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FUNNY PEOPLE

Actual Footage And Fake Calls
When Judd Apatow was 17, he moved to California to attend USC. Soon after, he met Sandler. Of their introduction, he explains, "I quickly ran out of money, and I was doing stand-up at the Improv. I met Adam on the first night he came to L.A. to move here. We became friends and got an apartment together. He was one of those people that made you think, ‘This guy's a superstar; there's no stopping this.' You felt the charisma, and he was hilarious. It was undeniable that this guy was going to be a major force. He made us laugh all the time; this was somebody who was just spewing funny all day long.”

The budding director put his skills to use by filming his friends. "I have all of these videotapes of Adam doing phony phone calls,” says Apatow. "I used to videotape him because I knew these things he did as a goof were as funny as anything I'd ever seen; there was value in it, and I didn't want it to disappear into the ether. I use them in the movie to show his arc from a young, carefree person who wants to be in the business.”

Apatow works this material—as well as actual footage of Sandler doing stand-up—to show the change that's come over George. "When all your dreams come true and you're famous and rich, but you're alone and unmarried and not happy with your personal situation, that light comes out of your eyes,” he reflects. "Even though you're still on the treadmill, the work becomes a drag and you're not sure what it's all adding up to. You're making these movies, but you know in your core you're not feeling satisfied and you're not evolving as a person.”

As he reminisces, George also watches reels of footage of a beautiful young woman in a Coke commercial from a dozen years earlier, as well as images of her on various television dramas such as Birdland, from Scott Frank and Walter Parkes. It's the love of his life, Laura, and you can see he still loves her and pines for her. For this part of the scene, Apatow used footage of Leslie Mann from her earlier movies and commercials. Of the footage, Mann laughs, "I haven't watched any of those in years. It was really fun to see. Back when I was 19 or 20, I was always hard on myself and thought I wasn't doing enough. But seeing all these commercials again, I thought, ‘I should be proud of myself. I worked hard.'”

****

Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures present, in association with Relativity Media, an Apatow/ Madison 23 production of a Judd Apatow film: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann in Funny People, starring Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman. The music is by Jason Schwartzman and Michael Andrews; the music supervisor is Jonathan Karp. The costume designers are Nancy Steiner and Betsy Heimann; the film is edited by Brent White and Craig Alpert. The comedy's production designer is Jefferson Sage; the director of photography is Janusz Kaminski. Funny People's executive producers are Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jack Giarraputo. The comedy is produced by Judd Apatow, Clayton Townsend and Barry Mendel. It is written and directed by Judd Apatow. © 2009 Universal Studios. www.funnypeoplemovie.com

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