Jason Segel, who made a name for himself by starring on Judd Apatow‘s cult TV hit Freaks & Geeks, has the same laid-back, California vibe that he exudes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He also has a razor-sharp wit. Maybe this is why he seems like a natural fit to co-star as Paul Rudd‘s new Best Dude Forever in I Love You, Man — an exploration of male friendship that opens tomorrow (March 20). We spoke with Jason about the real-life nature of his man friends, whether he’s a “girlfriend guy” or a “guy’s guy” and what Hollywood hunk he’d most like to have a man date with. Answer: The First African-American President of the United States is more his type.
Jason Segel: I’d have to say Andy. Andy Samberg. He’s hilarious from the moment he arrives on set, which is 6 a.m., to the moment he leaves. But there was this one moment … Forgetting Sarah Marshall had just come out when they began filming I Love You, Man, and I was feeling a little down because Forbidden Kingdom had beat it by $1 million. A woman approached me on the way to set, and said: “I just need to tell you I saw the movie this weekend and I loved it.” When she walked away, Andy turned to me and said, “She thinks you’re Jet Li.”
Scandalist: Paul Rudd had always been a girlfriend guy in the movie. (See clip below.) Are you a girlfriend guy, a guy’s guy, or somewhere in between?
Jason Segel: I’m somewhere in between. I’ve got the artistic thing going. But I also played sports in high school. I’d say I’m a healthy mix.
Scandalist: Do you have a lot of male friends or just a few that are close to you?
Jason Segel: I’ve always been just a few friends kind of guy. I don’t have a lot of time. I do this TV thing during the year [CBS’s How I Met Your Mother ]. Then I’m doing movies. Having enough friends to count on your hand is probably the right amount.
Scandalist: What’s your longest male friendship? Are you still close to any friends that you had in childhood?
Jason Segel: My best friend in the world I’ve been best friends with since I was 12. He lived with me for two years, and left to go to med school six months ago. I gave him a real “bro” going away — just saying something like, “well, later man,” but then I woke up at 2 in the morning and I was crying.
Scandalist: Your character freaks out when people catch him not cleaning up after his dog. When was the last time you spazzed out in public?
Jason Segel: I haven’t spazzed out in public the way my character does. But for some reason, when the paparazzi is around (which, by the way, it still amazes me that they care at all), it can get to me. I was walking through the airport recently and these paparazzi people were following me and asking questions. One said, “How does it feel to look fat in Vanity Fair?” Another said, “Are you and Paul Rudd dating?” And then someone asked: “Is it true you’re going to be Octomom’s new nanny?” That broke me. He broke me. I try to not let that happen, but I started laughing hysterically. It was just something about the way he started the question with “is it true.”
Scandalist: If you could have a “man date” with any stud in Hollywood, who would it be?
Jason Segel: Does it have to be from Hollywood?
Jason Segel: Barack Obama. Because I feel that we have a lot in common [laughs]. I feel that we’d really get along.
Scandalist: Maybe he’ll read this.
Jason Segel: Ahhh. I can only hope so …
Check out the I Love You, Man trailer here:
— Matt Muro and Lauren Deiman