Jason Segel

Jason Segel

Born Jason Jordan Segel in Pacific Palisades, CA he gravitated towards acting while in school; he was a frequent performer in plays staged at the Palisades Playhouse. He broke into film and television in the late 1990s, where his imposing 6'4" size and gentle demeanor made him a natural for offbeat characters like the partygoer who totes a spiked watermelon in "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998) and the ill-tempered college student whose sudden vacancy from his dorm room sets in motion the plot of "Dead Man on Campus" (1998). Among Segel's co-stars in the comedy were Linda Cardellini and Alyson Hannigan, with whom he would later reunite with on "Freaks and Geeks" and "How I Met Your Mother," respectively. Segel and Cardellini were also an off-screen romantic item for several years.In 1999, Segel was cast as Nick Andropolis, one of the "freaks" on Paul Feig's acclaimed high school dramedy "Freaks and Geeks." A sweet-natured if somewhat easily confused young man with a passion for drumming, Nick also tended to overwhelm his girlfriends with affection and attention. Few viewers could forget the painfully earnest love song - penned by Segel - that he performed for Cardellini's Lindsay Weir, during which they experienced the perfect mixture of sympathy and horror. Though the show garnered high praise from critics and earned Segel and his castmates a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination, "Freaks and Geeks" quickly disappeared from NBC's primetime lineup. The series almost instantly became the first cult TV show of the new millennium. Segel bounced between features and television for the next few years, logging time as a scam artist college student in the broad comedy "Slackers" (2002), a paramedic who must deal with a gruesome accident in the indie drama "11:14" (2002), and an unattractive janitor who falls for a glamorous office worker (Cardellini) in the short "Certainly Not a Fairytale" (2003). On TV, Segel returned to the Apatow fold for "Undeclared," in a recurring role as the aggressive and obsessive ex-boyfriend of female lead Carla Gallo. In 2004, Segel appeared briefly as a lab tech on three episodes of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000-15), and was cast as the awkward brother of a private investigator on the unsold pilot "Harry Green and Eugene" for ABC.In 2005, Segel was tapped to co-star in the CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother." Segel's Marshall Eriksen - who was based on series co-creator Craig Thomas - enjoyed a solid storyline as one half of a charmingly eccentric couple with Alyson Hannigan's Lily Aldrin; fans of the show appreciated the character's quirky "every guy" appeal. Segel's success on "Mother" was compounded by his appearance in the raucous comedy "Knocked Up," which was penned by his former "Freaks" and "Undeclared" co-star Seth Rogen and produced by Apatow. Segel's character, Jason, was one of several slacker roommates residing with Rogen's anti-hero. After providing such stellar support in "Knocked Up," Segel was promoted to a starring role in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008), for which he also contributed the script. The comedy, co-produced by Apatow and featuring regular collaborators including Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and Bill Hader, was critically acclaimed and commercially successful, turning Segel into a comic leading man. That same year, Segel began shooting a co-starring role in another Apatow-produced comedy, "I Love You, Man," about a groom-to-be (Paul Rudd) searching for the perfect best man (Segel). He next voiced Vector in the animated film "Despicable Me" (2010) and co-starred opposite Jack Black in a modern remake of "Gulliver's Travels" (2011). Segel went on to play a gym teacher lusting after Cameron Diaz's titular "Bad Teacher" (2011) and starred opposite Ed Helms in the Duplass brothers' indie comedy "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" (2011). Also that year, he starred in his dream project "The Muppets" (2011) alongside Amy Adams, before appearing with Emily Blunt in the romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" (2012); Segel cowrote both of these films with his regular creative foil, director Nicholas Stoller. After reprising the character of Jason in Apatow's self-described "sort of sequel" to "Knocked Up," "This Is 40" (2012), Segel had a cameo as himself in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's apocalyptic comedy "This is the End" (2013). As "How I Met Your Mother" wound up its nine-year run, Segel co-wrote and co-starred in the box office disappointment "Sex Tape" opposite Cameron Diaz. His next screen appearance came in the indie drama "The End of the Tour," in which he played author David Foster Wallace, spending four days with Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky near the end of his press tour for the best-selling novel Infinite Jest. Segel garnered widespread critical acclaim for his sensitive portrayal of the troubled novelist.