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Judd Apatow & Leslie Mann Discuss Marriage, Film Collaborations & Throwing Up on Steve Carrell

The ‘This is 40’ director and actress visited Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox for an intimate conversation

By: Jake Horowitz
Published: November 27th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News
Leslie Mann and Judd ApatowPic: David Shankbone

On November 27, the Canadian Film Centre hosted “An Evening with Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann” at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox. The event was part of CFC’s Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange.

The pair took to the stage to discuss the ins and outs of making blockbuster hit comedies, working as a couple, and shared their insights into the comedy filmmaking process. Director and star of the upcoming This Is 40, Apatow and Mann have worked together on many critically-acclaimed, box-office hits, including Knocked Up and The 40 Year-Old Virgin.

As the lights to the sold out event dimmed, Canadian film and television icon Eugene Levy made a surprise appearance to introduce Apatow and Mann. Comparing them to the all-time greats of comedy, Levy had nothing but praise for the couple. After explaining that he primarily came to get a free dinner, Levy welcomed Apatow and Mann on stage along with the moderator of the event, Richard Krause.

What followed was a casual evening of conversation with Apatow discussing his writing technique and Mann discussing her acting skills, among many other things. Topics discussed included their marriage, how their movies represent their real lives, their relationship with the “Apatow Crew” (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, etc.), and what it's like to work with their two daughters on set.

After watching a clip from The 40 Year Old Virgin that involved a very drunk Leslie Mann driving into oncoming traffic and throwing up on a very virgin Steve Carrell, Mann explained her research process for the film. It essentially consisted of getting drunk at a karaoke bar, filming it, watching it later, and destroying the tape.

When asked by a member of the audience if Apatow has ever thought about acting, he revealed that he and Mann were approached to star in a film together, and that while he thinks he could be an actor, his wife (and at least one talent agent) think differently.

Other revelations included how Apatow and Ben Stiller were approached to write a film that would have starred The Rolling Stones, Mann's improvisation of lines on set that are actually veiled insults directed toward her husband, and the Apatow children's disinterest in watching his movies.

The event lent much insight into the lives of one of Hollywood's most successful couples and why they are at the top of their game. After watching Apatow and Mann banter with each other and talk about their careers for two hours it becomes clear exactly why there is no funnier couple working in the comedy industry today.

After having seen some clips from This Is 40 at the event and hearing Apatow and Mann talk so candidly about it, I'm certain that the film will be another huge hit for the couple. From what I've seen, it's as laugh out loud funny as Knocked Up with the same heart that made Funny People so good, and there's no doubt that This Is 40 will be another great addition to the Apatow-Mann comedy collection.

This Is 40 hits theatres December 21st. Check back to Shalom Life for a full review then.

Related articles: Toronto, TIFF, Bell Lightbox, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, This is 40, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Girls, Funny People
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