August 16, 2007
Q&A with writer-director Judd Apatow
(Page 2 - Previous Page)I loved what someone said to me, "Do you think it's too many references to their being Jewish in the movie? You're going to alienate people who aren't Jewish." And I thought, "Well, I can't cut anything out for that reason."
And the person said to me, "Well, if it was all Mormon references, would you find that odd from someone watching the movie?" And I thought, "Well, that seems to be what's unique about this situation. So, I'm just going to go with it." But I wasn't trying to make any kind of statement other than I don't want to hide from the reality of who they were.
JJ: Your wife, Leslie Mann, and kids, Maude and Iris Apatow, were in "Knocked Up." How is it working with the family?
JA: It was easy, because I know my wife so well. She's a resource and gets to the truth of things. As for the kids, I remember watching these old John Cassavetes movies, and you always had these kids running around in the background. And they'd just be there. He made them feel like real families.
Usually, the kids are so tight and scripted that it never makes you believe it. One goal that I make in the movie is for the audience to forget about me and just buy it. And I felt like kids would help me do that, even though my wife thought it was a terrible idea; that it would mangle their childhood.
JJ: Another interesting thing is that many of the characters in "Knocked Up" smoke pot and don't seem to go anywhere. And Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) doesn't do any drugs and gets a great job and promotion. Did you know you were sort of saying something with that?
JA: I don't know if anyone else knew, but I did. I hope that the movies have a funny sort of anti-drug message to them. And some people might think I'm trying to have it both ways by doing all of these funny themes of them all getting stoned. But my main intention is to show that drugs lead them on the road to nowhere.
I find that people don't pick up on that message. A lot of people aren't affected by that message, even if I hit it really hard. I just hope that when people watch it, they think, "Look at these idiots." And that's enough to plant a seed in these people that this isn't probably the best long-term decision for any of us.
Mark Schiff is a stand-up comedian who has been on all the major talk shows and has recently been touring with Jerry Seinfeld. "I Killed: True Stories of the Road From America's Top Comics" is his first book.
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