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  • - I always enjoy working with people,

  • when it's not their 40th movie.

  • People are great when it's their 40th movie,

  • but it's different when it's their first movie

  • and they really wanna score,

  • and they have so much energy and passion.

  • When you get to you 40th Harrison Ford movie,

  • he tends not to give you that time, and he shouldn't.

  • Hey Vanity Fair, this is Judd Apatow,

  • and this is the timeline of my career.

  • - [Coworker] Good morning, Phil.

  • - Good morning, okay.

  • - And how are we, today?

  • - [sighs] We are great. [coffee splashes]

  • - Oh, thank God the rain just stopped, eh?

  • - The first thing that I ever directed

  • was The Larry Sanders Show.

  • I never had the courage to ask Gary

  • to direct the Larry Sander Show.

  • One day, he just walked in my office and said,

  • "You're doing the next one," which was terrifying.

  • The weird thing was a few weeks before that,

  • we were doing a show about a psychic,

  • and a psychic was hanging around the office

  • and reading different people.

  • And she said to me, "You're gonna have a flood at your house

  • "and you're gonna direct soon."

  • And then, it rained and flooded my house

  • and then, two weeks later, Gary said,

  • "You're gonna direct the next one."

  • I saw that psychic for years. [jazzy piano music]

  • Once, that psychic told us to be careful driving in Hawai'i

  • and it scared us so much that we went

  • to Hawai'i and never left the room.

  • - Phil, do you like my outfit?

  • - Yes, I do.

  • - Isn't it fetching?

  • - Yeah, that's not the word I'm looking for.

  • Excuse me. [upbeat rock music]

  • - [burps] Oh man, I gotta pee!

  • - How Freaks and Geeks happened was I said

  • to my good friend, Paul Fink, "Do you have any ideas?"

  • And he said, "Let me think about it."

  • And then one day, he just handed me an envelope

  • and it had Freaks and Geeks in it.

  • It never works out like that.

  • No one ever hands you a script that's great.

  • And you go, "All right, I guess we'll just make that."

  • While in production, we thought it was going well

  • and we really loved it, but we also knew

  • that some of the people who ran the network didn't like it.

  • So we always felt like it was gonna end at any moment.

  • And then, it did.

  • We shot the finale in the middle

  • of our production 'cause we were so sure

  • that they were gonna cancel us at any moment

  • that being neurotic, we just shot it,

  • episodes before the season was over just

  • in case the guillotine came down.

  • And thank God that we did.

  • - What if they trash the place,

  • 'cause they think they're drunk?

  • - They won't. [old, upbeat music]

  • I don't think.

  • - This could be bad.

  • - Support whatever decision you make.

  • - Thanks.

  • Your support's awesome, you guys.

  • Just really great to have you around.

  • So I need the rent.

  • - North Hollywood's a pilot we did in 2002, I think.

  • It was about a bunch of people who wanted

  • to be in show businesses who were struggling,

  • living in North Hollywood.

  • So it was Amy Poehler and her day job was working

  • as Judge Reinhold's assistant;

  • Jason Segel, who played Frankenstein

  • on the Universal Studios tour;

  • and Kevin Heart, who had a lot of money 'cause he was

  • in a beer commercial that was questionable in its content.

  • We made this show, probably, mainly inspired

  • by the vibe of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

  • ABC said they wanted edgy programming.

  • And we had January Jones in it

  • and Adam McKay was acting in it

  • and we really had the best time making it, but in the middle

  • of making it, we heard that ABC changed their theory

  • about what they wanted the network to be.

  • And they wanted it to be more retro, like Happy Days.

  • And while we were shooting, we thought,

  • they're never ever gonna order this.

  • And they didn't.

  • I always thought they would call and go,

  • "Okay, we don't wanna do this show,

  • "but we can tell all these people are gonna be stars."

  • And they never called, they showed no interest in anybody.

  • - This is really embarrassing for me,

  • but I don't have money to pay for the rent right now.

  • I was hoping you could float me for a couple of days.

  • - I think I was in love, once.

  • - Really, what was her name?

  • - I don't remember.

  • - That's not a good start, but keep going.

  • - Will Ferrell and Adam McKay wrote the script,

  • Anchorman, and they showed it to me

  • and the first drafts were really hilarious and crazy.

  • It was about the anchor team flying

  • to an anchorman convention, the plane crashes,

  • and they wind up on the side of a mountain,

  • where they all are trying to survive.

  • And it almost becomes like the movie,

  • "Alive," but with anchormen.

  • And we were trying to get it made

  • for years and slowly, they started changing the story

  • because nobody would make this crazy version of it.

  • I always thought that they should still make that version,

  • that at some point, they should go back and do that.

  • - I love lamp.

  • I love lamp.

  • - You really wanna know what love is?

  • - Yeah.

  • - Yes, tell us.

  • - They were nice.

  • You know, when you grab a woman's breast

  • and you feel and it feels like a bag of sand,

  • when you're touching it.

  • - I was one of the producers of Anchorman

  • and I would watch Steve Carell on the set every day

  • and he was always so hysterical.

  • So one day, I walked up to him

  • and I said, "Do you have any ideas

  • "about you being the star of the movie?"

  • And then a few days later, he walked up to me and said,

  • "Ya know, I was working on this sketch.

