MEET YOUR MAKER JUDD APATOW HE LAUNCHED THE FILM CAREERS OF STEVE CARELL, SETH ROGEN, AND MORE. NOW, WITH (CURRENTLY ON VOD), APATOW, 52, IS POISED TO CREATE ANOTHER MOVIE STAR IN PETE DAVIDSON. HERE HE REVEALS HIS BIGGEST INFLUENCES. THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND By Derek Lawrence his 2018 documentary 1 Being There 4 Taxi / / Hal Ashby’s 1979 tale of a simpleminded gardener who somehow becomes a political influencer is the movie Apatow says affected him the most as a kid. “I thought, ‘This is film at its best,’” he recalls. “It was riotously funny, very deep, and [now] in the era of Trump, [seems] prophetic— except now we have a more demonic version of Chauncey Gardiner.” The beloved late-’70s sitcom shaped Apatow as both a viewer and an aspiring writer. “When I was first trying to learn how to write, somebody gave me 40 scripts for he reveals. “I read them all and tried to understand how they worked, and I may have gotten more out of that than anything else I ever did.” The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. “There are certain people you meet and you speak the same language and feel the same feelings. I learned so much of what I know by being in a writers’ room with him.” Taxi,” 6 Her / THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND Apatow cites Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nominated 2013 film as helping set a new bar. “Like let me know how great cinema can be,” he explains. “It’s always helpful to see something that blows my mind and shows me how much more I have to learn. It just makes me want to try harder.” Being PETE DAVIDSON, MARISA TOMEI JUDD APATOW STARRING There, Her DIRECTED BY 5 Garry Shandling / R; 137 MINS. RATING + TIME “I was always shocked that he wanted to talk to me,” Apatow says of his late mentor, who hired him to write on and would become the subject of 2 Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!! / Is it ever too late to be coming of age? Not in the extended Apatow universe, where failure to launch is a lifestyle, and adolescence less a defined period of time than a sort of perennial weed-scented Neverland. That’s where finds Scott (Pete Davidson), a 24-year-old Lost Boy still happily freeloading off his widowed mother, Margie (Marisa Tomei), and having sex with a friend (Bel Powley) he can’t commit to. But when Margie finally falls for someone new (Bill Burr), Scott’s comfortably numb MO begins to crumble. The script, which Davidson cowrote, is rooted in the star’s own childhood loss: His father, too, was a fireman, killed on 9/11. In its best moments the movie resonates with those realities, though it also seems happy to settle in for a sort of incurable ramble: some two-plus hours dotted with pleasingly random cameos (Pamela Adlon, Steve Buscemi) and odd tonal shifts. If the result is lumpy, it’s also oddly sweet; a drastically unhurried dramedy with room to grow. Apatow vividly remembers getting his hands on Albert Goldman’s 1974 biography of outspoken comedy legend Lenny Bruce in the eighth grade: “As a nerdy kid on Long Island, to read this incredible book about the world of jazz clubs and early comedy, it definitely lit up my imagination for getting into show business.” The Larry Sanders Show Staten Island SNL 3 Cameron Crowe / When it comes to filmmakers, Apatow points to Crowe as one of his biggest influences, particularly the 1989 teen rom-com classic “It captured everything I was feeling,” shares Apatow. “I really felt like a friend had made a movie.” Say Anything… B —LEAH GREENBLATT
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