Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow are proof that people who are married can successfully work together. The Hollywood power couple is known for the hilarious romantic comedies they've made together, typically with Judd as the director and Leslie as one of the leading roles.
What's more, they share the same chemistry off-screen. They've been married for more than 25 years—after meeting during the audition process for the '90s film The Cable Guy—and are parents to Maude and Iris Apatow, two successful actresses in their own right.
Ahead, here's a look at how they met, how they make their marriage work through all of the ups and downs, and more.
- Judd and Leslie met in 1995 during the audition process for The Cable Guy.
- They got married in 1997 and had their first daughter, Maude, that same year. In 2002, they had their second daughter, Iris.
- The couple teamed up for Knocked Up in 2007.
- They celebrated 25 years together in 2022.
1995: Initial Meeting
It seems fitting that the first time Leslie and Judd met was on the set of a movie. Leslie was auditioning for a role in The Cable Guy, where Judd was a producer and Ben Stiller was the director. For Judd, it was love at first sight.
"There goes the future Mrs. Apatow," he shared with Elle about his initial reaction to seeing Leslie. "I had a soul connection instantly. I meant it. That's why I remember it."
Leslie didn't exactly feel the same way, though. When asked if she also felt a soul connection, she said, "No. I was in a panic. Auditioning is so nerve-racking. I remember thinking Ben was cute."
1995: First Date
Eventually, Judd asked Leslie on a date to a basketball game and made her dinner at his place beforehand. Leslie told Elle that he made "spaghetti with Ragu sauce and Wonder bread with Fleischmann's margarine." She also shared that Judd showed off his favorite parts of his movie, Heavyweights, in an effort to "impress" her."
At first, Leslie thought they were hanging out as friends and didn't realize they were on a date until they were headed to the basketball game. "I was like... Oh! It hit me. My previous boyfriend was really mean. And I thought, [Judd's] nice. This is the type of person I should be with. And then we made out after the game."
By the morning after, Leslie said that she realized they had a real connection. Although she slept over, she insisted nothing happened aside from kissing, adding, "But I remember driving home feeling so happy and like... I felt like I was already in love."
June 9, 1997: Tying the Knot
Just about two years after their first date, Leslie and Judd made things official and got married during an intimate ceremony in Hawaii (so intimate, in fact, that friends and family weren't invited). Leslie was a few months pregnant at the time and called the wedding "fun and low pressure" during an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Kimmel. Another fun fact? She also shared that even though she had only known Judd with a beard, he showed up without one on their wedding day. "It really scared me because I didn't know what he looked like without it!" she said.
December 15, 1997: First Daughter
A few months after getting married, Leslie gave birth to their first daughter, Maude Apatow. In one interview, Leslie revealed that they chose the name because her favorite movie was Harold and Maude, and Judd's favorite TV show was Maude.
October 12, 2002: Second Daughter
About five years later, Leslie and Judd welcomed their second child: a daughter named Iris. In an interview for Wired, the couple revealed that they didn't think of the name until the very last minute. Specifically, Leslie said that it was during a dream when she heard someone whisper "Iris" in her ear, and it was at that moment when she knew what her daughter's name would be.
2007: Knocked Up
The couple worked together again in 2007 for the hit film Knocked Up, which Judd directed and Leslie starred in. Their daughters also appeared in the movie, though at first, Leslie was hesitant about having them act in the film.
"I didn't want to put them in the movie, but Judd, he thought that it was a good idea," she told Collider. "Time passed by and I was saying no, no, no, and then I'm like—I dunno, maybe. And then it was like a week before and he said, you have to tell me now. He would ask me when I was really busy, so I couldn't really focus on it and then it ended up just happening. But it's okay."
2012: This Is 40
In 2012, Judd came out with a sequel to Knocked Up called This Is 40, which starred Leslie's character and her on-screen husband Paul Rudd. The film was loosely based on the couple's real-life relationship, and Leslie told The Guardian that some of their actual arguments inspired scenes from the film.
"Sometimes we would have arguments through the characters—things we were afraid to say to each other," she said. "But by the time it winds up in the film, it isn't at all what we're like...I don't know, it doesn't feel to me at all autobiographical."
March 2013: How They Work
In an interview with People, Judd talked about how they managed to work together while being married. "We like working together,” he said. “We probably get along much better than one would assume during the creative process. What makes [our marriage] work is we’re always trying to do better and understand each other. We’re both complicated people, but we want it to work and we love each other.” He added that their love for their daughters also brings them together.
June 2017: 20 Years Together
In June 2017, the couple celebrated a big milestone: 20 years married. In an Instagram post featuring a cute photo from their wedding day, Judd wrote, "Today is the 20th anniversary of my marriage to the brilliant, hilarious, amazing Leslie Mann. The greatest thing that has ever happened to me."
November 2019: Fighting Is Normal
After Leslie and Judd were caught on camera "screaming at each other" outside of a restaurant, Judd went on The View and talked about how fighting is part of a healthy relationship. "I've been married for 22 years. I have fought in every restaurant in Los Angeles: McDonald's, In-N-Out Burger, Nobu—you name it," he joked. "We engage and I think that's why our relationship is healthy," he added.
March 2022: Still Learning
In an interview on Live With Kelly and Ryan, Leslie talked about how she still doesn't know everything about Judd, which is what keeps things interesting. "I feel so lucky that I get to spend my life with him," she said. "He really is a good person. And at the same time, I feel like I do not know him at all. Who is this person walking around my house, eating my food, and sneaking off into his little secret room doing secret things?"
March 2022: Iris' Thoughts
Leslie and Judd have such a strong connection that it even inspires their daughters. During an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show, Iris said, "They are very much so what I look for in my love life because they’ll just sit together for like four hours just talking and I’m like, ‘Wow, what are you guys talking about?’"
She added that they "still make each other laugh that hard and [are] best friends with each other," also sharing that it was "really nice" for her to witness such a healthy relationship.
April 2022: Another Family Movie
In 2022, Leslie and Judd teamed up again for the movie The Bubble, which also stars their daughter Iris. In an interview about the film with Parade, Leslie talked about why she loves working with her husband, saying, "I feel like I’m in safe hands with him. I feel like he’s got it covered and he’s not going to make me or anyone else uncomfortable with his choices at the end of the day. And that’s a really nice feeling to have as an actor because you don’t want to work with the people who are corny and make you look bad."
She further shared, "But yeah, he’s bossy and he’s sometimes insufferable, but for the most part I think he’s very talented and I feel very lucky to be able to work with him."
July 2022: 25 Years
In July 2022, the couple celebrated 25 years together with a family party. Maude shared a few cute photos from their day on a boat with the caption, "Happy 25th anniversary to my parents ❤️ I love you."