BEVERLY HILLS, California — There are a lot of ways to appreciate Judd Apatow's third directorial effort, "Funny People." Some will see the tale of comedians and their struggles as a comedy, others a drama, others a vehicle for such funny folks as Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill to do a little of both.
But in order to fully appreciate the film, which opens Friday, you need to be able to see so much more — namely, the background stuff. From the film's star-written score to a superhero reference to an old memory from ex-roommates Apatow and Sandler, we went straight to the stars to get the scoop on five things you need to know before you see "Funny People."
"One fun fact is that there's a 'Green Hornet' poster in the background," revealed Rogen, who said that Apatow included the poster as a friendly wink to the actor's upcoming, high-profile superhero role. "It's in one of the shots in the apartment. I didn't even notice that until I was watching the movie. ... It's a poster from the classic 'Green Hornet.' "
Rogen has a scene where he tries to impress Daisy (Aubrey Plaza) by jokingly slurping juice off the kitchen table. It's based on a real-life moment from Apatow's past (the director/writer based Rogen's character Ira on himself). "There was a girl that I liked, and I came home one day and she was talking to Adam," Apatow remembered of
his days rooming with Sandler. "I accidentally spilt all my orange juice in front of her, and then went to lick it off the table as a way of getting over how embarrassed I was that I spilt it."
"You pulled it off fine," Sandler recalled with a grin. "She ignored you nicely."
Sure, Jason Schwartzman is always a funny, charming performer to see onscreen, but for "Funny People," the multitalented star also co-wrote the film's score. "There was another composer, Mike Andrews, and we did it together," the "Rushmore" star explained. "I release records on my own, under the band name Coconut Records, but I've never scored a film before. It's a completely different line of work than making your own music for yourself. ... Some of my favorite movies have been ruined by the music, and I don't like the music for a lot of movies, so when Judd asked me to compose some songs for this, I was really scared. ... It was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life."
Adam's Eve of Fame
In the film, we see video footage of a young George Simmons. In actuality, it's unearthed tape of Sandler when he was starting out as "Stud Boy" on the late-'80s MTV game show "Remote Control." "I was on MTV, and I was going to NYU at the same time," Sandler said. "That was me, right down the street from my dorm. I was walking back from class, and some girl said, 'I think that's that guy from MTV!' and in my mind I was like, 'Oh God, I'm going to get girls from all this!' I got excited; back then my friend used to video everything we did, and he didn't know what was going on. I think he was drunk that afternoon; it was a very blurry shot."
According to Sandler, it was only the second time anyone ever recognized him as "famous" — the first was after a short stint on "The Cosby Show."
Judd on Rudd
Everyone knows that the Apatow crew is tight. So even when someone like Paul Rudd can't make it into a certain film, that doesn't mean he won't be included in the fun. "We hid it from him for months; he loved it, and he laughed so hard when he saw that," Apatow said of a "Funny People" joke where Simmons' career is so hot that Rudd wants to do a bromantic movie with him. "I was there the night he saw it [for the first time]," Sandler laughed. "We've gotta lock that deal up."
Added Apatow, "At some point we are all doing bromances together; me and [Adam] have a bromance together."
Check out everything we've got on "Funny People."
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