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Judd Apatow Loves the Ladies In Bridesmaids

There’s this old saying that behind every funny man stands Judd Apatow. Okay, maybe we’re paraphrasing a bit, but we’re certainly not exaggerating. In less than a decade, Apatow has either written, directed or produced a lion’s share of blockbuster comedies such as Get Him to the Greek, Funny People, Pineapple Express, Step Brothers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad, Knocked Up, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, just to name a few.

According to Apatow, his wife often challenges him when he’s tasked with developing female characters.

Besides making us laugh so hard that soda came out our noses, these films have one thing in common: male lead characters. That all changed with the release of the female-driven Bridesmaids starring Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose Byrne. The film is sort of a marriage between The Hangover and an Oprah book club meeting. (Note: You’d have to roofie me to get me to read The Secret; I’m just sayin’.)

Perhaps it was his wife of 14 years, actress Leslie Mann, who shamed Apatow into developing funny lead female characters. Qualification: Yes, Catherine Keener and Katherine Heigel do split screen time in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, respectively, but they certainly do not contribute to the films’ laughs.

According to Apatow, his wife often challenges him when he’s tasked with developing female characters. We caught up with the comedic mastermind at a Southern California pool party.

“She beats up on me about making sure they have the proper amount of depth and not just be there to serve the men,” said Apatow.

The pair met when Mann auditioned for “The Cable Guy.”

“Leslie came in to audition for the movie and after she walked out, I turned to Ben Stiller and said, ‘Isn’t it weird that Mrs. Apatow just came in and read for this movie? It’s insane; my wife just walked in,’” said Apatow. “Then the stalking began.”

Apatow readily admits that he is far too nerdy for someone as hot as Mann. He gestures towards her, seated underneath a cabana dressed in a flowing cotton sundress as she sips a margarita. Then, back to his baggy Bermuda shorts and Chuck Taylors.

“I obviously won the lottery here,” he laughs.

As sexy as Mann is, she can hold her own when it comes to getting laughs. Moviegoers won’t soon forget her barfing on Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin or her hysterical crying scene in Knocked Up.

Leslie makes me laugh a lot but she doesn't see herself as a funny person,” explains Apatow. “In fact, she gets mad at me if I say ‘How do we make this funny?’ She just wants to make it real.”

The Hollywood pair tries keeping the romance alive in spite of back-to-back-to-back filming schedules and the demands of parenthood.

“We try to keep it spicy,” says Apatow. “We have two daughters, Maude and Iris, so a date night is typically going to see Wall-E with them.”

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Apatow’s Bridesmaids may be a chick flick, but it’s still got the requisite amount of potty humor.
Last modified on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 16:00

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