Kat Dennings went completely off script during The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Kat Dennings had a memorable experience on the set of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Behind the scenes, The 40-Year-Old Virgin turned out to be quite the project, filled with hilarious moments among the cast. However, the film came close to being canceled completely, after a certain scene with Steve Carell as Andy startled the studio, stating that Carell was giving off killer vibes. Thankfully, the film turned out to be just fine, and it turned into a cult classic.

Kat Dennings also took part in the film, this prior to her fame from 2 Broke Girls, and $25 million net worth. We’re going to take a look at Dennings’ time in the film, and how she improvised a certain memorable scene. We’ll also reveal how Dennings managed to cope with the hilarious scenes in the films. According to the actress, she used a secret method to distract her during the hilarious scenes.

Released in 2005, The 40-Year-Old Virgin had quite the impact, turning into a cult classic. Not only did the film change Judd Apatow’s career as a filmmaker, but it also thrust Steve Carell into stardom, thanks to his leading role in the film as Andy. The star-studded cast also featured Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, among others.

Despite the film’s success, looking back, Judd Apatow does admit he would do things differently today. There are parts of the film he’d be inclined to change nowadays. Apatow revealed, “At the time, the intention was to show real immature men that should know better. It’s really more about them than what they are saying. Culture has changed where part of the audience is saying, ‘we don’t want to be goofed on in any way’ but then another part of the audience would say, ‘everyone should get goofed on’ [and] that it’s part of what our lives are about.”

He continued, “I try to just lead with my heart. I really feel like you can do anything, you can say anything if your heart is in the right place – you just need to take a little time now to really think through your jokes and how they affect people.”

The film also launched the career of Kat Dennings, who played the role of Trish’s daughter in the film. According to her mother in the film, Catherine Keener, Dennings was already thriving at that point in her career, using her great improv skills for the film.

Keener revealed, “In one scene her character, who is anxious to give up her virginity, is battling with me. As her mom, I don’t want her to grow up too fast. Kat’s character is in the bathroom, crying, and I’m outside the door with Steve… Kat was just screaming at me — cursing and yelling and calling me all kinds of names that were not in the script. I was thrown and I turned to Steve and I said, ‘I don’t know what she’s talking about.”

Keener continued, “Even though it was improvised, Judd kept that line in the movie — I clearly sounded like a frustrated mom and it was all due to Kat’s rant.”

Keener and Dennings were able to use their obvious chemistry in the film, however, shooting scenes wasn’t exactly easy for Dennings, especially given how hilarious things were on-set.

At the premiere of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Kat Dennings opened up about her experience while filming with the cast. According to the actress, trying to keep a straight face throughout production was no easy task. For a lot of the film, Dennings had to pinch herself during scenes, so she wouldn’t laugh.

She said,

“Pretty much a crackup-fest. If you don’t see, in the Planned Parenthood scene, if you don’t see my hand, it’s because I’m pinching my thigh. That’s a trick I learned — because I didn’t think I’d be able to get through that scene at all. It took a really long time…I thought I was going to die.”

The film was just the start, as Dennings would go on to thrive in both films and TV shows, featured in 2 Broke Girls, WandaVision, and Thor, among others.

Written by Alex Passa for The Things, article published on December 27.
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