The two comedic actors talk about their upcoming male bonding buddy comedy
The premise behind I Love You, Man sounds like an untapped comedy goldmine. It centers on sensitive, Emo-centric Peter (Paul Rudd) who finds himself distraught on the eve of his proposal to longtime ladylove Shandi Dawson (Rashida Jones). Pete has spent his entire life devoting himself to his romantic relationships, and now finds that he has no male friends. Thus, he sets out on a series of "Man Dates" to find his Best Man, which eventually leads him to Dave Negal, played by the always-affable Jason Segel.
While on the set of this hilarious new comedy, we got a chance to talk with both Rudd and Segel about their characters. Here is what they had to say:
You are playing the guitar in this. The guitar playing looked pretty good.
Jason Segel: Thanks, I was fakin' it. Don't tell (laughing). Though by the end I was pretty convinced that I was playing it correctly, however, I think, had you plugged in my guitar, it would have sounded like total nonsense.
Paul Rudd: I can't, I can play a couple of those songs though, I tried to learn "Limelight" on bass and "Tom Sawyer", and I figured out the very basic licks.
Jason, while you were playing, I think I noticed a bruise.
Jason Segel: Yeah, a war wound. Also, my guitar is splattered with my own blood. You haven't rocked until you've splattered a guitar with blood. I had another [bruise] here from practicing too. That's the extent of my bruising.
Is this the best movie to meet chicks on?
Jason Segel: All those bridesmaids are engaged - every single one of them. It's a total let down. And then the rest of the movie I spend with Paul Rudd. What are you gonna do? Yeah, it's tough.
Congrats on getting the show [How I Met Your Mother] renewed.
Jason Segel: Thank you, that's exciting, we go back in mid-August for a fourth season, four out of seven.
Were you guys excited?
Jason Segel: Yeah, everyone is super excited. They are all in New York right now doing some syndication deal-e-o, I got to miss it. Have to miss it.
We were talking to John [Hamburg] about who's the fan of RUSH on this movie and he said you weren't a fan which I thought was odd since you did the scene with...
Jason Segel: Yeah, I like RUSH, and we get to meet them and hang out with them. They're the coolest ever. Thing is I'm like 10 years younger than everybody else that I'm hanging out with. [John] Hamburg and Paul Rudd are in their late 40's, I think, they are very close to 50 (laughing). So, it was a little bit before my time. My era was more like Guns N Roses and stuff like that, Sweet Child O'Mine.
No DIO or anything like that?
Jason Segel: No, I don't even know who that is.
Paul Rudd: I do like "Rush", yeah, when I was a kid they scared me a little bit because I saw the video of "Tom Sawyer" and Geddy Lee just had his hair hanging down, there were certain guys like Rick Nielson of "Cheap Trick" also that I was just kind of freaked out by them.
Did you have scenes against them, or are they just playing on stage?
Paul Rudd: No, they're in the movie and we didn't have any scenes where I engaged with them, I was just a fan dancing in the show. But I got to meet them, and Jason and I actually interviewed them and I was nervous and like, "How do you interview "Rush"?" They seem also to be really a band that has shied away, they've really lived the words of "Limelight", living in the limelight, it's surreal and they can't pretend that a stranger is a long waited friend, I just kept thinking that when I was trying to buddy up to them, but they were very funny and very friendly, and big fans of Team America: World Police.
Paul said you are creating a real interesting character...
Jason Segel: Yeah, I've never gotten to play someone, kinda, you don't know where he's coming from before, I unusually play the really nice guy. So, I've incorporated like, 50% Russell Brand and 50% my brother. He's sort of a continental kind of guy, who gestures oddly and slightly effeminate but also a real raging womanizer.
Like a lead singer?
Jason Segel: Yeah! A little bit. So that's been fun. I get to wear scarves and shit, that's cool. (laughter)
But your character has guy friends.
Jason Segel: Yeah, I have a great group of guy friends. My character doesn't have any deep relationships with women, for various reasons. So, he's cultivated these relationships with his really close male friends which have served to fill in that gap.
You keep talking about your mojo, you're offering your mojo to the ladies up front.
Jason Segel: I give my mojo, that's how the kids talk nowadays, 'did you give her your mojo?' (laughing) I give my mojo to cougars in this movie, to recently divorced women because my feeling is all they are looking for is sex and they don't want anything more. So, all I have to offer them is sex, it's a perfect arrangement. Seems logical.
How is this different from the other movies you guys have done together?
Paul Rudd: Yeah, this is our third one, the first one was Knocked Up, and that was actually where I met him and we didn't really have a lot of stuff to do in that movie. On Forgetting Sarah Marshall there was a lot more, and that was also really fun besides the location and where it was shot, I mean that was truly like, "You guys just say whatever you want," and so I think that we really started laughing and kind of really clicking on that movie and I was really excited that he was doing this movie.
Jason Segel: Well, this is the most one-on-one time I've had with Paul. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall we had all of our scenes together, it was pretty brief, he was in three or four scenes. This one, we're spending everyday together for like, 16 or 17 hours a day. So, we've developed bits that are amusing to us and that the crew is completely sick of. One of them is a terrible stand up comic, played by Paul Rudd, who just, like, halfway through his routine - his terrible, terrible routine - I notice from the audience that he has just a little bit of blood trickling from his ear. But, we let his stand up go for a really long time before I finally acknowledge the blood trickling from his ear. (laughing) It's been really fun. Paul and I have a very similar taste in comedy and two very different tones. We're a good duo. I'm also like a foot taller than Paul, which is funny, visually. We're having a good time.
Is that why he doesn't let you do a final toast, a final word?
Jason Segel: Yeah, at one point in the movie I give a really, really terrible speech. That's all I can tell you. (laughing) But it is wildly awkward. I felt uncomfortable giving it, even as an actor. (laughter)
Even after walking around naked in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?
Jason Segel: This was way worse.
What's your favorite "Man-Date" in this movie?
Jason Segel: I didn't get to see any of Paul Rudd's "Man-Dates" but we had a fun one where I took Paul out for fish tacos and I get him really drunk and he hasn't really hung out with a proper, regular dude in a long, long time and watching Paul Rudd play a guy who desperately wants to connect with me and is getting drunk is hilarious. Paul is really good at being really, really charming while being just kind of like, 'Ew, gross.' He's like, 'All is good in the hood.' Ew, gross. But it's still so charming coming from Paul Rudd.
Do you think this movie is going to start a trend with mandates?
Paul Rudd: Probably not. Does that happen? There is friend finder, just finding male companionship, those might be different sites than I'm thinking of.
I Love You, Man is tentatively set for release on January 15th, 2009.