Forget Michelle’s Arms

Yesterday on Fresh Air, Queen of the Question Terry Gross broke new ground in the bawdy body part banter when she asked actor Jason Segel about a nude scene in his movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

GROSS: I don’t know how to put this in a way discreet enough so that we can discuss it on the radio… So here you are, six minutes in to the film, and you’re there like stark naked, and we see you in every angle, and so what did you to make sure that your privates would look good?

SEGEL: I absolutely understand the question, and I will try to word it equally as carefully. I found out in the meetings leading up to the movie about the scene, because, believe me, there was a lot of talk about whether or not I should even do it. All of the sudden, I’m sitting with Universal executives and Judd Apatow, and we’re talking about what it’s going to be like when I’m naked. And they told me that you can only get an R rating if it is completely flaccid. That’s the only way that you maintain your R rating.

So it was very important that that be the case. But, it was very important for me personally that is not be completely flaccid. There was a real mental battle going on between personal pride and maintaining our R rating. So I found that the right level seemed to be to think about the most beautiful girl in high school, and that sort of got things going a little bit. And then, I would think about how she would never go out with me. And so that kept it at just about the right level.

The moment is at around 11:09 in the tape.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.