JUDD Apatow doesn’t cast bad guys in his movies— he figures our own neurotic natures cause enough mayhem in our heads.
The cult director and producer says human behaviour has given him plenty of material for his TV shows and films — from his 1999 TV series Freaks and Geeks to The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, The Five-Year Engagement and now the TV show Girls.
‘‘ I noticed a little while back that I never feel the need to have villains in movies because people’s own neuroses are enough,’’ Apatow says.
‘‘ I certainly have my fair share and notice it in all of the people I encounter.
‘‘ We all are compassionate to that because I think that’s how we all feel, so that’s what I watch for in a comedy.’’
Apatow, 44, has the creative ability to look into the human psyche and make it laugh-outloud funny without losing compassion for his characters.
In Girls, created by writer/ director/actor Lena Dunham and also produced by the veteran comedy filmmaker, a group of 20-something women in New York are working out what they want from life as they flounder about after finishing their degrees.
‘‘ The show is about that period after college when you thought you were going to get that great job and you don’t and you’re struggling to figure out how you’re going to survive, how you’re going to find the right person to be in a relationship with,’’ he says. ‘‘ It’s really funny with an interesting realistic tone.’’
Apatow’s latest movie This Is 40, due for release in Australia next February, is a ‘‘ sort-of sequel’’ to Knocked Up that will again star his wife, Leslie Mann, and daughters Maude, 14, and Iris, 9.
With every milestone birthday, Apatow has new material.
‘‘ I’m about to do old guy movies. Look out for that,’’ he says laughing.
‘‘ The day I turned 40 I went and visited my wife where she was shooting a movie called 17 Again.
‘‘ She was dancing with Zac Efron. That made me feel old.’’ Girls, Showcase, Monday, 8.30pm Funny guy: Judd Apatow returns to television with