19 March 1976 |
London, England, UK
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse||Francesca Delbanco (m. 2005)|
The more real it is, the funnier it is. The more awkward it is, the more people are stumbly, the funnier it is. I like a sharp joke, but it has to say something that someone would actually say.
I would never make a purely autobiographical movie, because it would be incredibly boring. But I always bring something. It's usually some emotional truth I've experienced, like in 'Get Him to the Greek,' the relationship between Jonah Hill and Elisabeth Moss, I had certainly had that kind of relationship with a girlfriend.
Comedy is my favorite genre. I think it often doesn't get the respect it deserves, and I think one of the reasons is there was a tradition in the past of comedy looking kind of brightly lit and like a sitcom.
Basically, I always thought that if I had a movie that did well enough and warranted having a sequel, I would seriously entertain it because that's a huge blessing when that happens in your career.
I was born in England – though both of my parents are American – and there's something about the 'Muppets' where they have this combination of English and American humor.
As a moviegoer, I'm always annoyed when a big joke is ruined in the trailer, but generally, it actually makes it play better.
I knew after 'Sarah Marshall' that my favorite genre is romantic comedy. Nothing is more satisfying than a great romantic comedy.
All of the things I've directed, I'm really emotionally close to. That's why I choose to direct them and spend years on them.
I think the best romantic comedies are hard funny – no soft jokes, but ones that make you, like, guffaw. I also think that they have to make you feel good, ideally, and make you feel warm inside at the end.
The huge advantage of boarding school is that it throws you into the social fire. Every social interaction I've had since then has been a million times easier. Literally, ever since then, it's all been child's play.
As a comedy writer, I'm always praying for the day I can tell a self-aware/break-the-fourth-wall style of joke.
There are still movies where females are just there to be cool, or they are there to lambaste their husbands and scold. But female comedy characters are changing for the better.
I mean, come on: At the end of the day, we're all bisexual. A hundred years from now, there's not gonna be gay or straight. There's gonna be everything.
I'm pretty old-fashioned. I feel most people – and this is purely from observation; I'm not an expert – but I think most people want to get married, whatever one might say about the institution of marriage, especially if you are in a long relationship.
I've thrown way more movie parties than real parties. My real life is so much more boring.
All movies are inherently collaborative, and animation even more so. There are hundreds and hundreds of people involved with an animated movie.
The movies I've made, I'm really proud of them. But the experience I've had is, people say to me, 'Oh my God, I saw your movie on HBO. It was actually funny.' Like, that's always the experience. It's a backhanded compliment.
Each of the 'Toy Story's are telling an emotional story, but they're comedic. They're so successful creatively in terms of the stories they're telling. And they're pretty grounded.
Your characters can do the worst things on Earth – cut to a happy baby, it ends up being OK.
The worst thing you can do is animate something and then throw it out because it doesn't work story-wise.
When the photographer is nearby, I like to say, 'Quick, get a photo of me looking into the camera,' because I'm never looking into the camera. Christopher Nolan looks into the camera, but I think most directors don't, so whenever you see a picture of a director looking at the camera, it's fake.
A big part of being in a relationship or marriage or whatever is you have to eventually compromise. Your life doesn't end up exactly the way you think it's going to, and if it's the right relationship, you might have to compromise what you're doing professionally.
There are so few good comedy sequels. The only one in recent memory that's good is '22 Jump Street.' It's a hard genre.
I love watching how people who are in love with each other deal with each other. Every time I've had a fight with an ex-girlfriend, at the time they're horrible, but when I look back they're often funny and weird, and that kind of stuff makes me laugh.
I'm not into sports, and politics is kind of my sport. I love talking about it and debating it and getting into it. I also think people on both sides of the aisle have real exaggerated, incorrect views of the other side, and that is fascinating to me.
The two times I had nervous breakdowns in my life were when I graduated from college and had my first kid.
It's really weird casting babies; it's kind of the dark underbelly of Hollywood, to meet babies and judge them.
The frustrations and joys of parenthood are just hard to understand until you have a kid… the constant fight you're having with yourself, like loving being with your kid but also being kind of bored and wanting to look at your iPhone – it's kind of an interesting thing that's hard to write about before you've experienced it.
R-rated comedies make as much money as PG-13. And I think the audiences wanna be shocked. Especially with comedy.
I watched all kinds of dirty movies as a kid. My parents were very liberal about that, and I was still an uber-nerd who never drank or did drugs. I don't think it matters.
You just never know with movies how they'll be seen in a few years. You have no idea. Like, movies that were super popular when they came out have been forgotten. And other movies – and I put 'Sarah Marshall' in this – kind of weirdly stand the test of time a little bit.
I just watched 'Lethal Weapon' for the first time, and it's awesome… and so violent! Mel is out of his mind in that movie. Although now we know he's just insane – he was very much in his mind.
If you're engaged more than a year, there's something up. There's lot of debate as to whether one should or shouldn't get married, but when you get engaged, it's a promise to get married, and if you don't just do it within a year, one of the parties is using the excuse of, like, 'I can't find the right venue' to put off the wedding.