic so you believe in this person and feel for him."
Carell left The Office in 2010 after seven seasons.
His former Office co-star Mindy Kaling recently announced her own departure from the sitcom in order to star in her own show, The Mindy Project, on Fox.
Watch the trailer for Hope Springs below: