The Hot Seat: Jason Segel
He enjoys show tunes, puppets and bromantic candlelit dinners.
Thu Mar 12 2009
Illustration: Rob Kelly
If platonic man-love were currency, actor Jason Segel, 29, would be wealthy as any sultan. In his latest film, I Love You, Man, he plays opposite Paul Rudd in a romantic buddy comedy about the pains of growing up and the perils of maintaining adult relationships. While talking about his role in helping to introduce Rudd's awkward character to the sloppy joys of male bonding, the hilarious How I Met Your Mother costar reveals his own sensitive side—but not, for a change, his private parts.
RECOMMENDED: Full list of Hot Seat interviews
Time Out New York: So, are you bromantically involved with anyone right now?
Jason Segel: I'm not, actually. My best friend lived with me for the past couple of years—we've been best friends since we were 12—and he's just left to go to med school in the Bronx.
Not Neil Patrick Harris? I saw this Les Miz duet with you and NPH on Megan Mullaly. It has something like a million YouTube hits.
God, that's humiliating. You know, normally those talk shows are pretty scripted, but that was a totally spontaneous moment. In one of our preinterviews, someone must've said that Neil and I like to do show tunes together—which we do—but I certainly had no intention of doing that on national TV.
But you and Paul Rudd practice a Rush duet in this movie.
Yeah, and we got to actually hang out with Rush and interview them. We were like, "This might shock you, but we're going to be doing a lot of this weird guy-on-guy dancing." And they're like, "No, that's about par for the course."
Who was the guy who got away?
You know, during the Sarah Marshall press junket, it was the same time that that movie Leatherheads was coming out. It was the same studio, so they piggybacked our press junkets on the same day at the same hotel. And at the end of the night, I got to sit and have drinks with Clooney. And let me tell you something: That guy is just as charming as you think he's going to be.
Speaking of handsome devils, did you ever find yourself getting lost in Paul Rudd's eyes during filming?
Oh, Paul Rudd is dreamy. I didn't have that problem, but there was one amazing experience where I was doing days on my TV show and nights on the movie. Like 20-hour days. My only recourse was to sleep any time we had even a ten-minute break. So one time I was fast asleep on the couch, and I just feel Paul and his gentle touch on my shoulder going, "Hey, Jase, wake up. It's time to wake up, buddy. Wake up." And I slowly open my eyes, and Paul is standing there with his dick out. And he just gives me this weird, mischievous smile and walked out of the room.
I assume that you two never spoke of that incident again.
I didn't bring it up for a while, and then I brought it up, like, two weeks ago, and he said, "Oh, I don't remember that." [Laughs] How often are you doing this joke that you don't remember it?
Are you worried that your full frontal in Sarah Marshall will now be eclipsed by Dr. Manhattan's wang in Watchmen?
Is he going to do full frontal?!?
Yes. It's giant and blue and reads minds, I think.
Oh my God. You're kidding me. That would be unbelievable. Yeah, that would be good, because I Google Imaged, out of curiosity, male nudity, and I'm like the first three hits.
I imagine you won't let this affront to your manhood stand.
No, it might come down to a Jason Segel--Billy Crudup sword fight—which the world has clearly been waiting for.
The world is also waiting for this new Muppets movie you're working on. If all your friends bail on you, is making new puppet friends an acceptable alternative?
Dude, it's so funny that you ask that. I've already begun. When my friend moved out, I was left in this big house alone, and then they gave me the puppets from Sarah Marshall. And they're my friends. As sick as that sounds, it's just me and Dracula hanging out and drinking Scotch.
I Love You, Man opens Mar 20.