It seems sort of amazing that it’s only been a little over six years since I got to know Judd Apatow. I’d been a fan since his name first showed up on “The Ben Stiller Show,” and he turned out to be exactly as cool and as approachable as I’d hoped when we first met on the set of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
Paul Feig’s name has always been tangled up with Apatow’s for me since “Freaks and Geeks” first aired, and although it makes him wince any time anyone mentions it to him, I met him on the set of “Unaccompanied Minors” and instantly liked him.
It helps that I’d read his books before meeting him, and if you can, put your hands on a copy of Superstud right now and prepare yourself for the bruising your ribs will take from all the laughter. I spent a morning during the Writer’s Strike a few years ago marching the picket line with Paul outside Warner Bros., and he’s always struck me as a guy who knows comedy theory inside out, and who actually has the skills to put all of that theory into practice.
It was nice to see Apatow and Feig together, and when you’re talking about comedy with guys like this, you do not want to phone it in. Thankfully, I probably couldn’t be more relaxed chatting with these two, and I hope that comes through in this conversation.
Apatow’s taken some lumps over the years for making mainly guy-oriented films, but I don’t buy. I never have. I think his primary interest is in finding funny people and helping them build just the right showcase for whatever it is about their voice that he finds so funny. And with Feig, he is a perfect example of what people call an “actor’s director,” able to juggle all of the energy in this film with aplomb, pulling it together in a really lovely, confident way.
You can read my review for the film from the SXSW Film Festival here.
“Bridesmaids” opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.