Mid-life crises have never been funnier than in the capable hands of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in the Judd Apatow-written and -directed “This Is 40,” out Friday on DVD and Blu-ray.
In honor of the film’s home-video release this week, we hopped on the phone with Apatow to talk about the Kardashians, Ron Burgundy and, of course, poop. Check out the full interview after the jump.
MTV News: A lot of work goes into preparing a film for DVD/Blu-ray release, and I have to imagine editing down the “This Is 40″ gag reel must have been nearly as intensive as cutting the actual film.
Judd Apatow: I enjoy creating DVD extras as much as I do the movie. Sometimes when you’re shooting, someone will go off on some sort of hilarious riff, and you’ll think there isn’t a place for this in the movie, but I’m excited to put it out on the DVD. I kind of put everything on the DVD that I wish other people would put on the DVD. So I like to see moments which were cut out of the movie. I like to see great documentaries of how the movie was made. If there’s a musical performance, I like seeing them unedited, so we have a lot of performances by Graham Parker and Ryan Adams.
MTV News: Was improvisation a big part of this film? Is that how you end up with so much material at the end?
Apatow: It’s not so much that there’s a lot of improvisation. We really prepared before we shot. We rehearsed, and we played in rehearsal, and we took a lot of notes on all of our ideas. So when we get to set, I’ll have a notebook of all the ideas we had in rehearsal, and I’ll start yelling them out to the actors and actresses.
MTV News: One of my favorite parts of the film is the Melissa McCarthy scene in the principal’s office. Will we be seeing more of that?
Apatow: There’s a big extended version of that scene. Sometimes what I do is, even though I know a scene is supposed to be 2 1/2 minutes, I’ll develop the scene and shoot a 5-7 minute version of it because I never know which lines are going to work best, and I like to have a lot of material to work with. Sometimes it’s like I’m shooting a documentary, and I’m going to figure out the essential pieces later. Melissa was so hilarious when she shot with us. That character just worked so beautifully that we knew it would be fun to get a lot of material from her.
MTV News: Do you have a favorite deleted scene?
Apatow: There’s a scene at a restaurant where Annie Mumolo and Robert Smigel are having dinner with Leslie and Paul, and they’re talking about different programs and how they are approaching their relationship, and in the middle of it, Annie and Robert’s son asks them to take him to the bathroom. They delay because they’re talking, and he tells them he just pooped his pants, and they have a little argument about who will take him to the bathroom to clean it up, and that really makes me laugh.
MTV News: I feel like sharting is really having a moment.
Apatow: Well, since “Along Came Polly,” it’s an important part of our comedy.
MTV News: And Al Roker brought it full circle.
Apatow: It’s always out there. Sometimes we’re just afraid to admit it.
MTV News: A deleted scene that’s already made its way around the internet is your daughter Maude’s uncanny Kardashian impressions. Is “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” must-see TV in your house?
Apatow: We have put a fair amount of hours into watching those shows. And Maude looks up to them. If I ever question it, she says to me, “Do you know how hard they work? What they’ve built? You don’t get it at all.” I think for that reason alone, they’re valuable in our house.
MTV News: Will we see a “This Is Fifty”?
Apatow: I don’t know. Something has to happen for me to figure it’s worth writing about. You never know. Every time I think I’m done writing things which are personal, something occurs, and I have a new notion. Hopefully it’s a really super-happy movie about a guy that everything’s going right for. His body is regenerating, he’s never ever been stronger or younger.
MTV News: Of course, I have to ask about “Anchorman 2.”
Apatow: Everything about “Anchorman” is very top secret … I can’t talk about it other to say the joy that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell get from making “Anchorman” is unparalleled. They love it so much … Watching Will on set recently reminded me yet again that he’s one of the most brilliant comic minds out there. Every once in a while he’ll go off on some tangent, and I can’t believe how funny he is.
MTV News: Well, he is receiving our Comedic Genius Award at this year’s MTV Movie Awards.
Apatow: I’m as burnt out as anybody in the comedy business. It’s hard to get me excited anymore, and watching Will do Ron Burgundy on the “Anchorman” set has me giggling my brains out. I never though I’d laugh this much again. I thought that part of my life was over. [laughs] I feel young again.
“This Is 40″ is out Friday on DVD and Blu-ray.