Opening Night Diary

'Forgetting Sarah Marshall': With Jason Segel on Opening Night

The comedy's star joined director Nicholas Stoller for impromptu introductions of their film in L.A. -- with some incidental limos, booze, and indecent exposure -- an adventure they share with us in this exclusive timeline

Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, ... | FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL This is how director Nicholas Stoller and star Jason Segel roll on their movie's opening night
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL This is how director Nicholas Stoller and star Jason Segel roll on their movie's opening night

Jason Segel is the writer and star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Nicholas Stoller directed Forgetting Sarah Marshall. They only travel by stretch limo.

Our movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, opened on Friday, April 18. We decided that purely for research purposes we would go from theater to theater in Los Angeles and see how the film was playing. We were not interested in drawing attention to ourselves. Again, this outing was purely for research. To this end, we secured ourselves a stretch limo and a crate of liquor. Our carefully orchestrated research plan was described by Nicholas Stoller's sister-in-law as ''the prom night we never had.'' We do not see the connection. We discussed wearing tuxes or Forgetting Sarah Marshall T-shirts and hats, but Universal politely asked us not to as it ''might interfere with our ability to make money back on the film.''

Friday, 6:30 p.m. Limo picks up Jason Segel at his house.

7:00 p.m. Limo picks up Nicholas Stoller at his house. Nick is surprised to discover that Jason is wearing cologne for the evening. We realize that our driver, Jay, is the coolest person in the world, as in, he is not going to call us out for our incredibly lame evening plan. We begin preparing for our evening. These preparations involve drinking a bottle of Oban Scotch. Nick realizes that Jason's cologne smells very similar to this Scotch.

7:30 p.m. We arrive at the Grove outdoor shopping mall. For those unfamiliar with the Grove, it is a fake Main Street in the center of Hollywood. Many tourist buses drive through there. Again, Jason is not interested in being recognized. We discover we have missed the 7:30 showing of the movie. We ask if we can introduce the 8:15 showing. The theater manager is too polite to say no.

7:35 p.m. We go into the Apple store so Jason can purchase a charger for his iPhone. So far no one has recognized him. We load the Forgetting Sarah Marshall website on several of the computer screens. This does not result in anyone recognizing him.

7:38 p.m. A fan comes up to Jason. Finally. We ask the fan whether she has seen FSM. She says she has. We ask her if she liked it. She responds ''Well, I had really high expectations.'' We leave it at that.

7:40 p.m. To kill time before introducing the movie, we go to a French restaurant and order a bottle of Dom Perignon. The manager of the restaurant comes up to our table. We briefly hope it's because he is a FSM fan. It turns out that it is because we ordered a bottle of Dom Perignon and it is the restaurant's policy to greet people who order bottles of Dom Perignon.

7:58 p.m. We give the remains of our bottle of Dom Perignon to the table next to ours, explain to them that in exchange they should buy tickets to FSM and head into the Grove theater.

8:15 p.m. We introduce the film, ask the crowd to say ''cheese,'' and take a picture of the crowd. It remains unclear as to whether the crowd knows who we are or why we are doing what we are doing. We watch the opening scene where Jason shows his penis. The crowd reacts vocally. We briefly discuss ending the night and going to watch The Forbidden Kingdom.

8:18 p.m. We accidentally try to get into the wrong stretch limo and set off the limo's car alarm. Apparently Jet Li and Jackie Chan had the same opening night plan we did. We run like the men we are into our actual stretch limo.

8:20 p.m. We return to Jay and tell him to hightail it to the Cinerama Dome, one of the biggest theaters in Hollywood. We finish the bottle of Scotch and start on beer. We meet Rodney Rothman, our executive producer, and Brian, Jason's best friend, who the Bill Hader character was based on in name only.

NEXT PAGE: Nachos, and more staring at people staring at Jason's penis

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