A Hollywood Moment with Leslie Mann

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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:

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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?

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A:

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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.

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Q:

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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?

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A:

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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.

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Q:

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Are there a lot of parallels between the film and your real life experiences with turning 40?

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A:

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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.

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Q:

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What was your favorite scene to shoot for the film?

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A:

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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.

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Q:

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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?

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A:

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I loved Beasts of the Southern Wild; I loved Silver Linings Playbook—I think I'm happy with all the movies that were nominated.

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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!

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