By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Funny People takes great advantage of the personal relationship between writer/director Judd Apatow and star Adam Sandler. The film explores relationships between stand-up comedians, and a lot of the scenes between young comic roommates are based on Sandler and Apatow. Mrs. Apatow, Leslie Mann, shared some even more personal gossip about the film’s collaborators.
Leslie Mann Talks Funny People
“I actually met Adam before I met Judd,” Mann said. “He hit on me in a night club. He sent over a note on a napkin written in ketchup like 'nice back' or something like that. His friend brought it over and said, 'Hey, want to come over and say hi to my friend?' And I was like, 'Why should I get up and go to his table? Why doesn't he come to my table?' It was like a stand-off. We didn't talk to each other. Then, a couple of months later, I met Judd and we went to a birthday party and Adam was there so it was a little uncomfortable. It was awkward between Adam and I for the night. Ketchup man.”
Some of the scenes from Funny People are directly from Apatow’s own tactics. Seth Rogen plays an upstart comedian who, nervous with ladies, licks spilled orange juice off the table to be cute. “The scene in the movie where Seth licks up the spilled orange juice off the table, that actually happened. It was exactly the way it happened in the movie. There was a girl in their apartment complex and Judd was in love with her and she was in love with Adam and Judd was trying to impress her and I think, he spilled the orange juice and thought that it might impress her. It's very Judd. He's full of good stuff like that.”
Like previous Apatow films, Funny People was a family affair. Daughters Maude and Iris play Mann’s fictional children in the film. “Their friends can't see the movie, they can't see the movie so it's not really on their radar at all what's happening. We'd have them in a TV scene or a dinner scene and they come in and they eat dinner for an hour and we shoot them out with three cameras and then it's over and they don't really talk about it again so it's good in that way. It was a little harder this time for me because I'm working and then they want to hang out in between so it's double duty. Usually, when I go to work, I get a little break and I can watch TV in between takes or between set-ups and, this time, it was harder.”
Mann gets to be a funny person too when she imitates Eric Bana’s Australian accent in a confrontation scene. “We spent about an hour together in the make-up trailer. I was actually trying to learn how to speak with an Australian accent and that is really my attempt to get an Australian accent. It just didn't work. I couldn't figure out how to do it so I went the other way with it. He was giving me line readings as we were doing it and I still couldn't. I just can't do it. I don't know what it is about my brain.”