Get ready for another hilarious comedy from the creative mind of Judd Apatow. While the prolific writer/director/producer may be enjoying the recent success of Knocked Up and Superbad, he isn’t taking much of a break to bask in the box office victory.
In fact, he’s been hard at work producing Universal Pictures’ Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which teams him up again with “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” breakout actor Jason Segel, who wrote the script and admits it’s loosely based on his own experiences with women.
The film also stars the ever so adorable Kristen Bell, who told us she is more than thrilled to be a part of the Apatow acting family when we hung out on set in Hollywood at the Egyptian Theater.
Segel describes the movie as a “romantic disaster” and is about how TV star Sarah Marshall (Bell) ends her long term relationship with her boyfriend Peter (Segel). Crushed by the break-up, he takes a Hawaiian vacation to try to get over Marshall. However, little does he know that she is also in Hawaii with her new man and of course staying at the hotel.
That definitely sounds like a romantic disaster to me.
ComingSoon.net: How does it feel to be a part of the Judd Apatow group?
Kristen Bell: Quite honestly, it’s very surreal. I think a lot of actors, especially people who admire comedy which I do so much. I grew up with Jennifer Coolidge and Katherine O’Hara just being my idols and then that whole Christopher Guest group. The way that Judd has sort of reinvented comedy and the fact that a lot of his movies are rated R and a lot of them come from truthful stories in his friends’ lifes. I’m honored to be a part of it and I hope I can pull my weight We screw around whenever we can. It’s a really fun group of people. It’s really nice to say that when you truthfully appreciate having the luckiest job in the world and working with great people. I think that trickles down from Judd and Shauna Robertson, our other main on set producer. Why would anyone not feel lucky to be doing this?
CS: You’ve been on your share of red carpets. How does this fake one compare?
Bell: I get a lot more attention on this red carpet. Normally I’m in the background like, “Yo anybody want to [talk to me]? Nope, okay that’s cool. That’s fine. I’ll be at the end if you need me.”
CS: What’s the transition been like from your show to doing a movie like this?
Bell: The hours are better and I’m not in every single scene. Jason is sort of the epicenter of the movie so it’s a little bit easier for me. It’s harder for me though because she’s very much a girlie girl and I have never played a girlie girl before. I’ve always sort of played a tomboy or someone very sarcastic. It’s different.
CS: Did we see your TV dad here?
Bell: Yeah. He’s going to, I want to say Bosnia, to shoot something. He leaves tomorrow and I just got back from Hawaii last week and I was like, “please come see me.” He lives right down the street so he came to visit. I miss him very much. I love him dearly. I really do.
Bell: I would say so, yeah.
CS: Who do you look to to play this character? Is there someone that you’re trying to emulate?
Bell: Not really. It’s actually my own instincts. The expectations when you get onto a red carpet where everything is super exciting and amazing. It’s really easy to slip into that BS mode. I hate to say it’s BS because a lot of people do get excited, but there’s a point where you have to check yourself into reality and say I can be excited to be here, but I still need to be sincere. I think there’s a certain amount of insincerity in Sarah Marshall just because she’s just trying to get through the job. But, then I think the great thing about the script is that there’s a lot of sincerity in her as well in her off camera hours.
CS: What red carpet questions do you never want to be asked again?
Bell: When there’s drama going on in celebrity circles they’re like, “what do you have to say to so and so and so and so?” I’m like, “I don’t know so and so and so and so. I certainly wish them well, but who cares?”
CS: There’s a ton of people around on the set?
Jason Segel: Cool right? There’s a ton of people here. I think we shut down Hollywood Boulevard which is madness.
CS: I think some of these extras did just wonder in on set from Hollywood Boulevard. Has anyone tried to come in and slip you their resume or headshot?
Segel: No, but there’s the heavy smell of booze permeating the whole crowd so you might be right.
CS: Tell me about the part you’re playing in this film.
Segel: Sure. I play a guy called Peter Bretter whose movie star girlfriend dumps him after 5 ½ years, so he goes to Hawaii to clear his head. As he’s checking into the hotel, there she is with her new boyfriend. It’s a romantic disaster trapped in paradise.
CS: Judd Apatow is producing the film right?
Segel: Judd is one of the producers, I’m the writer and Nick Stoller, one of our old friends is the director. It’s a bunch of old friends.
CS: It must be nice to stick around with those guys.
Segel: The fact that Judd would let me write something was nice enough and now it’s getting made. He’s the most loyal person I’ve ever met.
CS: Where did this idea come from?
Segel: I always have awkward relationships with the ladies for whatever reason. I don’t know and so here we are. I was able to sort of take all of those terrible, terrible, terrible dates and turn them into a money making venture.
Segel: Not with exes, but I’ve been yelled at by my share of photographers. In the film, which we’re about to shoot, I was once walking down the carpet and someone screamed at me, “get off the red carpet so we can take pictures of celebrities.”
Segel: Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that. That was a hard night. It wasn’t fun.
CS: What’s it like working with Kristen Bell?
Segel: Kristen Bell is the best. You know when I wrote that part, it was a very fine line because I didn’t want anyone to be a villain in the movie. She’s played it to perfection. She couldn’t be a more talented actress and a great person.
CS: What do you guys do in your downtime?
Segel: You know she talks, like a lot. She kinda just talks and talks. It’s nice at first because she says a lot of interesting oh, she’s here now. She’s great. She’s funny.
CS: What do you have to say about Jason Segel as your leading man?
Bell: Who? Oh the writer? I haven’t met him yet, but I hear he’s awesome.
Segel: I stopped listening every time she talks.
Bell: Jason is the talker.
Segel: Everything I say, she’s like, “you told me that before.”
Bell: Because he tells stories over and over again.
CS: Like what? What’s a story he keeps telling?
Bell: Anything. This one time at band camp. Whatever. All the time.
Segel: Whatever. I love band camp.
CS: How would you describe the chemistry that you guys have?
Segel: I feel like I didn’t know I had a midget fetish. But, here we are.
Bell: Or I a giant.
CS: The title of the film is called “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” So how do you get over somehow? How do you forget them?
Segel: That’s a good question. I guess the film is that you can’t forget them, but it’s more about coming to terms with what’s happening and appreciating what you had. It doesn’t have to be forgetting someone.
CS: So you drew on this movie from a lot of your personal experiences?
CS: What does that mean “interesting” exactly?
Segel: I fall very hard very quickly and then I end up getting smashed. I end up getting slaughter every time.
CS: Have you run into any exes on a red carpet situation?
Bell: Thankfully, no, but I don’t date much. I have not. Strictly professional.
CS: So this is real acting on your part?
Bell: This is the real acting. Right here. Right now.
CS: Has this film allowed you to indulge in any bad Hollywood behavior?
Bell: No, because I’m an angel.
Segel: Sent from heaven.