[caption id="attachment_170851" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Getty Images[/caption]
You may not have seen actress Leslie Mann's most flattering side yet: Her two most memorable roles are the drunken French toast craver who hits on Steve Carell in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and Debbie, the "crazy chick in a pink dress snatching up babies" in "Knocked Up." In "This Is 40," however, out on DVD and Blu-ray Friday, Mann had the chance to reprise the latter role, showing the (somewhat) softer side of Debbie.
"This Is 40," directed by Mann's husband, Judd Apatow, focuses in on Debbie, Pete (Paul Rudd) and their daughters (Mann's real-life kids, Iris and Maude Apatow), who were relegated to side character status in "Knocked Up." The "sort-of sequel" to the 2007 hit, "This Is 40" catches up with Pete and Debbie as they grapple with the trials and tribulations of middle age.
NextMovie caught up with Mann for a brief telephone chat recently, and found out what it's like to have your husband tell another man to kiss you, whether "This Is 40" is Debbie's revenge, and who she'd cast as her love interest, given the choice.
Now that people have had time to digest the movie and talk to you about it, was there anything that surprised you that they liked or reacted to?
I think that people seemed to really relate to it, and that is what surprised me. It seems very dysfunctional, they are a dysfunctional couple I guess in a lot of ways, and we kind of take that to the extreme just for comedy’s sake. So when people come up and say that they felt like we put a hidden camera in their house, I think that’s a little surprising because it’s pretty bad and pretty extreme for this couple so that’s a little surprising and depressing I guess. If people are living like that, it’s kind of a drag.
Do people ever quote your own lines back at you?
They do, but it's mainly, "Let’s get some f**king french toast." I always get that, from "The 40 Year Old Virgin," that’s the thing that gets quoted back most often. And I also have a lot of people coming up and saying that they’ve done that so many times before and that’s so them, the character from "The 40 Year Old Virgin," so that's a little concerning...but I love it.
People say that your character in "Knocked Up" was treated unfairly or portrayed as kind of shrill. Do you feel validation now that "This is 40" is out?
Yeah, it feels much more balanced. We were just kind of serving — Pete and Debbie were kind of serving a bigger story and then this one, it’s the Pete and Debbie story, we have more time to balance it out and understand where both of them are coming from. But not everybody thinks that, but I felt that, I felt like Debbie was vindicated. But not everybody thinks that. I don’t know, everybody has a different opinion about it, which I like. A lot of people are mad at it, and other people love it. I think that means you've made a good movie, if people want to have heated discussions about it.
Was that part of the motivation for a sequel at all? Did you want Debbie's revenge?
No! Oh god no. It's not a Debbie's Revenge movie, but I think that it’s nice to have it balanced and to see where she’s coming from just as much as he's coming from and that was nice. I’m pleased with that.
I’m sure people ask you all the time about working with your husband. What kind of dynamic is there? Is it weird to have your husband going "Okay, it’s time to make out with another dude!"
It’s surprisingly comfortable. He has no issue with it, especially with Paul [Rudd] because he is not threatened by him at all, nor should he be. He’s a little bossy, but I’m a little bossy also. We have a lot of heated discussions and we’re both very opinionated and passionate so it’s kind of fun. I can't imagine working with someone who just let me do whatever I want or sat back and...I don’t know. We have fun working together. Having the makeout stuff, there really hasn't been that many...well, one with Adam Sandler. It's surprisingly comfortable, I don’t know why! We don't have an issue with it though.
Do you get a say in who acts with you in Judd’s movies? Are you gonna team up with someone from "Twilight" as a love interest?
Yeah, I have this great idea for me and R. Patz! We're making out and... (laughing). No, everything is discussed with everyone who’s involved, but no, I’m not going to be having any love scenes with Robert Pattinson. Even though I think he’s really cute. That would be disgusting.
Hypothetically, who would you cast opposite yourself?
You know who I love is the guy from "Sherlock." I think he’s in a big movie coming out. Benedict Cumberbatch. I love him, love him.
Yeah, he's in the new "Star Trek."
And he’s the villain, yeah? Yeah, I would cast him.
I heard that the whole "Lost" plotline with your daughter, Maude, was based on reality. Did you watch with her?
No, I didn’t watch it with her, but yeah that all happened. I don’t know if that was the best idea to let her do that, but I don’t know. She's an interesting kid.
That show's intense! I can't watch that alone. And I'm an adult!
Yeah, and at 13, I know, but that was a mistake. It was because we hadn’t seen it, we didn’t know what we were letting her do.
It’s on network, it must be fine!
It must be fine. We just did that with "Homeland." We watched two full seasons and that was awesome.
You were famously quoted saying that "Megan Fox has better boobs than I've ever seen in my life!” Is there a runner up?
Is there a runner up to her boobs? No! There’s not even a close runner up. They’re in a league all their own. I’ve got to stop talking about her boobs because I can’t have more quotes saying that, that would be creepy.
What your porn name would be?
My porn name? Isn’t it like your middle name?
Yeah, it can be your middle name or your first pet, and the street you grew up on.
Okay so it would be...Hold on, okay it would be... wait, wait, wait hold on. Oh no! Wait, oh god, that sounds dirty. It would be...Digger...Digger Andover. Oh my god, Digger Andover! Oh my god that's a good one.