Leslie Mann is one of Hollywood’s leading ladies of comedy. Her impressive resume includes modern comedies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, and The Cable Guy. At home, Mann can hold her own with her equally talented family. She married filmmaker Judd Apatow in 1997, and the couple has two daughters, Maude and Iris.
Growing up in Newport Beach, Calif., the blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty had no connections to the film industry, as noted by Elle, but she did not let that stop her from pursuing her dreams of becoming an actress. Fresh out of high school, she enrolled in an acting class. This hard work and determination paid off for the natural performer, who entertains audiences with her knack for putting a comedic spin on real-life situations.
Fondly referred to as the “reigning queen of mom-coms,” Mann proudly takes on the job of proving that women are just as funny as their male counterparts. Here is the untold truth about the woman who always knows how to make us laugh.
Leslie Mann doesn't think her famous husband is that funny
Hollywood power-couple Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow revel in their many movie collaborations, and they use their personal life as on-screen inspiration. Apatow told Vanity Fair that the best thing about making blockbusters like This Is 40 is working on scenes with his creative wife. “So we do get the chance to sit with each other and come up with comedic takes on these different situations that have driven each other crazy,” he explained.
However, like most couples, it’s not all laughs for the pair. In fact, in a 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert, Mann admitted that she doesn’t always see the humorous side of her partner. “I don’t find Judd that funny,” she said. “He’s funny in his professional life, but at home, he’s like on his phone.”
Then, in 2019, Page Six reported on a public spat between the two outside of a Los Angeles restaurant. However, Apatow defended their quarrel on The View, saying that it is simply part of marriage and illustrates that their relationship is a healthy one.
Being shy is what led Leslie Mann to pursue an acting career
Being introverted as a child is what led Leslie Mann to a career in show business. “I was very shy as a kid, so acting is my place to just be open,” she revealed on Today. After graduating high school, the aspiring actress enrolled in a class with esteemed Los Angeles-based coach Joanne Baron. In an interview with Elle, she credited her teacher for believing in her ability and inspiring her to continue learning the craft. In addition to those classes, the fledgling actress also honed her skills by studying with the improv-comedy troupe the Groundlings, whose alumni include Kristen Wiig.
Soon enough, Mann booked some work, including an obscure nail polish commercial. “It was called Nouvage, and I had to dance to Prince’s ‘Kiss’ on roller skates for the audition,” she explained to Elle. In 1991, she landed her first movie gig, playing a high school student in Virgin High.
Leslie Mann met her husband while auditioning for this movie
In 1996, Leslie Mann earned her first big role in the Jim Carrey-led The Cable Guy, which her now-husband, Judd Apatow, produced. Of meeting Apatow during her audition, she told The Guardian that she doesn’t really remember that moment because she had a crush on the film’s director, Ben Stiller. The actress does admit that she was not making the best decisions as far as her love life was concerned at the time. “I was in my early-20s and wasn’t attracted to nice boys,” she told ABC News. Fortunately, she noted, “Somehow, the clouds parted and I realized this is the guy I should be with…”
However, for Apatow, it was absolutely love at first sight. “Afterwards, I turned to Ben Stiller and I said, ‘I can’t believe Mrs. Apatow just walked into the room,'” he told Vanity Fair. The lovebirds’ first date included a basketball game, dinner, and a movie. On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Mann dished about that fateful evening, during which Apatow cooked up spaghetti with Ragu sauce and regaled her with the movie Heavyweights, which he wrote about overweight kids going to a camp to shed pounds.
Leslie Mann was raised by a single mother
The youngest of three children, Leslie Mann was raised with her older brother and sister by a single mom. Her parents divorced when she was a baby (via Daily Mail), and Mann’s mother went on to remarry. Mann’s extended family includes three older stepbrothers.
As for her father, Mann acknowledges that he was never a part of her life. “My dad is… I don’t really have one. I mean, he does exist, but I have zero relationship with him,” she told Elle.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Mann confessed that she does harbor some jealousy for those who grew up with married parents. In her opinion, children who were raised with happily wedded parents have an advantage over those who were not. “But to have the parents stay together and have that stability, I just feel people like that are so much more solid,” she said. “Is that a lie I tell myself?”
