Paul Feig on Directing 'Freaks and Geeks,' First Time Wearing a Suit - Rolling Stone
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‘The First Time’ With Paul Feig

Actor and filmmaker talks directing Freaks and Geeks finale, wearing a suit at eight years old, and more

Paul Feig knows how to keep busy. He’s currently the executive producer of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Love Life, and has a new series, This Country, underway. The actor and filmmaker appeared on Rolling Stone‘s The First Time to share his experiences.

Feig kicked off with the first album he ever bought: 1966’s Snoopy vs. the Red Baron by the Royal Guardsmen. “It was this crazy song about Snoopy fighting the Red Baron in World War I,” he says. “But I always thought it was a real catchy song, and I always thought it was really fun. I was a big Peanuts fan, I love Snoopy.”

Feig technically first directed a commercial for his father’s army surplus store in Detroit, but his first official gig was Freaks and Geeks, which he created. “I really wanted to direct the pilot,” he says. “But they were like, ‘You can’t direct the pilot. You don’t have any credits.’ Right at the very end when it was pretty obvious we were gonna get canceled, I was like, ‘Can I?'” He ended up directing the beloved finale, “Discos and Dragons.”

After sharing the first two films he fell in love with — 1930’s Animal Crackers with the Marx Brothers and 1972’s What’s Up Doc? — Feig discussed the first time he wore a suit at eight years old, now his signature attire. “It was the greatest three months of my life,” he notes. “Because all I did was wear that suit. I wore it everywhere. I wore it to school, the grocery store, to the point where housewives — these women in the grocery store — would laugh at me. I remember thinking, ‘What do you guys know? You’re not cool like me. You don’t understand how suave and debonair I am.'”

Elsewhere in the clip, Feig recalled the first time he cried to a song: Ivey Lavan’s “Who Can You Trust” from his 2015 film Spy. “Whenever I hear that now, I just fall apart,” he says. “There’s something about it, the way she keeps that thing going. But I’m always telling people, ‘Please listen to that song, play it loud and play it all the way through the end. Because it’s one of the greatest songs of all time.'”

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