He gets laughs weekly on How I Met Your Mother and he was a hit in Knocked Up. Now, Jason Segel, who fans still love from his appearance on the cult hit series Freaks and Geeks, is getting his first crack at being a leading man in a romantic comedy which he also wrote. And Forgetting Sarah Marshall earns its R-rating in the first scene when Jason steps out of the shower as he gets dumped by his girlfriend — he’s full frontally naked. In person, Jason is just fully frontally funny.
You swear this really happened to you in real life?
“I had a naked breakup, basically just like in the movie. I thought my girlfriend was coming over to fool around, so I was naked when she arrived. And, I did what I do in the movie. I said in my sexy voice, ‘Hey, baby.’ And she said, ‘Jason, we need to talk.’ All I could think while she was dumping me was, ‘This is going to be so funny in a movie someday.’”
Who’s counting, but there was more than one shot of you totally exposing your manhood.
“It was a fine line between where people thought it was funny up until they felt like, ‘ Okay, enough. We get the joke.’ It wasn’t easy to get the right number of penis shots in the film. I think at one point there was like seven and now we’ve got it down to four.”
Did you wonder what your mother would think?
“She was actually at the very first test screening, which was horribly embarrassing. I’m not going to say that she didn’t cry. I don’t know how it’s going to affect my dating life. We’ll find out. ‘You’ve already seen me naked,’ is kind of a good opening line.”
The running gag in the movie is that you go to Hawaii to escape and run into your ex with anew boyfriend. Any deja vu for you in that?
“I swear I’ve been there. Not in Hawaii, but one night at this funky little New York theater. As the lights are going down, in walks this ex of mine with her new boyfriend. I started to feel hot and uncomfortable, but I had just done ‘Knocked Up’ and I thought, ‘Come on I’m successful and OK.’ Then the play begins and this woman walks out dressed as a dominatrix. She looks down at an audience list and says, ‘Would Jason Segel please stand up?’ And the woman proceeds to make me get on my knees and bark like a dog and say over and over, ‘No woman would ever want to be with me.’ And there’s my ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend looking at me, laughing hysterically, just cackling. I wanted to put it in the film, but I knew nobody would believe it.”
I know you have a fear of heights but you actually jump off a cliff into the ocean in the film.
“It was terrifying. That was so much scarier than the full frontal nudity. Honest to god. The idea of hanging from a tension wire over a cliff was horrifying. Now, I’m not embarrassed to say there were 10-year-old children jumping off the cliff while we were shooting. So that did make me feel like less of a man.”
So how would you sum up your first role as a leading man?
“I totally tricked everybody. I got to be in Hawaii filming for four months. I made out with like 15 women. Two of them, I was naked when it happened. That’s ridiculous. You have no idea. That’s the closest I’ll ever get to making out with a girl as hot as my two co-stars Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis. And I was getting paid.”