With his name tacked to film and TV favorites like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Superbad,” “Bridesmaids” and “Freaks and Geeks,” anyone who’s anyone has probably seen a Judd Apatow project.
He’s perhaps known best for these easily re-watchable comedy staples and more. But, the Flushing-born producer, who’s recently returned to stand-up, has a number of new projects in the works, too, like the Avett Brothers doc “May It Last,” due Jan. 19, and a final run of “Love” hitting Netflix this spring.
With a resume this extensive, we caught up with Apatow, 50, to pick his brain about the one project he’d want to bring back from the dead, what he’d change about his past TV and film creations and more.
On the one sequel he’d be willing to make:
“I really wanted to do a sequel ‘Superbad,’ but everybody associated with it was so proud of the movie that they worried about soiling its image if the sequel didn’t come out well. I kept saying to them, ‘yeah, but that’s like the ‘Sopranos’ saying we don’t want to shoot episode two because maybe it won’t be as good as episode one.’ I wish we had made the ‘Superbad’ cast goes to college movie. But you never know, there’s always a time to do graduate school.”
On the one thing he’d go back and change:
“For some reason, the musical choices haunt me . . . We were doing ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ and there was a Neil Young song in the punk episode in the end, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart.’ It was very expensive and I would have had to pay for it out of my own pocket. Since I didn’t know if the show would ever air, I replaced it with a Dean Martin song. Looking back, I should have just taken out the checkbook.”
On the psyche behind his character type:
“I generally like immature people struggling with growing up because I feel like mature people are so boring. Comedy is all about being a mess and making terrible mistakes. That’s usually the common denominator in everything that I do. People with basically good hearts stumbling along, trying to figure out how to be happy.”
On the project he’s most proud of:
“I’m very proud of the special I produced for HBO called ‘Career Suicide.’ It was Chris Gethard’s one-man show and he talked about his struggles with mental health and depression. He found a way to explain what that struggle is like. His intention was always to create something people would see and think ‘I’m not alone in this.’ I think it accomplished that.”
On writing about relationships:
“I think most people are surprised that their spouses put up with them. It’s a very natural fear that you’re driving somebody crazy. That’s the core insecurity we all have, that we’re a fraud and at some point everyone’s going to call us out on it.”