The movie is an existential crisis. Everything I do is an existential crisis. There’s nobody who doesn’t think, “Okay, this is how it went down. I’m not going to get another run at this,” unless you’re really a hardcore Buddhist and you think you’re going to get hundreds of more runs at this life. You think, “This is it.” And even if you enjoy your job, there is a part of you that mourns for the fact that you’re never going to be a professional baseball player or Gordon Gekko. So I think everyone has a sadness about that, even when they’re really happy.
Judd Apatow understands us. And he talks about This Is 40. I wonder if his daughters every yell at him for just not getting it. Does he show them his body of work?
It never felt dark to me, though, because I love the cringe-y comedy, because that’s the stuff you relate to. I love laughing at stuff where you go, “Oh, that’s happened to me, and it’s so funny to see that.” It just felt very real to me. The moment I realized we were in trouble—I’ve told this story before—I was talking to one of the critics, and he had watched that episode, and he goes, “You know, Nick walks into that audition, and I just had to leave the room, I couldn’t watch it.” I was like, “Why? That’s the funniest thing in the world, to watch a guy tank an audition.”