Leslie Mann has starred alongside her daughters on the big screen
Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow passed their talented genes down to daughters Maude and Iris. In a trio of films – Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40 – the girls play Mann’s daughters. Although they introduced their children to the industry at an early age, the couple is protective of their brood. “When I was growing up, my parents never let me act in anything that wasn’t with them,” Maude, whose acting credits include The King of Staten Island, told Rolling Stone. Even after their eldest daughter caught the acting bug, doting parents Mann and Apatow made certain that she completed high school and gained some maturity before diving into the industry.
Interestingly, Mann did greenlight the idea of them working as child actors on her and her husband’s projects. She also felt that by acting with their real-life mom, the girls brought a sense of authenticity to their performances. “It was definitely my choice. I just thought that whenever you see kids in movies they always feel scripted and stiff,” she told Hollywood Mom Blog.
How Leslie Mann felt about kissing Zac Efron
It was on the set of 17 Again that Leslie Mann locked lips with her costar Zac Efron, who is 15 years younger than her. “We got to kiss,” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, noting Efron was 20 at the time. She added, “I always thought it was creepy when older men, like older movie actors, would have really young love interests … but now, I totally get it.”
As for Efron’s take on the scene, the feeling was mutual. In an interview with E! News, he admitted his trepidation with the scene at first, though that melted away once he knew the charming Mann signed onto the film.
Mann’s daughter, Maude, was also delighted that her mother had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “When I got home from work from doing the kissing scene, she ran up to me and licked my face because she wanted to taste Zac Efron’s spit,” Mann added on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her husband, however, was not as pleased. Judd Apatow confided in the Associated Press that he could have done without her on-screen smooch with the handsome Efron.
Although often cast in comedies, Leslie Mann considers herself to be a dramatic actress
Contrary to what one may think while laughing at Leslie Mann’s on-screen antics, the actress takes herself quite seriously. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said, “I always think of myself as this dramatic actress, and then I think there’s just something weird about me that makes it come across as funny.”
It was during her time in acting school that the starlet quickly became aware of her comedic side. “I remember auditioning for things and really taking myself very seriously and people would just kind of laugh at me,” Mann shared with CNN. This made her realize that her acting path would take a new direction.
When crafting roles for his wife, Judd Apatow draws from this, knowing how it’ll read on camera. When his wife acts, comedy has a way of shining through the serious scenes, as he once explained, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.
Upon turning 40, Leslie Mann had a "nervous breakdown"
Art definitely imitated life for Leslie Mann in the movie This Is 40. Written and directed by Judd Apatow and starring her daughters as her on-screen children, Mann plays a wife and mother whose impending 40th birthday is causing a major upheaval in her life.
When asked about her own experience with turning 40, she talked about her personal struggle with that milestone. “I had a nervous breakdown,” she told USA Today. “I look at myself and things look different. My skin looks different. My elbows, I have weird skin on my elbows I never had before. I have more wrinkles.”
The idea of aging caused her to reevaluate things, which stirred up some feelings of distress for the actress. She told Elle that it resulted in her beginning to think about her life and place in the world. “It’s a little scary,” she admitted.
Leslie Mann has had the same best friends since middle school
In a Daily Mail interview, Leslie Mann spoke about the importance of her friendships and setting aside time for frequent girls’ nights. “We talk about what we’re struggling with, what we’re trying to accomplish. Families, husbands… we just get it all off our chest,” she said of her time spent with her friends.
Mann’s bond with her closest pals dates all the way back to their childhoods. “I’ve had the same best friends since I was in middle school,” the Hollywood darling told The Independent. Her get-togethers with these women include talking until the early morning, enjoying some wine, and reading astrology books.
But that doesn’t mean Mann isn’t open to making new friends, of course. It was on the set of The Other Woman that Mann found two new friends in co-stars Kate Upton and Cameron Diaz. During the production of the film, Mann explained to The Independent, the trio realized they had a lot of common and genuinely enjoyed one another’s company.
