Jason Segel was on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast this week. At the risk of coming off condescending, Segel’s real-life personality — at least as its depicted in a long-form podcast — is exactly what one might expect from an actor who found huge success playing man-children for roughly a decade but has since pivoted toward more thoughtful material that he often writes himself.
To wit, Dispatches from Nowhere on AMC was a great, weird little gem that was buried by the early days of the pandemic, and AMC+ subscribers would be wise to revisit the series, which stars Segel, Andre 3000, Sally Field, and a break-out star, Eve Lindley.
Much of the reason why his career has pivoted, Segel told Shepard, is that after a successful sitcom (How I Met Your Mother) and a string of romantic comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, “We tried to stretch 24-year-old Jason as far we could and at 33, the rubber band kind of snapped.”
It was a difficult period in Segel’s life because he’d lost most of everything by which he had been defined, and so he stopped drinking, and after starring in a movie based on an interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and the late David Foster Wallace (End of the Tour), Segel delved into different and more challenging projects.
The evolution of Segel’s career also sparked a brief conversation between Shepard and Segel about imposter syndrome, which elicited a hilariously cruel story about a focus test for The Muppets that Segel was subjected to. It involved children, and children of course can be brutally honest. For context, in the The Muppets movie, Segal played a character named Gary.
“We did a test screening, but for kids,” Segal told Shepard. “We ask these questions, and they fill out these forms. And I have one framed. It asked, ‘What did you like about this movie?'”
“The muppets sing!” “The muppets are fun! The muppets dance!” the kid answered on the card.
“What did you not like about the movie?” a question on the card asked.
“Gary’s face,” the card read.
“There’s nothing more [truthful],” Segel said, “than a 10-year-old just being honest.”
The Muppets compete with Gary’s unsightly face is currently streaming on Disney+. It’s fantastic, notwithstanding Segel’s child-repellent visage. Segel, meanwhile, can be seen now in Our Friend with Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck.
Source: Armchair Expert