Exclusive! Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann Talk Parenting, Hemorrhoids and Turning 40


Time to face the facts: I have less than a month until I head over the hill into THE 40’s. It’s only fitting that Judd Apatow’s This is 40 is hitting theaters this Friday, December 21. Even better? Getting to talk to his wife, star of the film Leslie Mann on her feelings of her husband sharing so openly what life has been like for them facing a time in their lives when the babies have become kids and mid-life hits our bodies… and marriages. Joining in on the conversation was the male star, Paul Rudd, also a father in his 40s. Sitting at a “round table” with a group of some of my favorite other bloggers, here’s what’s went down.

How do you stop your husband from writing some of this stuff like the therapy stuff, or do you just go like, “Really?”  At what point does he reach a point where you’re like, “No, no, no” before the checking for the hemorrhoids, which was awesome?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  [Interjects regarding a scene where he is completely naked, with his legs in the air, asking Leslie Mann’s character to check his hemorrhoid]. He [Judd Apatow] never even attempted to put the brakes on that scene.

That’s [the scene] we remembered.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Oh, goody.

  –But at what point do you tell him that “I don’t really think we need to reveal that”?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Well, he doesn’t write anything without–I mean, it’s a conversation between us, so, everything is discussed–.

  –A conversation?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes, beforehand, so, it’s not like he’s doing anything behind my back. We do it together, so, it’s no surprise.

That’s great.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes.

It’s great because it rings true for every single different aspect.  We’ve been talking about it ever since we saw it last night.  Like, “Oh, yes, remember this and the yelling and the this?”  So, it’s amazing that you–.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  –Oh, good.

 –reveal so much.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes, it’s good.  I’m happy about that.  I’m happy that people can leave there feeling like they’re not the only ones going through some of those things and they don’t have to feel terrible about themselves after.  When you go and watch movies where couples are perfect couples, which I hate, and then I leave the movie thinking that something’s terribly wrong with me, you can leave this movie feeling like you’re okay and something’s terribly wrong with Pete and Debbie.

TI40_BATH1SHT_RGB_0925_2_SMI love Pete’s reaction to her pregnancy news in the film. So, I was wondering, in real life, how would you feel?  How would your reaction compare to your characters since you’re now 40 also?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  I don’t know.  It depends on the day. So, maybe if I’m feeling overwhelmed that day, it would sound like a terrible idea.  But I’ve thought about it, “What if. Maybe it could be fun.”  I don’t know if I have the energy for it.  It takes so much energy.  Judd’s sister has a brand new baby and then a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old, and she’s alone – her husband is in Rome.  And she’s 42.  And it just seems like such a nightmare. She’s exhausted.  And it’s just such hard work, so why would you do that to yourself if you could avoid it?  I don’t know.

 Just get a dog.  Get a puppy–.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  –Get a dog.

 And how about yourself, do you plan to have more children after 40?  You have a 6-year-old, and how old is your youngest?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  No, I have an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old.

 An 8-year-old and a 3-year-old?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Yes.  Not planning on it.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  You must have a second family.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  That’s my second family.  Well, there’s yes, I don’t want to cut my losses just in case.  With this one, I think we’re probably done.  My wife would say, “No, we’re done.”  We’ve talked about it.  I always say, “Why?  Why?  It’s just another child for you to raise.”  I don’t know if the humor in that will come across in print, so just be careful when you all blog [laughs].

So, I read that Judd mentioned to you he thought it would be tricky for a likeable person like yourself to be this detached husband.  So, how are you able to channel that–.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  –Judd said that?

 –Well, I read it.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Wait, what did he say?

 He said it in his production notes.  He said you are so likeable, it’s going to be tricky for you channel that.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  If he’s ever expressed any of that, I’ve never heard it.  And as far of kind of detached and how am I going to play it, I thought was established within about five minutes of meeting Judd.  And then with doing Knocked Up and working on all this stuff before, I mean the one thing that I think that we both talked about and have always wanted to convey with this relationship in both this movie and in Knocked Up was a married couple that was dealing with things that married couples that we know and that we are deal with in a way that you don’t see in movies all that much but maybe are realistic and heightened and funny. There is no winner, and there’s no real loser, but you understand both points of view equally. You like and then dislike aspects of the personality within each of us.

 So, when Leslie walks out and her boobs hanging out and her husband’s there, was that at all awkward in doing that scene?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  I think by that point, we had already done the shower scene, so, it’s really not that awkward.  And we’d also done the hemorrhoid scene I think too, which–.

  –Is that how he broke you in with the hemorrhoid scene, was it the first-time shot so that you’d be all comfortable?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Yes, like Starlight.  You hear that it’s once I do that and it’s all easy sailing from there?  No, we–.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  –Was that towards the end?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  –No, no, somewhere in the middle I think.  I don’t remember.  It’s funny ’cause I hadn’t thought of this:  we sat down, and he [Judd Apatow] said, “That’s what you’re going to be remembered for,” it brought back this very painful memory that I had at that time, which was one of the scenes that we kind of thought about before we ever started shooting and we were rehearsing and thinking, “This will be a funny kind of scene.”  And it was embarrassing and vulnerable and, yet, also I thought it was really funny.  And in the context of the movie and the character, I was, like, “Yes, for sure.”  I wasn’t psyched to do it, but I wasn’t feeling very anguished about it.  It was never a question I wouldn’t do it.  But then afterward, I kind of thought, “Oh, my God, what did I just do?”  And I kept thinking about the scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Judge Reinhold gets caught masturbating by Phoebe Cates and how now that’s all I think about now whenever I see Judge Reinhold in anything.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  Then I started thinking, “Is now anything that I do is going to elicit me with my legs in the air trying to get Leslie to see my hemorrhoid?”