Leslie Mann doesn't feel pressure to be a "hot movie star person"
Although she runs in A-List circles, Leslie Mann doesn’t feel pressure to look a certain way, and that provides her with a sense of comfort. “Here’s the thing with me: I’ve never been the hot girl or the beauty person, so I don’t have that pressure that a ‘hot movie star person’ would have,” she confessed to New Beauty.
Although her life does include high-fashion moments like posing with her famous husband on red carpets, Mann feels that she has escaped some of the challenges other actresses have to endure. “I can go anywhere I want and I don’t really have an issue with lots of people coming up to me and needing to chat me up or do whatever,” she explained. A self-proclaimed “normal person,” she is completely content with her status. She did admit that she once hoped to grace the covers of magazines, but soon realized that was not the life she wanted.
Leslie Mann is responsible for this scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Leslie Mann’s character takes Steve Carell’s on a wild drunken ride which ends in her spewing vomit all over him. However, this scene, which will live on in comedy infamy, was not originally in the script. According to Judd Apatow, who wrote and directed the film, he had actually penned another ending, but Mann’s take was just too good. “And Leslie said to me, ‘No, I really think I need to throw up in his face,’ and then she went off and made her own vomit out of strawberry yogurt and some sort of breakfast cereal,” he divulged to Marie Claire. Mann was definitely onto something because that part is considered one of the most memorable in the entire movie (via Screen Rant).
In an Entertainment Tonight interview about the pair’s on-screen reunion in 2018’s Welcome to Marwen, Mann shared that she and Carell had a blast during filming The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and it’s not very hard to see why.
Leslie Mann is a lifelong California girl
A born-and-bred Californian, Leslie Mann still calls the Golden State home. Although she was raised in Newport Beach, a city in Orange County, she’s been a Los Angeles resident throughout her adult years, according to The Orange County Register.
After moving to LA to pursue an acting program, she struggled financially, she confessed in an interview with Backstage. “It was a terrible time,” she shared. “I would take change from my mom’s house and go to Circus of Values and buy ramen — but not even the Top Ramen, the really bad stuff.” Mann has certainly left that part of her past behind, as she and husband Judd Apatow bought a $14.5 million condominium in Santa Monica in 2018 (via Los Angeles Times).
The proud native is frequently spotted cheering on her home teams at Dodgers and Lakers games. She does miss certain things about her former life in the OC, however. “It’s so chaotic in L.A. It always seems so much calmer and peaceful in Orange County,” she told The Orange County Register in 2012.
When she was young, Leslie Mann was "teased relentlessly" about her voice
Leslie Mann’s adorable voice is part of her charm, but that was not always the case. In fact, during her high school days in Corona Del Mar, she was informed that she could not enroll in a commercial workshop class because of it. In an interview with Esquire, she recalled the roadblocks she faced because of how she spoke, including people constantly telling her it was costing her jobs. “I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my voice, so it’s kind of nice that now I’m making a lot of money with it,” she said.
In the face of adversity, Mann still forged ahead. It’s a good thing she didn’t let that negativity influence her career choices because she now works as a voiceover actress. Her impressive credits include Linda in Rio and Patty Peterson in Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The “raspy, high-pitched voice” she is known for is finally being celebrated!
This brand's products are part of Leslie Mann's self-care regimen
In 2015, the popular skincare company Jergens announced that it had named Leslie Mann as its brand ambassador. Very fittingly, the flawless funny girl has been applying Jergens products to her face for as long as she can remember. “It just has that scent that brings you back to when you were a little kid,” she said in an interview with Glamour.
Since then, she’s been featured in a number of commercials for their line of beauty essentials from body butter to moisturizer. Makes sense, as skincare has always been important to the seemingly ageless actress. “I prioritize taking care of my skin,” she told Shape. “If my skin looks great, I feel amazing.” And she looks great! Clearly, Mann avoids skincare mistakes that make you look older and understands which skincare products you should be using.
Mann has even partnered with her daughter, Maude Apatow to promote the brand. In an interview with People, Apatow gave her mother all the credit for her beauty regimen, including how to properly curl her hair, put on mascara, and moisturize.
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