A Quick Look at Actors that Became Famous Thanks to Judd Apatow

THE JUDD APATOW CLUB – With the upcoming release of This is 40 Blu-ray/DVD on March 22, we are taking a look at the power of Judd Apatow. Audiences fell in love with contentiously loving couple Pete and Debbie in Apatow’s comedy sensation Knocked Up. Five years later Apatow reunites with his hilarious creations as Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles as husband and wife balancing the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood with the milestone of turning 40.

From “Freaks and Geeks” to This is 40, Judd Apatow’s knack for finding and cultivating talent is unparalleled. Many successful film and TV stars have had their starts in Apatow projects. Here, you can meet some of the awesome members The Apatow Club!

Paul Rudd

In Paul Rudd’s 20+ year career, he’s taken part in nine Apatow projects! Though many people remember Paul star-making role in clueless, he wasn’t really considered to be a comedy superstar until appearing in Apatow projects like The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He solidified his status as a sort of comedy go-to guy with roles in other Apatow productions like Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Leslie Mann

Leslie Mann has appeared in seven of Judd Apatow’s projects – and they aren’t just on-screen collaborators, they’re married with two children in real life! Aside from being real life partners, Leslie has worked with Judd on The Cable Guy, “Freaks and Geeks,” The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Funny People and, of course, This is 40. Leslie and Judd met when Judd was acting as a stand in for Jim Carrey during auditions for 1996’s The Cable Guy, and they later married in 1997!

Jonah Hill

Like Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill has also appeared in seven Apatow productions! Hill began his tenure as a member of the Apatow club with smaller appearances in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. From there, Hill progressed to starring roles Apatow-produced films like Superbad and Get Him to the Greek. Hill’s last collaboration with Apatow was in 2010 – so moviegoers everywhere are anxiously awaiting their next partnership!

David Koechner

Including the upcoming sequel to Anchorman, comedian David Koechner has been involved in six Apatow projects. David’s first appearance in an Apatow production was in the cult classic TV show, “Freaks and Geeks.” That was followed by memorable roles in Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Aside from working with Judd himself, David also developed a successful comedy duo with Dave “Gruber” Allen, a fellow “Freaks and Geeks” alum!

Seth Rogen

Like his Knocked Up buddy, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen has also appeared in nine stellar Apatow productions! Judd gave Seth his first professional acting role, that of Ken Miller in “Freaks and Geeks.” From there, Seth worked with Judd on his directorial debut The 40-Year Old Virgin, and was later cast as the lead in two of Judd’s films, Knocked Up and Funny People.

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  • Santiago B.

    Good list, except for Paul Rudd. He owes Apatow for his resurgence and popularity, but he was in a ton of things before Knocked Up brought him back.

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