The quick-witted comedienne has notably made a name for herself as a woman among men in the world of comedic acting. But what you might not know is that she is largely responsible for her husband’s movement to create female roles in Hollywood that are as equally hilarious and complex as males.
According to director-hubby Judd Apatow, he never realized the negligence of women in funny films until his wife/muse pointed it out.
“Leslie would always say ‘There aren’t good roles for women, the female parts aren’t developed, the women are serving the men,’” the Knocked Up director said in a recent interview with ELLE magazine. “If [she] didn’t mention it, I don’t know if I ever would’ve thought about it. But once you notice it, you get ashamed.”
In Apatow’s newest film, This is 40, Mann plays a mother and wife who, while fast-approaching middle-age, reevaluates her life and marriage. In this “sort-of-sequel” to 2007’s Knocked Up, she and Paul Rudd reprise their roles as Jack and Debbie, a confused couple who both loves and wants to kill each other. It’s a comedic collaboration that is hoped to be as satisfying as the last.
But before she was running the show on her own, Mann ran in a remarkably hilarious circle.
Still, one of her most memorable early parts was playing opposite Adam Sandler in Big Daddy, a fan-favorite of the 90’s in which Sonny (Sandler) unexpectedly “adopts” a 5-year old boy (Dylan and Cole Sprouse). Mann plays Corinne, Sonny’s roommate’s girlfriend, and subsequently, Sonny’s girlfriend’s sister. The two publicly express their disapproval of one another.
In true Mann fashion, this scene shows Corinne and Sonny duking it out in the canned food aisle.
Check out the clip above to see queen of comedy when she was just a budding actress. And don’t miss This Is 40, in theaters Friday.