Press Conference Interview With The Cast And Director Of This Is 40

We Got This Covered: The references to the TV show Lost were a lot of fun. Is there some sort of rivalry between you and J.J. Abrams?

Judd Apatow: No our daughter watched Lost in about six weeks and was crying a lot and very emotional and we thought “are we bad parents for allowing this?” But we’re too lazy to keep up with her to know what the next episode is or if it’s inappropriate, so we just kind of let it happen. We realize there was some bad parenting happening and it was out control, and I thought “I don’t know what to do here but it probably makes for a few good jokes in the movie.” That’s what I usually do when I should make a strong parenting decision; I kind of let it play out to see if a joke results from it, but it’s probably not a good idea. But J.J. read the script and came to previews and I made sure to show everybody the footage and how we were doing it to make sure that he was happy. But he is a geek who’s ruined our lives!

We Got This Covered: Albert, did you improvise a lot of the scenes you had with John Lithgow?

Albert Brooks: In rehearsal we got a chance to add and improvise a bit. That’s sort of the way it works. The idea that you get there and at the actual moment you’re making it up is sort of a fallacy. You get a script and then you have time to throw that to the wind and see what comes back and then you can set things you really like, so it’s that period.

Judd Apatow: We knew we wanted Albert’s character to be excited by how much money John makes, and so I was watching the dailies and my favorite wording of a joke Albert did was “so every time I don’t see a hunchback, you make money!” Albert would actually email me jokes the night before which would top many of my jokes so I was very happy about that.

We Got This Covered: What was the hardest scene to shoot where you had to keep a straight face but couldn’t?

Leslie Mann: Melissa McCarthy was the hardest one. That was the weirdest thing because I’ve never experienced that. Maybe one time I crack up and then I can hold it together from then on, but with her it was just hours and we could not keep a straight face and finally we just gave up. Judd said he was using more than one camera so we could just laugh because we couldn’t keep a straight face.

Paul Rudd: I’ve seen people on tears before but this was otherworldly! People were leaving the room, the crew had to leave, and she just kept her composure throughout all of it.

We Got This Covered: Hollywood is always trying to make movies geared towards the 18 to 24 crowds. With This Is 40, do you feel like your audience is growing up along with your movies and are they getting up to the point where they are facing these issues?

Judd Apatow: We’re about to find out (laughs). We don’t know.

Albert Brooks: Well This Is 40 is only the title for a few theaters. This Is 18 is what’s being called in all the others.

Paul Rudd: I say we call it Zero Dark Forty!

We Got This Covered: Leslie is there anything you say “I can’t do this” to or are you pretty much game for anything?

Leslie Mann: I’m pretty much game for anything.

Judd Apatow: She pushes me. The ones you think I made her do she thought of usually.

We Got This Covered: Paul, like your character you’re married and have kids. Can you relate to Pete’s frustration at all about life?

Paul Rudd: Oh yeah. Obviously the situations are different but there are certain aspects of marriage, parenthood and all of that stuff that seems relatable. We spent years talking about all of this stuff and we’ve (me and my wife) have had many dinners with Judd and Leslie and we did this going back to Knocked Up. So there are aspects that are very much a part of me.

We Got This Covered: Paul, how do you look back on some of the earlier films which stood the test of time like Clueless which kids may still be watching today for the first time?

Megan Fox: Oh my god you were in Clueless! That’s crazy!

Paul Rudd: Megan was 2 when it came out (laughs). It’s nice to be in anything that anybody sees or likes. People still do mention Clueless to me so it’s great. I’m happy that I was in it.

Judd Apatow: My kids watch Clueless but they’re very thrown by you being the heartthrob. It’s like you’re dad being the heartthrob so they’re as disgusted as if it was me. They’re like “Paul what? Oh I’m confused!”

Paul Rudd: They watched it for the first time and thought I was Dan Hedaya (laughs).

That concludes our interview but be sure to check out This Is 40, in theatres this Friday.