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Judd Apatow on Casting His Daughters and Their Dramatic Onscreen Arguments

November 21, 2012

The midlife crises in This Is 40 are meant to ring true, combed from the lives of writer-director Judd Apatow and wife/star Leslie Mann, but it's the performances from their children that might end up being the most realistic -- because they come from a very real place.

Apatow cast his and Mann's two daughters, Maude (14) and Iris (8) as the children of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) in the upcoming film, returning them to the expanded versions of the parts they played in 2007's Knocked Up. In a new longform interview with Conan O'Brien, Apatow talks about how he coaxes his daughters into giving convincing performances. It's not exactly method acting, but it could be considered along those lines.

"They're not scared that cameras are around," he says. "They get sucked into what their real problems are with each other. Like, they're so annoyed with each other that they're not distracted by the fact that they're shooting a movie and it needs to go well, they're more concerned about whatever argument I'm trying to make them have on camera. Read More