Paul Rudd & Leslie Mann

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Q: What was it like coming back to these characters. You first played them in Knocked Up (2007), right?

Leslie Mann: It was fun; the idea of working with Paul [Rudd] again, sounded very exciting. I love working with Judd [Appatow] and then having the kids (Iris and Maude Apatow) around was just another added plus. We worked with a lot of the same crew and, you know, it sounded like a great idea, and over the summer it was fun.

Q: Paul, what was it like working with your director’s (Judd Appatow) wife and children? It sounds like you versus The Apatow Army?

PR: You know, people have asked me a few times about this: ‘Is it strange that I am in Judd’s shoes?’ In that my wife is his wife and my kids are his kids and he is orchestrating all of it. I think it is maybe weird that it is not that weird.

LM: It is not that weird.

PR: Also, we have done it before. We have spent so much time together over the years;  we have talked about so many things, things that might go into the story, things that might go into the script, in Knocked Up and in This is 40 (2013), stuff with my own wife and my own family and our dynamic –  it is very comfortable now. It is not strange, and it does not feel weird. I have known, you know, Iris and Maude since they were little kids. I mean really little kids, like babies. I have seen them grow up and I have worked with Judd many times, and, so yeah, it is disturbingly not weird.

LM: I always say that if Judd went out of town and Paul filled in for him, we kind of would not notice that Judd was missing for a couple of weeks!

Q: Leslie, what was the biggest challenge making the film?

LM: The biggest challenge was probably – I feel like when I work with other people, I kind of do not have a say in how things are being done. With Judd [Appatow], it is more of a collaboration, which means that I have a say in things, which means that I can try to make things better. And then try to make them even better, and then even better. I get kind of obsessive in that way. So that gets tricky with me, so that at the end of the day, I am just exhausted. I am a mother at work too. So my kids are there and I am working and obsessing over everything and, you know, if Maude (Leslie and Judd’s daughter) is having an issue with her best friend, I am dealing with that. If Iris (Leslie and Judd’s daughter) falls and skins her knee, I am dealing with that. There is a whole bunch of things happening.

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

PR: I never know how to answer that question about ‘what do I hope people take away from something,’ because, you know, at the end of the day it seems a little high and mighty to say, “I hope an audience takes this away.

LM: But what do you hope [for]?

PR: I just hope people like it. You know, I want people to like a movie, to like this. I want people to-

LM: -Be hopeful.

PR: I would be happy if somebody afterward came up to me and said: ‘Man, that is a truthful depiction of what I am dealing with and it was really funny’. That they can relate to it in some way. Or if they cannot, that they find it funny enough and they just like it – but at the end of the day it is just a movie!

“This is 40″ is now on DVD and Blu-ray