  • "I never really figured out, at Second City,

  • "about a 40 year old virgin."

  • And then he said with the sketch, it was like a poker game

  • and everyone's telling sex stories

  • and my character's clearly lying 'cause he's never had sex.

  • And he's saying, "You know when you touch a woman's breast,

  • "it feels like a bag of sand?

  • "Then you go down her pants

  • "and there's all the baby powder?"

  • And I said, "I think this is something that we need to do."

  • One of the most fun parts of making "The 40 Year-Old Virgin"

  • was were able to put in a lot of people

  • that we thought were great, who weren't giant stars yet.

  • So Jane Lynch played his boss and she was hysterical.

  • And then, we had Mindy Kaling as Paul Rudd's ex-girlfriend,

  • who he was obsessed over and I think

  • that was her first time in a movie.

  • Romany Malco was someone that we love,

  • he did an independent movie with Paul Rudd

  • called, "The Chateau," and they were so funny together

  • that we thought we should use them both.

  • In this movie, Gerry Bednob was a comedian that I used

  • to always work with in the valley at the LA Cabaret

  • and we made him one of the bosses at the stereo store.

  • One of my favorite scenes is when he's talking so filthy

  • to Steve Carell 'cause Steve was always so funny,

  • reacting to people being filthy.

  • So Seth Rogen was on the side,

  • writing up all these dirty phrases

  • and handing them to Gerry Bednob.

  • - It's not about these rusty trombones,

  • and these dirty Sanchez.

  • - Please stop.

  • - And these Cincinnati bow ties.

  • - Mooj.

  • - I would do terrible, disgusting things

  • to hook up with Jules, unforgivable things.

  • - I hear you, man, I'd give my middle nut

  • to start dating Becca.

  • - Becca's a bitch.

  • - "Superbad" began when I was working with Seth Rogen

  • on "Freaks and Geeks" and he always talked about how him

  • and his friend Evan Goldberg had been writing a script

  • since they were 13 or 14 years old,

  • and then after "Freaks and Geeks" was canceled,

  • we were working on "Undeclared" together,

  • and we did a table read with the cast of "Undeclared"

  • reading "Superbad" and it was really hilarious,

  • but for years, nobody had any interest in making it.

  • And at one point, the producer joined us 'cause we thought,

  • "Maybe we're not powerful enough,"

  • so we got this powerful producer to jump on the project

  • to help us, and then suddenly he got hired

  • to be the head of a studio and we thought,

  • "Well now we're gonna get to make it."

  • And the first decision he made as the head of the studio,

  • was to not make the movie that he was the producer of.

  • We started the casting process with our director,

  • Greg Mottola, and he loved Michael Cera,

  • as did Seth and Evan, and we were just all in love with him.

  • But it was really hard to figure out who was as good

  • as Michael Cera, Michael Cera's the greatest in the world.

  • And then one day we just got frustrated

  • because we couldn't figure out who to cast,

  • and Jonah was just hanging around on the set

  • of "Knocked Up" and we all just looked at him

  • and went, "Do you wanna shave really good

  • "and put yourself on tape?"

  • And then he did.

  • And then we realized he was always a shave away

  • from playing a high school student.

  • - This whole thing is bigger than you,

  • Fogell, so grow a pair of nuts

  • and fucking walk in there and buy the alcohol.

  • - What if I don't feel like it anymore, Seth, what?

  • - Then I'll fucking kill you.

  • - What?

  • - I'm pregnant.

  • - With emotion?

  • - With a baby, you're the father.

  • - How "Knocked Up" happened, is I was sitting with Seth

  • and Seth was pitching me some ideas for movies

  • and they were big, science fiction type of ideas,

  • and I was trying to convince him that he was so funny

  • that he didn't need anything like that.

  • I was trying to kill his imagination.

  • So I said, "You know, Seth, you're funny

  • "just standing there, you don't need any of that.

  • "You could just, like get someone pregnant

  • "and that's enough for a movie."

  • And then we went, "Wait a second."

  • It was great working with Seth as the lead,

  • I think that people always work harder when its their big...

  • lead break.

  • So I always enjoy working with people

  • when it's not their 40th movie.

  • People are great when it's their 40th movie,

  • but it's different when it's that first movie

  • and they really wanna score, and they have so much energy

  • and passion, so when we auditioned people

  • to play what became Katherine Heigl's part,

  • Seth read with every single woman who came in, for months,

  • and that's part of how he developed his character,

  • was by reading with a hundred different people.

  • And when you get to your 40th Harrison Ford movie,

  • he tends not to give you that time.

  • And he shouldn't.

  • - Okay? - Okay.

  • - I couldn't take it, I can't raise this baby alone.

  • - Remember, and it gets all--

  • - You don't get it, see you don't understand how it works.

  • I don't wanna shop at old lady stores.

  • I wanna go to J. Jill and Chico's and Ann Taylor Loft,

  • I'm not ready yet, I need two more years.

  • - That is so insane, it kind of makes sense.

  • - We were trying to figure out a way to talk about

  • that moment when you turn 40 and you look at your life,

  • and you just have to assess how it's going.

  • And we came up with this idea

  • that they would have birthdays in a similar time frame

  • and they would have some sort of fight