In their new film I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd plays Peter Klaven, a newly engaged man who finds, to his horror, that he has no close male friends. Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segal), who manages to not only fill that void, but causes Peter to evaluate the place he’s at in life.
NOTE: The contents of this interview include graphic language and details. Readers are urged to read this piece with this warning in mind.
You both have written screenplays. How do you think that affects your performances?
Paul Rudd: I think it enhanced my performance because I think I understand the character better. Because I write it so it makes me understand a character motivations and all that other actor bullshit stuff more.
Jason Segel: And I agree with Paul, it is very easy given that you know every character – you know why your character was doing everything it did because you made those decisions. What I found though, on I Love You Man, which I did right after Sarah Marshall and did not write – that I had a new respect for the writers and how difficult their job is and not to be so frivolous with their words.
The movie was about you guys being romantic. How did Rashida Jones fit in – in the dynamics of the film?
Paul Rudd: Rashida, I’ve know Rashida for a long time. And so it seemed very natural because we – Jason, how long have you known Rashida? Do you know here very well?
Jason Segel: I’ve known her since I was eighteen so, eleven years.
Paul Rudd: Yeah right, so it was really actually quite easy. Rashida is very much kind of one of the guys. You know, she is – hilarious and cool and easy to hang out with and um…
Jason Segel: And also when you see the film, she is really, like, one of the most stunning beautiful woman you’ll ever see in your life.
Paul Rudd: That part made [filming] a little uncomfortable, even though we’ve know her and have been friends with her. You just say, wait a minute, she is just stunning. And then Jason and I would look at each other to kind of shock ourselves back.
Did you have to do any preps before filming began? Because I know you guys know each other but did you have to do any bonding? How did you go into the movie?
Jason Segel: We have a couple of hangs, we went to the bar a couple of times and scored a few brews…
Paul Rudd: Yup. We scored a couple of bro-steins.
Jason Segel: Yeah, a couple of bro-mens.
Paul Rudd: Yeah, we slipped a bro-men-hymer or two.
Jason Segel: We pounded some brains and um, you know thankfully we knew each other and so there was you know already a little bit of built in familiarity and we made several boner jokes before we every started this one. So you know we already spoke the same language a little bit.
Paul Rudd: I wasn’t joking.
Jason Segel: I wasn’t joking either and when I say boner jokes and language, it’s an actual language called boner-est. We both speak boner-est.
Paul Rudd: Yeah, it’s a lot like sign language unfortunately, except without the hands.
Jason Segel: Like sign language without the hands. Really it’s very hard to just spell out one letter.
Paul Rudd: Yeah, there is really just a couple…that’s an “L”; nope it’s an “I”. It’s an easy language to learn.
Does the fact that the creator of Undeclared directed this movie attract you to the script at all?
Jason Segel: Yeah, what attracts me is the fact that we have all known each other for so long. We formed a pretty tight comedy coalition as I like to call it. So it was just a very, very comfortable environment you know, Paul and I worked together a bunch. And John Hamburg and Paul and I have known each other for so long. It was a very, very comfortable environment.
Paul Rudd: I also call it a comfortable coalition, but I change it up, I like comedy, I like to do it with “K” so I’m in a very comfortable coalition…
Jason Segel: But, Paul that’s KKK.
Paul Rudd: Oops.
Jason Segel: I realize that I belong to the KKK, the Komfortable Komedy Koalition. And we are a very – what we like to do is improvise, have fun and we are an extremely racist group.
Paul Rudd: If it’s just about comedy we should re-think the uniforms.
Jason Segel: Yeah well…it’s the hats that are really….
Paul Rudd: I think we need to re-think the spelling. And we’ll just go with um…
Jason Segel: Oh, Paul is getting dead eyed.
People are so fascinated by this word “bro-mance,” so what do you feel as though appealing from a guy’s point of view and where did the inspiration come to form this sort of relationship?
Jason Segel: I think it’s a long time coming that you’ve seen a good male platonic comedy. And that’s what we’re going for and we got as close to the homo-erotic line as possible without crossing it. Which I think we both found comedic-ly satisfying.
Paul Rudd: Yeah, you know it is true. But it just seems to be the word of the moment, bro-mantic, because there have really been films throughout the decade that have fallen into that category, but we are never called bro-mantic.
Jason Segel: Oh, because it rhymes with romantic.
Paul Rudd: Exactly.
Jason Segel: I see.
Paul Rudd: What are some of your favorite bro-mantic films, Jason, from say the ’80s?
