Monday, October 27, 2008

Directors Love Actors 3: Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen

Collaborations: "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared," "The 40 Year Old Virgin," "Knocked Up," "Funny People"

Since he discovered Seth Rogen in Vancouver while casting his cult television series "Freaks and Geeks," Judd Apatow has cast the burly Canuck in every single project he's directed, from the "Freaks" follow-up, "Undeclared," to a key supporting turn in Apatow's big-screen debut, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," and eventually the lead role in last year's "Knocked Up." (He also stars in Apatow's new project, next summer's "Funny People" with Adam Sandler). Along the way, he's encouraged Rogen's own career as a writer, producing the scripts Rogen penned with his writing partner Evan Goldberg for "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express." An auteurist might want to believe that for Apatow, Rogen represents an alter ego for the director, the slovenly secular Jewish, pot-smoking, foul-mouthed guy whose gruff exterior belies his sensitive core. The reality behind the relationship may be a little more practical. "He was just so funny to hang around with, and he would improvise some hilarious lines that no writers could ever come up with," Apatow told of Rogen. "He was such a good writer [on 'Undeclared'] that it was almost embarrassing, because his scripts were better than most everybody else's scripts, and he was a kid...when I got ["The 40-Year-Old Virgin"], I made him one of the stars so I could... force him to come to set every day and pitch jokes for all the other actors."

Seth Rogen's Apatow films:

  • Pineapple Express (2008) - Judd produced
  • Funny People (2009)
  • Superbad (2007) - Judd produced
  • Knocked Up (2007)
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
  • Undeclared (TV; 2001-2003)
  • Freaks and Geeks (TV; 1999-2000)

See also: Apatow is one of Hollywood's most loyal filmmakers in Hollywood, and has built a huge stable of dependable performers including Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Jason Segel, the second actor put on the Seth Rogen track when he got to write his own Apatow-produced vehicle, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."


Andy Samberg is linked to Seth in that they both did a Google sketch for MTV's Movie Awards back in 2005.


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