Judd Apatow’s newest film as writer and director is This is 40, now available on Blu-ray combo pack. The combo pack includes DVD, digital and cloud formats of the movie, as well as the theatrical and an uncut versions of the movie. Additionally, there are deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes, and an excellent commentary by the affable Apatow, who always provides insight into the filmmaking and writing process. This is 40 is a sort-of sequel to Apatow’s hit film, Knocked Up, the movie that made Seth Rogen a household name and gave Katherine Heigl a brief taste of movie stardom. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd reprise their roles as Debbie and Pete, a married couple raising two daughters (played by Apatow and Mann’s daughters, Maude and Iris) and trying to come to terms with turning 40. Mann is particularly good as Debbie and Rudd delivers another performance layered with humor and poignancy.
This is 40 also carries on Apatow’s tradition of working with many of the same actors who have populated some of his most successful films,. Apatow has a long history of cultivating talent through repeated uses in his film and television productions. Here are some examples of the so-called “Apatow Club”
Leslie Mann Mann and Apatow met when Apatow was acting as a stand in for Jim Carrey during auditions for 1996’s The Cable Guy, the Ben Stiller directed film that Apatow produced. Mann went on to star in the film with Carrey and Matthew Broderick. Mann and Apatow married in 1997 and she’s been a mainstay in all of his directorial efforts. It would suck if she was a terrible actress, but Mann is as funny as any woman in films today. Mann has appeared in the following Apatow productions: Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor and Funny People.
Paul Rudd Rudd’s big break came in the Amy Heckerling hit, Clueless. However, it wasn’t until he began teaming with Apatow that Rudd began to receive real notice for his comedy chops. He has now appeared in nine films produced and/or directed by Apatow. They include: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Role Models, Wanderlust, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Year One and the upcoming Anchorman sequel.
Seth Rogen Like his Knocked Up buddy, Rudd, Rogen has also appeared in nine stellar Apatow productions. Apatow gave Rogen his first professional acting role, that of Ken Miller in Freaks and Geeks. From there, Rogen worked with Apatow on his directorial debut The 40-Year Old Virgin, and was later cast as the lead in two of Apatow’s films, Knocked Up and Funny People. Rogen also co-wrote the Apatow produced Pineapple Express (in which he starred with his Freaks and Geeks buddy, James Franco) and the smash hit, Superbad, which made a star out of…
Jonah Hill Before he was garnering Academy Award nominations and riding horses for Quentin Tarantino, Hill made a name for himself as the star of some of Apatow’s most well known comedies. In addition to his breakthrough performance in Superbad, Hill has appeared the Apatow produced films The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Funny People and Get Him to the Greek.
David Koechner Including the upcoming sequel to Anchorman, comedian David Koechner has been involved in six Apatow projects. His first appearance in an Apatow production was Freaks and Geeks. That was followed by memorable roles in Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Aside from working with Apatow himself, Koechner also developed a successful comedy duo with Dave “Gruber” Allen, a fellow Freaks and Geeks alum!
Kristin Wiig Wiig was able to leave Saturday Night Live thanks in part to her brilliant writing/starring role in the Apatow produced Bridesmaids. Wiig has also appeared in Knocked Up, Walk Hard and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She is set to take on a major role in the Anchorman sequel.
Jason Segel Segel may have a regular gig on How I Met Your Mother and could be credited with reviving The Muppets, but he got his start working with Apatow on Freaks and Geeks. He has appeared in four Apatow films: Knocked-Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Four Year Engagement and This is 40.
Popdose is happy to announce that we have one Blu-ray copy of This is 40 to give to a lucky reader. All you have to do is answer this very simple question:
Name the actor who appears in This is 40 who has also had starring roles in Bridesmaids and the Apatow produced zeitgeist series, Girls. Here’s a hint: He’s someone you could call if you’re having IT troubles.
Email your answer to Mr. Malchus@popdose.com by 5 PM ET, Friday 3/29/13. The winner will be notified by email. Good luck!