[To Leslie]  I’m sure you enjoyed that scene.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  I guess. You had little, nude panties on, right?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  They weren’t big because you would see.  The mirror wasn’t that big. I think it was like some kind of sock–.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  –Oh, right.

Mr. Paul Rudd: –device–.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  –Right, it was.

Mr. Paul Rudd: –with an elastic band.  It wasn’t even a dance belt, it was like a sock.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Not much coverage.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  In all honesty, Leslie had the worst part of the job.

But do you think couples are going to be talking about the hemorrhoid scene so much?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Mommies know.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Mommies know.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Mommies are mommies.

Can you change the subject a little bit?

Mr. Paul Rudd:  –Anyone that’s had a baby.  No, let’s stay with this.

I want to talk about travel for just second, and then we can get back to the butts.  So, there was a scene where it was Tharunaya that you guys went to.  And I respond to that because those little romantic getaways that couples can do, bring me back as a better parents.  Are there things that you [Leslie] and Judd or you [Paul] and your wife like to do to come back as better parents that involve travel?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes.  Are you wondering where?  Do I have to say where?

Yes, just one. You know, we’re not going to follow you.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Literally, it takes less than 24 hours to come back together.  And we could both just be losing our minds and then go to a hotel nearby and then just rent a porno [laughs].  No, not a porno, but rent a movie and eat dinner and then just hang out together.  We’re just grounded again.  And it doesn’t take much more than that.  I mean, it’s nicer to have extra time.

Do you ever travel with your kids too?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  We do most of our traveling with our kids.  Our kids come with us everywhere.

You did name a hotel.  What are some of your favorite places to go in terms of family travel?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Well, we got married at the Four Seasons in Hualalai on the Big Island, and so, we go back there as much as possible.  And we have a little spot where the turtles live, and the sea turtles, we go and take family photos there every time we go back.  So, that’s kind of fun.  It’d be fun to put them all together at some point.  But that’s kind of our main spot.  We pretty much just go there.  We don’t really go many other places.

That’s where you’re comfortable at?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes, that’s where we’re comfortable.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  Honestly, both my wife and I are psyched if our kids are asleep before 9:00.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  And that means that we can actually just watch TV and then, one or both of us will fall asleep within an hour.  And it’s great. We always said it’s tough to get away just the two of us.  We’re going to be doing it this, hopefully, this year, in the next few months, I should say in the next few months, because all the trips that we’ve taken have been with our kids too.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes.

Mr. Paul Rudd:  I love it, and I want that, but it is so nice even if it is for a night and it is by your house.  And it doesn’t have to be a vacation.  If you can just reconnect a little bit as a couple.

Your daughters [who both play her kids in the movie] do an amazing job.

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Thank you.

When they did Knocked Up and it was just fun, and then this one’s so much deeper, were you worried that they might get worried that you and your husband were fighting or at that point because it’s obviously your life, but it’s an extreme of your life when he writes about some of your stories that happened in real life.  When he puts it on the screen, it’s so much more magnified or outrageous.  Were you worried that the girls would take that to heart?  Like, “Oh, my God, they were going to get divorced. How do you separate that?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  I don’t know how he describes it, but to me, it isn’t our life.  It’s more like everybody’s life.  It feels emotionally that it’s truthful to what we go through, but it’s also truthful to what all of my girlfriends are going through right now and what they struggle with.  And so, it doesn’t feel–.

 –And how do you explain that to your girls that this isn’t your dad and I or this isn’t, you know?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  –Well, our girls are pretty smart.  And after work, we’ll sit down and have dinner together and have creative conversations about all of this stuff and we talk about it in a different way.  We understand that it isn’t Maude’s in on it and Iris is in on it.  They’re both like just fantasizing about what they would like to do.  Like for me, I sometimes fantasize about screaming at mothers at school but I would never do it.  But we can have these conversations, these very imaginative conversations, about things we would like to do.  They know that it isn’t mommy and daddy’s problems. It’s having fun with it and having fun with being emotional, and it’s all okay.  All of these thoughts that we have are okay.  It’s not bad to have thoughts of screaming at another mother at school.


Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes, it’s fun.

So, did either of you have the “I’m turning 40 freak-out” in real life?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes.

 You did?

Ms. Leslie Mann:  Yes. I feel like I have lunches or get-togethers with my girlfriends who are the same age every once in a while, and sometimes those meetings are really hard, and we’re all crying, and we all hate our husbands, and we all want to run away, and we all dream about some better life.  And then some days we get together, and we’re all really happy with our husbands and love our kids and are happy with everything.  It’s literally like riding this wave. We’re just going with it.

This is 40 hits theaters Friday, December 21! Watch the trailer here:

To learn more about the film, visit: http://www.thisis40movie.com/

For more, be sure to read my What TV Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann Watch With Their Kids

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