HOLLYWOOD -- "Knocked Up"... "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"... "The Muppets"... Jason Segel has spent a career in comedy. As a teenager, he was on "Freaks & Geeks." In his 20s and 30s, "How I Met Your Mother." Now at 40, he is both comedic and dramatic in the gut-wrenching new movie, "Our Friend."
"Our Friend" is based on a true story. Segel plays Dane, a guy who puts his life on hold to move in with his best friends. Dakota Johnson is Nicole, a woman with terminal cancer. Casey Affleck, her journalist husband, Matt.
Segal's character helps their family through the most difficult of times. They shot the movie in Fairhope, Alabama, where it all took place.
"There are some big community scenes in the movie, Mardi Gras, and a scene where she dances in a fountain as she's accomplishing things on her bucket list. And a lot of those people were people who knew Nicole and knew the family. And I think there was something really cathartic for everyone about making the movie," said Segel.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite reached out to Segel to play this role, saying his unique skill was just right.
"The character needs to be-bring levity to a really dark situation. In a, maybe a lesser movie, it would be comic relief but then you have to be able to do the depth of the tragedy of Nicole's passing," said Segel. "There was a pretty wide range of stuff you had to do and I felt really lucky she thought I could do it."
"Our Friend" is full of love, but as you watch, you will likely feel the pain as well. And Segel says... go ahead and let your feelings loose!
"Why would one want to not cry?" said Segel. "This seems like emotional torture to play on oneself. I say, just go, I say just let it loose. I mean, yeah."
"Our Friend" is available in theaters on demand on Friday, January 22nd.
'Our Friend' explores love, loss, the bonds of friendship in new fact based tear-jerker starring Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck
Bring the tissues: Jason Segal's new movie 'Our Friend' cuts deep with it's real-life inspired story of life, death, family and friendship