Judd Apatow, Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Nick Stoller
You eliminate the curse words, the sex,
Jason [Segel] blamed being naked in this movie on you. He says you've been trying to get him naked forever, since Freaks and Geeks. Is that true?
Judd Apatow: "There's really no one in any of these movies I'm not trying to get naked. I just think everyone should be naked, and I think every part should be seen. It's not that there's a specific part I'm trying to expose. I want all of it. Janet Jackson set us back way too many years. We've got to fight to get that ground back."
You want to do just a pure everybody naked movie?
Judd Apatow: "You know, I think we should do just a production of Hair, you know? And we'll just let the sun shine in and like do it with everyone naked."
Sounds good. And Russell Brand says you're working together again and he says it might even be a spin-off of this character. Or is it going to be something totally different?
Judd Apatow: "He is working on a movie with Nick Stoller, the director of this, which is a little bit in the same universe of 'celebrity losing his mind', which Russell seems to understand I guess."
What makes Judd Apatow's movies so special? Why is it that he connects with the audiences?
Kristen Bell: "I think because he puts a lot of thought and intelligence behind them, and he assembles a group of writers that just are sort of reinventing the R-rated comedy. I think he speaks from a male perspective, and so often the comedies that we've seen more recently that have failed, have been a little softer, I guess. He doesn't get offensive but he does keep a little bit more of the male perspective involved."
How does it feel to be part of the gang?
Kristen Bell: "Dreamy."
How tough was it to direct someone who is your friend, naked? It's not like you guys are just director/actor. You two are friends.
Nicholas Stoller: "I mean, you know, as a guy you spend years in male locker rooms. It's not like that weird. I guess what was weird is that everyone else is clothed and staring and kind of bored. He was terrified."
Nicholas Stoller: "Well, you know, you're on a set so everyone is shooting. We did like a million takes of that. And so it was kind of a funny situation where he was terrified and nervous and was like, 'I don't want to do it,' and I was like, 'Why did you write it into your script?'"
You did a million takes of it? Was that because he wasn't comfortable doing this or you just wanted to punish him because you've always wanted to do that to him?
Nicholas Stoller: "He was a total pro. Jason was a total pro. His penis, not so much. Not so much. His penis was a little green. It got very nervous."
That's kind of gross.
Nicholas Stoller: "Yeah, I guess that is a little gross. But that's the truth, metaphorically."
The Muppet movie, are you going to have male Muppets crying in that?
Nicholas Stoller: "No crying male Muppets but a lot of puppet penis."
So there's an R-rated Muppet movie?
Nicholas Stoller: "No, it's not going to be R-rated. It's going to be a PG-rated movie."
How tough is that for you?
Nicholas Stoller: "You know, there's an essential sweetness to all these movies. I feel like it's just you eliminate the curse words, the sex, the male full frontal, and then you write an entirely new script and you shoot that."
Is it going to be populated with all the guys from Judd Apatow's crew?
Nicholas Stoller: "We definitely want to get as many cameos as possible. That was such the core, well, not the core, but a big part of the early Muppet movies, so we want to try to do that, definitely."
How do you become part of his group in the first place? Is it like an initiation you go through?
Nicholas Stoller: "We're just all friends, and you have to murder someone."
That's what Bill Hader said.
Nicholas Stoller: "You have to murder someone."
He said he killed a 9-year-old.
Nicholas Stoller: "Basically you walk into Judd's office and he just says a number and that's the age of the person you have to kill."
What was your number?
Nicholas Stoller: "Mine was It was really sad. It was 94. It's hard to find someone who's 94, first of all. It's not that hard to murder them."
Do you guys have your own gang signs?
Nicholas Stoller: "We do have our gang signs. We actually don't have gang signs."
Do you have a gang name?
Nicholas Stoller: "All right, the Apatown."
Okay, that's kind of okay. Not quite as catchy as the Rat Pack.
Nicholas Stoller: "We actually call ourselves the Bloods as well, so it's kind of awkward because the Crips always want to fight us. We're like, 'No, we're the other Bloods.' So the Crips are like, 'Oh, sorry, awkward.' So there's a lot of awkward situations."
Because I don't think you guys could really stand up against them.
Nicholas Stoller: "Well, I mean, that's your opinion. But I think We'll see. No, we definitely, if there are any Crips watching, we couldn't definitely not take you on. Definitely not. I want to be very clear about that. There's no way in a million years. We bow down before your abilities."
When's the sequel coming out?
Jason Segel: "I don't think there'll be a sequel anytime soon, but we are doing a new movie for Judd called Five Year Engagement which is about relationships over a long period of time, so I'm very excited about that."
What's the appeal of relationship stories for you?
Jason Segel: "Basically Nick and I are the least macho guys in Hollywood and so we enjoy writing about relationships. Simple as that."
And working with Russell Brand, what's he like on the set?
Jason Segel: "He's a comic genius. I feel so lucky to have found him. It's unbelievable."
Did you really write the part for him after you met him?
Jason Segel: "Yeah, we changed it. It was originally a British author and we changed it to be a rock star because he was so brilliant."