By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures.
Judd Apatow collaborates with the same people over and over, so they know the drill. Having starred on Undeclared, Jay Baruchel expected a lot of improv comedy in Knocked Up, leaving many gems on the cutting room floor for the DVD.
Jay Baruchel on Knocked Up
"That is just sort of the nature of that process and Judd always gets us together," said Baruchel. "The same with Undeclared, we got together about a month before we shot the pilot and just sort of work shopped and rehearsed and came up with whatever was funniest and it’s kind of like comedic Darwinism. You gotta bring it or else it’s not getting into the movie but of course there’s always a jokes that you love, your babies that don’t get in there but it’s the best way to work."
Techniques like that lead to such memorable moments as the film's Munich rave in the nightclub scene. "That was literally like we showed up for the first table read for Knocked Up and Seth and I were like, 'You know what movie I saw? I saw Munich.' 'Oh, man Munich’s wicked. It’s like a Jewish action movie' and basically like verbatim what you see in the movie is the conversation we had which is probably sadder that we actually believed all those things. I actually did get as much of a kick out of it as it seems."
Sometimes the improv dealt with important issues. When Ben Stone (Rogen) first finds out his one-night stand got pregnant, his friends debate abortion with him. "It’s kind of being ridiculous and funny but in keeping with the parameters that they set up for the scene. It’s got to make sense in the scene sort of but we’re both getting animated screaming at each other so obviously it’s going to elevate. There’s a little sort of healthy improv one-upsmanship thing happening too so we’re both trying to outdo each other and I don’t know it was a really fun scene to shoot. I had my shirt off the whole time. That was wicked."
Behind the scenes, the Canadian Baruchel adjusted to the California summer. "They made fun of me because I kept saying to everybody, 'Make sure you drink your water. Drink your water. Drink 2 liters of water.' And Jonah [Hill] and Jason [Segal] are from California like, 'Man, we grew up in this. I don’t need to.' And like stupid Jason drinks like no water he smokes 5 cigarettes and drinks a coffee. And of course within a half an hour he’s like, 'I don’t feel so good.' So I’m the water police, which is very cool."