Set Visit: 40-Year Old Virgin
Im standing in a geek oasis, more specifically an apartment covered from top to bottom with geek treasure. Action figures, dvds, video games, models, posters, LPs, you name it. Whats this over here? Its a leather chair, with speakers built into the headrest, and video game controllers attached to the bottom. And this? A Martin Sheen action figure from the movie SPAWN? This guy is clearly King of the Indoors.
But it isnt a real oasis, or a real apartment. Its Andys apartment, one of the main sets on the new movie THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN starring Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, and Paul Rudd, and directed by Judd Apatow. JoBlo.com and some other web journalists were invited out to the set, as the shooting schedule came to a close.
The story has been described as a middle age coming of age story. More specifically, it follows Andy Stitzer (Carell), a 40 year old man who has never had sex. No, its not a tragedy, its a comedy. Andys friends at work find out about his secret and make it their mission to get him a woman. We also follow Andys misadventures as he tries to build a relationship based on a no sex policy with Trish (Keener). But first, a little more about that apartment.
The production designer on the film is Jackson De Govia, and I can say looking at this set he has outdone himself. He and his team have really gone all out to make this set an extension of Andys character. The theory being that if you were a 40 year old virgin, what would you be into? Naturally, it would be comic books, models, games and more. The set shows a guy who is strongly connected to his childhood, somehow he cant let go all of the way and make it to being a full fledged grown up. Hell, I like him already.
prop that impressed me the most was a poster for the band
Why am I going on and on about this when you came here for interviews? Because the set design goes to show that this isnt some cheap gag movie. It will likely be raunchy film, full of explicit humor, but at the core is the likeable Andy, an everyman that most people reading this story will no doubt identify with (except for the virgin part). The world is full of people who dont like themselves or dont fit in. In some way, it makes Andy a hero for our times. Mind you, this is all coming to me from the set design.
are escorted into another feat of set design as we are taken onto
the set of Andys work, a store that looks a lot like a Circuit City. The atmosphere is relaxed. We
get to see a scene being filmed where coworker David (Rudd) tries to
convince Andy to come out with the guys for speed dating. Director
Judd Apatow keeps the camera rolling, allowing for multiple takes
and Rudd to find the right tone. Each take is great, but full of
small differences, small options for the editor to choose from. The
scene is evolving organically before our eyes, with Rudd and Carell
playing off each others lead. Its like jazz more than it is
We are introduced to director Apatow, famous for the TV show FREAKS AND GEEKS, and writing features like THE CABLE GUY and ANCHORMAN, who took some time out to speak with us about making the film.
Are you doing an unrated version of the movie for the dvd?
We do a lot of stuff for the dvd. We hired an editor just to cut deleted scenes and an uncensored version of the movie.
When do you need to have the film ready to be previewed?
Usually you preview about 10 weeks after you wrap. But we have multiple editors on, so well start previewing 7 or 8 weeks. Well try to get into it quick, cause we shoot some many options as you can tell. That way if theres problems, we can adjust it.
Are there any scenes where you went on and on?
Most of them. Well, we shot a scene where we waxed his body (the character of Andy), and so we put 4 cameras on him and literally waxed his chest. We didnt have much of a script there. Its funny, people see it and they think its a special effect, but it isnt, he was like, bleeding on camera.
What was the writing process like?
We just together and just talked through the movie for a long time, and we wrote it very fast. They greenlit it very fast off our first draft. Then we started rewriting. And what I like to do is have a rough script and start casting very early and then doing major rewrites because I know that Paul Rudds in it, and Romanys in it, and Catherine Keener, cause it changes so much of the movie its always weird that people dont rewrite for the actors.
Is it based off of anybody you know? Any personal experience?
I wish I could say it wasnt my most personal work! (Laughs) I think of it as FREAKS AND GEEKS if none of them got laid, or one of them didnt have sex, this might be were they would be at 40 years old!
At this point, Judd was pulled away to finish shooting a scene. During another break we got to speak with star Steve Carell.
Are you worried this movie might hurt your sex symbol status?
That has never ever been anything near the forefront of my mind. If anything, it will accentuate my sex symbol status, which Ive really cultivated over the years. (LAUGHS)
Then we got treated to an up close and personal view of the waxed patches of Steve Carells chest, blank spots in a sea of hair, even seven weeks after shooting the scene. Two things: Steve Carell is a very hairy man (not Sasquatch hairy, but you know hes got a full pelt) and he is a much braver man than I. This mustve hurt like hell.
It kinda looks like a burn
It actually looks like a face. Paul Rudd calls it a man-o-lantern. That was a very excruciating day. I told Judd that it has to be real you have to see that this is actually happening. You could see the blood beading to the surface.
Did you regret it?
No. I mean it was really funny, and looking around at the crew trying not to laugh was a complete reward.
Aside from the waxing, are there any other painful sequences?
No, I just make out with a lot of women in this movie, and the fact that I co-wrote it is indicative. I tried explaining that to my wife!
You do seem to be the first real break out movie star from the DAILY SHOW. How carefully have you thought of this?
Not at all. Theres absolutely no rhyme or reason, there no game plan. Ive just kind of accepted every job that Ive ever gotten. Theres no master plan.
Did you actually meet 40 year old virgins in this whole process?
I didnt personally. I did a lot of case studies. There are more people out there than you think, who are this person. So, its not something completely off the wall .so many of them are just normal people who kinda slipped through the cracks...(laughs) as that was coming out I thought maybe not the most correct choice of words! Not necessarily weird, or phobic or have any sort of emotional problems, but people who, it just never happened to, and at some point they gave up trying. And thats kind of the thrust of this character. I think the title leads people to believe its a really over the top, crazy sex comedy. But its really not. Its actually a very sweet relationship comedy.
40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN
WILL BE RELEASED
BY UNIVERSAL THIS AUGUST
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