The Universal Pictures comedy is directed by Judd Apatow and stars Adam Sandler--who was Apatow's college roommate and is a longtime friend--Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Eric Bana and Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann.
In the movie, Ira (Rogen), Leo (Hill) and Mark (Schwartzman) are three struggling comedians who have been good friends for a while. They're at different stages in their careers and Ira is the least successful of the three. Mark has landed a gig as a regular on a TV show called "Yo Teach" and Leo is doing much better at his stand up performances than Ira.
Ira can't seem to get his routine together and bombs pretty badly one night, when George Simmons (Sandler), who is a popular and successful comedian, sees something in Ira's worthy attempts and offers to help. The two of them become good friends and Ira looks at him as a mentor. Mark and Leo become jealous of their friendship and the opportunities he's starting to have as a result.
But there's a secret Simmons has that nobody knows except for Ira - he is terminally ill.
ComingSoon.net was on location with Apatow and the cast in Los Angeles at Runyon Canyon (View Set Photos), which is one of L.A.'s most popular hiking spots. On any given day you'll see the 134 acre dog-friendly park full of beautiful Hollywood people in their trendy workout gear and expensive sunglasses trekking it up one of the several trails to choose from.
Runyon Canyon is not only a great place for a workout with a breathtaking view of the Hollywood Hills, but a cool location where you can catch a glimpse of a celebrity almost every time you go. We actually saw Gene Simmons trekking up one of the less intense hills while we were waiting to watch a scene in the film being set up. He slowed down to check out what was being shot, and then picked up the pace again once filming started and hikers were cleared out of the way.
The scene we watched was with Ira, Leo and Mark. Ira promised George he wouldn't tell anyone about his illness, but didn't keep his word and told his two friends as their walking up Runyon Canyon.
Rogen, Hill and Schwartzman's characters don't look like they're hikers much less look like they should be at Runyon Canyon, which is one of the comedic aspects of the movie and why a couple of scenes were shot at the workout hot spot.
Rogen and Hill are strolling up a trail while Schwartzman is marching his way along with them. Just watching them was hilarious enough, but listening to the dialogue was even more entertaining.
Rogen is known for his brilliant improv skills, but he hasn't done much of that on this film because Apatow wrote such a great script. It sounds like they're improvising, but they're not and that's much to Apatow's credit. They hit the same lines each take and each time was funnier than before.
As the guys are attempting to get a workout in, Ira is saying how he doesn't get why George isn't showing signs of being ill. He's telling Mark and Leo how they went out and George not only hooked up with the girl he was hanging out with, but Ira's girl too.
"He's not acting sick at all," Ira said. "He's in total denial I think."
Leo laughed at Ira and said, "You got c*ckblocked by a terminally ill guy?"
The guys don't really understand why George would tell Ira about his condition, but nobody else. Mark suggests it's because he doesn't really know him and that he won't care as much. They think he's crazy for not telling people and getting as much sympathy from everyone while he can.
"I think he's taking a shining to me," Ira brags.
"Not enough to let you in on that two-some," Leo snaps back.
Later that day, the three were shooting another scene at Runyon Canyon. Once they got to the top of a hill, they stopped to take a break and smoke pot.
While we didn't get to hear any of the actual conservation between the guys since they were shooting in a much smaller location where we couldn't squeeze in without getting in the way, we're sure it's just as amusing as the previous scene we did get to see.
On the set, we got to talk to Apatow, Rogen, Hill and Schwartzman. You can read the interviews by clicking their names below!
Writer/director/producer Judd Apatow
Seth Rogen on playing Ira
Jonah Hill on playing Leo
Jason Schwartzman on playing Mark
Funny People opens in theaters on July 31st.
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