He's just as nervous as his characters. Comedy filmmaker Judd Apatow sits down with Anderson Cooper for a 60 Minutes profile and exhibits the same angst he imbues his film's characters with. Cooper's interview with the fidgety filmmaker of hits like "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7:00 p.m. PT.
"I had to think about which shirt would look good. I worried that the hair was going to come out from outside my shirt," says Apatow, who is the writer, director and producer of sophomorically humorous hits that are being called a new form of comedy. "I wonder if you could see that I have a gray nostril hair. I've been watching this show my entire life, so this is like, important to me. I hope I don't screw it up."
Being told he had given more thought to the interview than Cooper only increased his anxiety. "Then I think 'he doesn't even care, he doesn't even care about me,'" he tells an amused Cooper.
Such private fears have been the basis for much of Apatow's comedic film writing. His first hit film, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," tapped into the adolescent awkwardness of dating, humorously realized in an adult man played by Steve Carell. He says it's a kind of therapy.
"It's almost like a letter to yourself. You're trying to frame your life and understand how you got here and what you should do now," he tells Cooper.
One thing the 45-year-old filmmaker isn't going to do is apologize for what critics say is too much bathroom humor in his movies. "I just find immaturity is funny. I think we all start out pretty immature and then we have to have this moment where we decide...'I'm not going to behave like that anymore,'" says Apatow. "And I don't even know if that's a good thing."
Has he reached that moment of maturity? "Not really," says Apatow.
Cooper and 60 Minutes cameras visited Apatow and his wife, actress Leslie Mann and children, Iris and Maude, in their California home. All three star in his upcoming comedy, "This is 40." Cooper also speaks with two of Apatow's favorite funny men, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel, whom his films have made very popular. Also interviewed is comedian Adam Sandler, who lived with Apatow early in his career, and Will Ferrell, whose signature hit "Anchorman" Apatow helped to produce.
Apatow's dreams of comedy success began growing up in Syosset, New York, where he watched comics perform on television and worked at the high school radio station. 60 Minutes and Apatow take a trip down memory lane by doing an interview in Syosset High School.