A Hollywood Moment with Leslie Mann

By  March 20, 2013

While you may still be coming down from unmentionable St. Patrick’s Day hijinks, there’s another fête-filled day coming this Friday. Ok—maybe it’s not on any national calendars, but DVD release of Judd Apatow‘s side-splitting This Is 40 is reason to celebrate, don’t you think? Touted by Rolling Stone as “high-spirited and hilarious,” the “sort-of” sequel to Knocked Up followed a married couple, Pete and Debbie, as they struggled to balance work, children, and mid-life milestones. Leslie Mann, who stars opposite Paul Rudd and is a working mom in her own right, made us want to grab an at-home copy of the comedy even more after revealing what it was like to work with her husband and children on set; what she could relate to from the film; and why Melissa McCarthy kept her laughing.

Q: How was it going to go from Knocked Up and five years later bring Debbie and Paul back as the main characters in This Is 40?
A: It was more challenging and more fun. We got to explore the characters a lot more, which was fun for all of us. And it was super fun working with Judd again and Paul, and the girls [Mann and Apatow's real-life daughters, Maude and Iris]. I feel very lucky that I got to do that again.
Q: It was a real-life “bring your daughters to work” experience for you and Judd. How was it working with your husband and children on set?
A: Judd can be a little bossy at times and demanding. We were both very passionate, and there’s a lot of tension sometimes, you know?! For the most part, I think we have a lot of fun. It’s a very collaborative process, so he’s open to everyone’s ideas, and we have fun together. There’s a lot of laughing! And the girls, now that they’re older, they understand what they’re doing more and they really enjoyed it. You work with all of the same people [from Knocked Up], the crew, so it’s like reuniting with our family.
Q: Are there a lot of parallels between the film and your real life experiences with turning 40?
A: I definitely can relate to a lot of the things that Pete and Debbie go through, but not anymore than anyone else. I feel like we took it to the extreme because it’s a comedy… [but] they’re pretty universal ideas, what Pete and Debbie are going through… how hard that is to raise children and have a job and try to make money and survive—those are pretty universal ideas that I definitely relate to.
Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot for the film?
A: I had a really fun time working with Melissa McCarthy. That day we just laughed the entire time. It was hard to keep a straight face! I’ve never had that where I couldn’t keep it together. With her, we couldn’t control ourselves and we just gave up! And luckily they had two cameras; they had one on Paul and I laughing the whole time and one on her. That was probably the most fun to shoot.
Q: We know you normally find yourself in front of the camera, but were there any films from awards season that you were happy to just sit back and watch?
A: I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild; I loved Silver Linings PlaybookI think I’m happy with all the movies that were nominated.

On March 22nd, you’ll be able to purchase your own copy of the unrated This Is 40 on Blu-ray, DVD, or On Demand, with backstage documentaries, cast and crew commentary, and more than an hour of extended footage!