Judd Apatow on Jim Carrey, the 'Knocked Up' sequel and loving 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
Nearly a decade before he became Hollywood’s go-to producer and director for comedies such as “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Judd Apatow cut his teeth as a producer on the dark Jim Carrey vehicle “The Cable Guy,” which is out on Blu-ray this week with 20 minutes of deleted scenes restored. Apatow talked with 24 Frames writer Rebecca Keegan about Carrey's sinister turn, why he's revisiting “Knocked Up” and what his kids learn from reality TV.
"The Cable Guy" took a drubbing from critics when it came out, but it’s gotten a cult status over the years. Were you surprised by the reaction to it at the time?
I thought people would be so excited to see Jim break new ground. I thought the critical response would be really positive and encouraging. It was an odd time, and the movie was stranger and darker and weirder than anyone expected. Some people were thrown that it wasn’t something they were used to. One of the issues has always been, when you see the movie for the first time, you actually think Jim Carrey is going to kill somebody. The second time you get all the jokes, and you’re no longer too nervous to laugh.
Didn’t you meet your wife on the "Cable Guy" set?
I met Leslie [Mann] for the first time at her audition. On the Blu-ray, we have the audition. It’s actually the first time we ever spoke, but I am speaking in the character of the Cable Guy because I’m reading with her. You can feel her lack of interest. I don’t think she walked out of that room feeling what I felt.
You're writing a “Knocked Up” spinoff based on Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd's characters from that film. Why are you revisiting them?