The 40-Year-Old Virgin instantly changed the course of Romany Malco’s career, elevating the fledgling rapper-turned-actor to high-in-demand performer after he stole scenes opposite Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen in the beloved R-rated comedy raunchfest, which turned 15 this week.
There was a brief period of time, though, where Malco regretted his role in it.
“I was actually begging [writer-director] Judd Apatow to cut me out of it,” Malco tells Yahoo Entertainment during a recent interview promoting his latest comedy, Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison, which he also wrote, produced and directed (watch above). “He was like, ‘We can’t. You’re funny.’
“I was like, ‘My mom is an ordained minister, bro, cut me out of the movie, please. I’m serious.’ I was like, ‘Just cut my behavior.’ He goes, ‘We can’t. You’re funny.’ I was literally afraid what would happen when it came out.”
In the film, Malco plays the electronics store clerk Jay, who along with friends and coworkers David (Rudd) and Cal (Rogen), attempt to enable the introverted Andy (Carell) to lose his virginity, even womanize, oftentimes with coarse and lewd words and methods of motivation. Malco’s most famous one-liner in the film? “You are putting the p**** up on this pedestal.”
So what did his mother think once it did come out?
“My mother took all of her church friends to see it, multiple times. Blew me away,” he reveals. “I was at my mother’s house, my mother wanted me to say hi to her friend, and her friend told me, ‘We watched your movie two times already. And we’re probably gonna go back for a third.’”
But there were still some unfortunate consequences to the success, particularly when it came to Malco’s oft-quoted p-word mantra.
“I’ve been out with my mom and had people [quote it to me],” Malco says. “I’m like, ‘Yo bro, that’s my mom, dog… Don’t do that.’”
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
— Video produced by Jon San
Watch Judd Apatow share more tidbits about the film for its 15th anniversary:
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