Judd Apatow and Greg Mottola Interviews - Superbad
Director Greg Mottola is said to be very ___________ on the set.
You're being labeled the king of comedy now, especially the king of R-rated comedy. How do you live up to all that?
Judd Apatow: "I just wait for something to go horribly wrong. That's how I live with it. It's just fun. These are all things we've been working on for about half a decade, so they just happened to be hitting at once. I will soon be the knave of comedy, not the king. Soon."
Why aren't you directing more? You've got so many producing things coming up, why aren't we seeing you directing?
Judd Apatow: "Well, directing's hard. When I produce I can just sit home. I can call and criticize people. If it goes bad, I can kind of take my name off of it. If it goes good, I can try to get all the credit. You know, producing is really where it's at."
Why are R-rated comedies so popular now?
Judd Apatow: "I just think you can be in an R-rated comedy in a way that you can't if you have to cut things out. And that's just funnier. And everybody sees everything on the Internet anyway. What are we kidding ourselves about? Let's just do what we got to do."
All of these guys have complimented your style saying you're very loose on the set. How easy is it to just let them go and do the comedy they see?
Greg Mottola: "There's no controlling them. They're uncontrollable animals. There's nothing you can do. They are. Look when Jonah [Hill] comes over here, you tell me."
So you just turn the camera on and let them go?
Greg Mottola: "Yeah. No, hopefully I'm a more disciplined director than that. But I always felt my job was to try and direct everyone back to authenticity. They would play it really straight and that would make it seem real, no matter how ridiculous it got."
And it was always going to be R-rated, right? The studio never said anything to you about toning it down or anything?
Greg Mottola: "No. At one part, we were worried that we might get an NC-17 for some of the things in it. But we took out a few drawings and we got the R."
Are those going to be in the deleted scenes?
Greg Mottola: "I think there's more of them on the DVD, yeah. As if the world needs more of them."
This is an R-rated comedy and it does capture high school life so well. How did you guys get it so realistic and yet keep that comedy going?
Greg Mottola: "I believe that people who are truly hilarious, really great comedy actors, are great actors because they just have access to something very true. These guys are all great actors so I knew that if we ever wanted to get real for a split second, they could do it. But we just thought kids would feel like, 'Oh, this is more like my life,' the realer we made it and the less kind of slick and sitcom-y or something."
And you've directed Michael [Cera] before.
Greg Mottola: "I directed a few episodes of Arrested Development."
How do you think he makes that transition to the big screen as a leading man?
Greg Mottola: "Well, Michael's like Bob Newhart trapped in a 12-year-old's body. He's unlike anyone I've ever met in my life. I worked on one of the early episodes of Arrested Development and the minute I met him I thought, 'Wow, these people everyone on the show are so hilarious and this guy may be the best one here.' Michael's just a natural. He can't be phony. He doesn't know how to be phony. Everything that comes out of his mouth is totally unique and also completely true. He's amazing."