The Judd Apatow Interview, Part I

Episode Report Card
Heathen: A+ | Grade It Now!
"I Realized I Was Eric"
H: Did you find them after reading a lot of people for the parts, or did you have them in mind? JA: Basically we didn't have any characters in mind other than the lead when start casting, so we met tons of people and found a few college-student types that we felt were really funny and who we could chuck together and make it happen. But we didn't have the idea, "Oh, we need an English guy," or, "We need a Seth Rogen type." Whoever was good, we'd hire, and then figure it out. ["I later asked him via email whether he consciously avoided looking for one or two big, marquee starts for his shows; Apatow replied, 'I have enjoyed working with new people lately. They appreciate having a job. They generally listen. They are still in that "everything is new and fun" phase. I need it because I am no longer in that phase.'" -- Heathen] H: How long did it take to get the whole cast in place? JA: It took about ten weeks. We looked everywhere. Canada. We do, like, fifteen-city searches. JM: Mexico. [laughter] JA: Yeah, and England, clearly. We spent a lot of time there to find Charlie, of course. [yet more laughter] H: How long did it take to get the pilot together? JA: We had an outline for what the story would be, which is that Steven goes to school, finds a girl you assume it will take him the whole series to get, and then winds up fooling around with her the first night. And then he spends the rest of the series trying to get her back. We kind of knew we'd do that, but everything else was somewhat up for grabs. We wrote generic audition [scripts]. People would read these -- basically like fights, fights you would have with your roommate -- and we would keep throwing people together and see who was funny. Then we worked with improv to see who is funny on their feet, because we like to have actors who can make up their dialogue. It's usually better than ours. So [in the auditions], they just get up there and riff it. H: And you just threw them different scenarios? JA: Yeah, it was scenarios like, they have a very small refrigerator and are fighting over how much space each person is taking. They'd improvise and develop a script around it, playing around with each other. Certain people would be great at it, and other people couldn't do it. H: Who's the best at it? JA: Seth was the first -- see, I knew Seth was going to be a writer on the show, but we didn't know if he would be approved to be in the cast. Still, for all the auditions, everybody had to read with Seth. So by the end of it, he was the greatest auditioner on earth.

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