Jason Segel: Well I don’t know if this is from the ’80s, but I think my favorite bro-mantic comedy is Midnight Cowboy.
Paul Rudd: Oh, very good yeah. I like Twins.
Jason Segel: Twins is pretty great, that’s a great buddy movie. Also, not bad as the follow-up, is Junior.
Paul Rudd: Another great bro-mantic comedy.
Jason Segel: Dumb and Dumber.
Paul Rudd: Schindler’s List.
While filming – pre-production, post production – what was your favorite part of this whole process?
Jason Segel: Mmm, mmhmm, mmm.
Paul Rudd: I love watching you process the question Jason.
Jason Segel: Oh, I wasn’t – can you repeat the question?
Paul Rudd: I will for you because he wants to know what was your favorite part of the process – pre-production, post production all that.
Jason Segel: Any part of it.
Paul Rudd: Any part of production.
Jason Segel: Wow, okay – so as long as it falls within the parameters of production.
Paul Rudd: That’s right.
Jason Segel: Okay. I think my favorite part was we have a day when Paul Rudd and I had our first “man date.” And they took us to the best fish taco restaurant in Venus and the director told us look, the goal is just to look like you guys are slowly starting to like each other, don’t really worry about a script. And then they just gave us four hours of fish tacos and beer and we just had to talk and be funny and enjoy each others company – it was very, very easy and very, very fun.
Jason, in a lot of the things you’ve done, you’ve been able to do a song. Are you asked to write these things or is it something you come up with and bring it to the movie. And will we get to see you sing again in this movie?
Jason Segel: I don’t believe I sing in I Love You, Man, I don’t think.
Paul Rudd: Well, not necessarily.
Jason Segel: Do I?
Paul Rudd: Yeah.
Jason Segel: Oh, I do, I do, I do. I do sing in I Love You, Man, a song that I did not write. A song written by…
Paul Rudd: Some of your countrymen.
Jason Segel: Yup, that’s right. The whole eternity Rush, so we sing a little Rush in there. Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed writing songs, especially when I was out of work; it made me feel like I was at least doing something, you know? And so that Dracula song from Sarah Marshall I wrote like seven years ago when I was out of work and depressed. So I’m just finally making it that they are legitimate by putting them in movies as opposed to a depressed act.
Did you write “Lady L”?
Jason Segel: I did write “Lady L”, yeah. That was the first song I wrote for anything. That was pretty cool. I learned to play the guitar in two days for that song.
What’s the deal with male nudity? Who started that – was it Judd or is that you guys?
Jason Segel: Well, I was the first to show my dick as far as I know in a comedic sense.
Paul Rudd: Um, yeah you did show – you had full frontal – I think there was a dick in Walk Hard.
Jason Segel: There was, Walk Hard, yeah.
Paul Rudd: But you only saw a dick. You kind of put dick and face together.
Jason Segel: Put them out wrong.
Paul Rudd: That – that…as soon as that sentence left my lips.
Jason Segel: That also came out wrong. I knew that it did…
Paul Rudd: But yeah, you um, you did that – I only went ass in The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.
Jason Segel: That’s right, that’s right you did.
Paul Rudd: But even then that is nothing…let me tell you something between my dick and your ass we’re pretty funny.
Jason Segel: You know what’s gonna be really funny – just wait till we do the sequel of this we’re both going to show our taints.
Do you feel different walking down the street knowing people have seen your ass? I mean, how do you go out with a girl after she says something like, “Oh, I loved you in Forgetting Sarah Marshall?”
Jason Segel: But what I really liked seeing was that taint. You know what, it actually makes things more comfortable because the girls now what they are going to get, so there is not any mystery or awkward moment where it’s like yeah, this is what I’m working with. If they want to go out on a date they’ve already checked out the goods and on the big screen too which is only more helpful.
Paul Rudd: Unless hey, there is a chance that maybe they got it and downloaded it on iTunes and are watching it on their iPod.
Jason Segel: Oh.
Paul Rudd: Which would give you an iDick.
Jason Segel: Yeah. I’m hoping the big screen because it adds pounds.
Paul Rudd: You have a 15 pound dick.
Jason Segel: Which means that my dick would weigh five pounds, but…
Paul Rudd: When I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall on an IMAX screen which adds twenty pounds, so in actuality and I don’t mean to offend you Jason, I think your dick weighs negative five pounds.
Jason Segel: Oh, zoinks.
Paul Rudd: Boom! Boom-shock-ooh-la.
Jason Segel: I’ve got mail.