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Knocked Up on the Set

Published July 16, 2006 in Movie News
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
Judd Apatow Judd Apatow on set of Forty Year Old Virgin
It doesn’t matter what day you choose to visit the set of a Judd Apatow comedy. Pretty much any scene can be a laugh riot. Apatow lets his actors improvise in every scene, so you could be privy to golden tangents of random glee. Knocked Up has the simple premise of a couple trying to make a relationship work after a one night stand leads to a pregnancy. It’s the little details that allow the actors to turn a standard romantic comedy premise into an edgy social event.

Knocked Up Set Report


In a Brentwood neighborhood house, Apatow’s crew had set up a children’s birthday party scene. Pink and white balloons adorned tents set up over plastic picnic table settings. Inside, Paul Rudd wore a paper crown and talked lovey dovey to Leslie Mann, Apatow’s real life wife. Seth Rogen came in and congratulated them on getting back together before delivering his birthday gift.

That was the nice version, a safety that Apatow always shoots. Then he let them go off. Turns out, in a previous scene, Rogen and Rudd had vowed to stick together and break it off with their significant others. They immediately took to insulting each other.

Apatow asked us not to mention the insults involving celebrity names, since he most likely would not be allowed to use them in the final cut anyway. But as soon as they started referencing feminine capris pants and squirting liquid out of celebrity nipples, my pores released the sweat of a 30 minute workout trying to contain myself.


In a less structured variation of the “You know how I know you’re gay” routine from 40-Year-Old Virgin, Rogen asked Rudd if he got his crown from Buttf***ingham Palace. Rudd retorted by asking if Rogen’s capri pants came with a built in vagina.

Apatow read from the script pages, calling out cues to get the actors to deliver choice insults. Even when they stammered, one could see Apatow mentally blocking the editing. The actors would laugh at each other’s insults before responding with a self-deprecating defense.

In this version of the take, Rogen claimed his gift was a dildo. In the nice version, it had been a doll that pees. As soon as he left frame, Apatow called him back to begin the scene again, no cuts. We hung out to talk with the actors, so check back for more reports on Knocked Up.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Fred Topel
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