Jason Segel is having a good year. First came “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which cemented the actor as one of comedy’s newest talents. Then came word that he was the man chosen to resurrect the Muppets franchise by writing and starring in their newest adventure. Soon after, Segel was tapped for his second leading role, in the upcoming comedy “I Love You, Man” alongside Paul Rudd.
But with the movie industry proclaiming its love for Segel, when was the last time he had a chance to say those magic words to someone else?
“This morning, to Paul Rudd, when he was rubbing my crotch with a golf club,” Segel laughed. “We’ve been doing it every five minutes or so.”
MTV News caught up with Segel and Rudd at a Los Angeles golf course where the two were filming a scene for their upcoming bromance, the story of an about-to-be married guy who “finds out that he doesn’t really have a close friend in his life to be a best man, so he sets out to find one,” Segel explained. “That would be me.”
In this particular scene, their budding friendship inspires the pair to play golf and subsequently slow up the whole course trying to teach Paul’s fiancée how to play.
“Paul convinces me to go out on a double date with him and his fiancée [played by Rashida Jones] and her friend Hailey [Sarah Burns], but I don’t like to golf with women in the movie,” Segel said.
Which sounds easy enough on paper: a couple of swings, a couple of shots, a couple of takes, and they’re out. But each time we watched a new take, it seemed to come from a different movie, thanks to radical improvisations from Segel and Rudd on everything from the Dalai Lama to short shorts.
Watching the pair endlessly riff off each other, it’s easy to say that art imitates life in this film, where Segel’s and Rudd’s characters ultimately become the other’s most supportive presence, but the cliché is true. Both actors, for instance, stayed in front of the camera at all times (even when they weren’t in a particular shot) in order to throw ad-libbed lines to the other.
With no breaks, it becomes a hard way to make an easy living, joked Rudd.
So what has this collaborative movie taught them about what makes a best friend? Is it empathy? Similar interests? A shared history?
“You have to be caring, and you have to understanding,” Segel opined, “[and it] helps to be British.”
Directed by John Hamburg, “I Love You, Man” is targeting an early 2009 release.
Check out everything we’ve got on “I Love You, Man.”
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