Ryan Lee burst into prominence at the young age of 14 with his role in J.J. Abrams’ 2011 film Super 8. Prior to that Lee had appeared in various TV shows and smaller films since his first credited role in 2006. Now at 16, the budding star’s latest film is Judd Apatow‘s This Is 40.
This Is 40 expands on the story of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from Knocked Up, showing how they’re dealing with life as they approach the major milestone of 40 and the meltdown that may come with it. Lee plays the love interest of Pete and Debbie’s daughter (Maude Apatow) and the son of an over-protective mom played by Melissa McCarthy.
Recently, Lee sat down with us to discuss the film. He talks about working with Melissa McCarthy, the experience of being directed by Judd Apatow and more.
Check it out below:
We Got This Covered: What can you tell us about your character?
Ryan Lee: My character is kind of the guy who, in a moment in Pete and Debbie’s lives where they don’t need anymore drama or crap in their lives, he’s there to give it to them. I serve as a bunch of trouble.
We Got This Covered: The film’s been getting awesome reviews so far from many who’ve seen it, what’s that experience been like seeing how well the film is being received?
Ryan Lee: It’s kind of like even though I’m only 16 years old, the film has even made me think about getting older. The film is hilarious, but it also makes you think. So yeah it’s been really exciting. The hype that’s behind this and all. I can’t wait to see how it does once it comes out.
We Got This Covered: The whole cast is filled with absolutely hilarious people. Can you pick someone that was the most fun to work with?
Ryan Lee: Ah… you’re gonna make me choose! I don’t know, I mean I’d have to say Leslie Mann or Paul Rudd, I don’t know! Actually no, if I had to pick one, I’d have to say Melissa McCarthy. She played my mom and we went off and we created an entire back-story for her character just for fun, like how she still wears the ring even though she’s divorced. She was really cool to work with and she’s really nice.
We Got This Covered: With a cast like that we can only expect the time you weren’t filming had some great moments as well. Any that stood out?
Ryan Lee: The first time I ever met Judd Apatow. I thought I was just going to meet him after I heard that I got the part, but I walked in and Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow and Judd were all sitting in this one room, so I got to meet them all at once and we got to rehearse so that was really cool.
I saw Bridesmaids the day before too and I still didn’t know who my mom in the film was, and Judd was like ‘Hey do you know who your mom’s going to be?’ And I said ‘No. Who?’ and he just told me I’d see. Then Melissa McCarthy walks through the door, so that was a really cool experience as well.
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