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KNOCKED UP

About The Production
As Apatow went from stand-up comedian to award-winning television writer, creator and producer to feature filmmaker, he developed a knack for spotting and nurturing comedic talent. He first noticed Seth Rogen on a taped audition for Freaks and Geeks, the television show he was executive producing in 1999. "I saw him on this casting tape from Vancouver,” Apatow recalls. "I thought, ‘This guy has a funny sounding voice, and I should see him in person.' So I went to Vancouver. Seth came in and was hilarious, so we created a part for him on the show.”

In addition to being a member of the cast, Rogen had shown himself to be adept at improvisation. After the critically acclaimed program was abruptly canceled, Apatow hired Rogen again, this time as an actor and a writer on 2001's Undeclared, a series Apatow created about a group of college freshman.

Apatow remembers, "When I started working on Undeclared, I hired Seth to be in the cast and to be a very cheap writer on the show. But then, as it turned out, he was among the best writers on the show, and he was only 18 years old. He was really good— good to the point it was embarrassing.”

By the time The 40-Year-Old Virgin came along, Apatow decided that having Rogen around was advantageous to all. "I thought, ‘I can throw Seth in the movie and he'll be there every day to help me make everything else funny.' I always have my eye open for the next funny guy who can carry a movie.”

His instincts were correct. Rogen's tattooed, burly, deep-voiced stockroom guy was not only the perfect contrast to Andy Stitzer, Steve Carell's fastidious, buttoned-up, middle-aged virgin, but his improvisational "You know how I know you're gay?” riffs with Paul Rudd quickly became a classic.

Buoyed by The 40-Year-Old Virgin's critical and box-office success, Apatow would turn his attention to his next project and put Rogen in a leading role. The concept for a comedy about an unlikely couple and the complications that arise from their one-night stand was inspired in part by the young actor and a conversation the two had after the success of Virgin. "We were talking about writing something for him, and all of his ideas were giant science-fiction movies,” Apatow recalls. "They were very high concept. I said ‘Seth, you don't need a big concept to be funny. In Virgin, you're funny just standing there talking. You just need a situation that's funny because you're in it…like you get a girl pregnant—and it's funny because it's you.'

"It seemed like Seth came out of the womb with his own comic identity,” continues Apatow. "He's a very viciously funny, biting, sardonic personality, but yet he is a sweet and good guy. That combination's always fun for comedy. I just always thought, ‘That's the kind of guy I'd like to see star in a movie.'”

The news that he would be starring in the filmmaker's next comedy came as a big surprise to the actor. "Judd was deciding what to do after Virgin, and he was very elusive about it until, one day, when we had a meeting about another movie at Universal, he just pitched it,” recalls Rogen. "I was sitting there, and he said, ‘We want to do this movie Knocked Up, where Seth gets a girl pregnant after a one-night stand.' I couldn't believe it.”

Another source of inspiration for Knocked Up came while Apatow was directing his previous film. In the process of trying to lose his virginity, Carell's character, Andy, finds a complicated relationship with Trish, played by Catherine Keener. Says Apatow, "A few of the scenes that I really liked were these scenes between Steve and Catherine trying to have a relationship and having these vicious fights. They were funny, but really painful to watch at the same time. I thought, ‘Wow, we pulled those off, and maybe I can find the courage to be a little more adult and be even more truthf

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