'Some People Hate My F***ing Guts': Judd Apatow Talks Sexism and More in NYC
"I hope you have your Red Bull ready," Judd Apatow told his audience last night in New York, where the Museum of the Moving Image hosted one its typically classy filmmaker fetes prior to a preview screening of Funny People. He knew as much as the rest of us it might be a long night, what with the This-is-Your-Life-esque meander through his comedy-obsessed youth, his TV launching pad, and his formidable Hollywood power brokerage of the last decade -- not to mention some of those pesky complaints and accusations that have followed him over the years.
Like sexism, for starters. He even brought it up preemptively! Sort of.
"We come out in about a week and a half," Apatow told moderator David Schwartz, anticipating his third feature film. "I feel pretty good. They tell me that people will go; that's important. I've had them not go before, and that does not feel as good. The first few reviews have piddled in, and they won't haunt me at night. They like the movie. Some people really like the movie, and some people hate my fucking guts. So it's a good healthy mix. There are always a few people who don't get it at all. They're like, 'Katherine Heigl should have had an abortion!' I'm like, 'What? Really? But then what would I do? That would have happened at minute eight, and then what happens?'"
Schwartz revived the issue later on, though, after screening a pair of clips from Knocked Up featuring Heigl and Leslie Mann in crisis with the man-children they love. Apatow was game.
"I think, really, what a lot of these issues are is that women are romanticized in movies," he said. "[My] movies go pretty hard at having women have as many problems as men. They make mistakes that are as big as men's. So when someone says Knocked Up seems sexist, I'm like, 'Really?' I mean, Seth [Rogen] has an earthquake, and he grabs his bong before his pregnant girlfriend. That's pretty bad. But I try to weigh it evenly so it's not really about men or women; it's just about miscommunications and us at our worst. Because people at their best I don't really want to watch in entertainment. I don't really want to watch mature people or smart people or people who do the right thing. I like to meet them in life, but I don't find them entertaining. And certainly not funny. So I feel like the worse people are, the more amusing [it is] and the more I root for them to figure their shit out."
Apatow semi-famously stole one of those moments from his own life, last night recalling the time he was forced to deal with his wife Mann throwing him out of their car on the way to a gynecological appointment.
"I don't remember what the fight was about," he said. "She kicked me out, which is a very difficult moment because you don't know what to do. First of all, you're in the middle of Koreatown, and you have no idea where you are. I had no money on me, and I thought, 'I could go home now. I'd kind of like to go home and let this all cool down.' But if I don't go to the doctor, I think I might get in trouble. I think she wants me to go to the doctor, still, and prove my love and say: 'I know this is hard on you. You're hormonal and I'm insensitive. But I'm still there when the doctor puts his finger inside of you. I'll still be there.'"
A gentleman all the way. Watch this space later today for more moments, warm-hearted and otherwise, from Wednesday's evening with Judd Apatow.