Here’s the Real Reason Jason Segel Hasn’t Been Seen in a Comedy for Years

For a generation of fans who grew up with Friends, the iconic show’s end in 2004 left a huge gap in the world of sitcoms. A new slate of comedy shows attempted to fill that gap, and the one that came closest was How I Met Your Mother. The heartfelt, often-hilarious, often-poignant show developed a huge following and made stars out of its lead cast. Jason Segel, who played the role of Marshall on the show, recently told Yahoo! that the end of How I Met Your Mother prompted him to move away from the comedy genre.

“I did about a decade and a half of pure comedy, between those movies and then How I Met Your Mother, which was literally every day for nine years. I think I was just interested in seeing what else I could do.”

Some of Segel’s best-known work has been in the comedy genre, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall to How I Met Your Mother. As with David Schwimmer after Friends, and Jim Parsons after The Big Bang Theory, Segel felt a desire to move away from his image as a funnyman into more serious territory. According to the actor, he felt the next step in his journey needed to include getting behind the camera.

“There was a moment around that period, ’cause that was also around when How I Met Your Mother ended, where I was like, ‘I have a blank canvas ahead of me now. Sex Tape ended up doing well, I think, but it didn’t feel good. So I got to look forward and say, ‘This is freedom. You can do anything right now. So why don’t we walk right into some of the looming questions, like, what if I tried to do just a drama? What if I tried to write and create and run a TV show?’ I wanted to bump up against my litmus, which I hadn’t done in a long time.”

Segel’s foray into more serious work led to unexpected successes. He played the role of David Foster Wallace to great acclaim in The End of the Tour, and also explored the sci-fi end of the spectrum with The Discovery. Segel’s desire to become a showrunner also led to the much-praised Dispatches from Elsewhere, which Segel produced and starred in.

Now, the actor is set to appear in Our Friend alongside Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck. The movie tells the story of a mother who is dying from cancer while her husband and best friend tend to the couple’s young daughters. According to Segel, the shoot for the movie was a cathartic experience for everyone involved.

“It was weighty and emotional to film. We were shooting in the real town, Fairhope, Alabama, where Matt and Nicole lived, and so the town knew Nicole and they knew the story that we were telling. And they were really supportive and some participated as well in some of these group scenes. It was something that was really cathartic for everybody. That was emotional.”

This news originated at Yahoo.

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