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Judd Apatow with his family - daughters Iris and Maude and wife Leslie Mann. Picture: Reuters

For most men, it would be weird to film their wife naked or in bed with another man.

It would also be weird to film their wife in a shower with another man.

Or, to watch their wife squeeze Hollywood siren Megan Fox's breasts.

Not Judd Apatow.

The Hollywood super writer-director-producer responsible for rolling out comedy hit after comedy hit the past decade, generating nearly $US2 billion in box office revenue with movies including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Bridesmaids did all that in his new comedy-drama This is 40.

The film follows married couple Pete and Debbie as they juggle two young daughters, their careers and turning 40.

Pete and Debbie first appeared as minor characters in Apatow's 2007 comedy Knocked Up, and as he went through his own mid-life crisis a year ago at the age of 44, Apatow thought the couple would be an interesting vehicle to explore his own feelings.

Paul Rudd plays Pete.

Apatow's real-life wife, Leslie Mann, plays Debbie.

As for the sex scenes, it is Mann, not Apatow, who demands they be as realistic as possible.

"She pushes for it," Apatow laughs in a video interview with AAP.

"Anything you think might be weird for me to write for her, she probably thought of and asked to do.

"She'll say to me, 'I think in the scene when I'm with Paul and I want to have sex and he doesn't, it would be funny and more vulnerable if I'm topless'.

"I'm like, 'Alright. You're cool with that?'

"What's most important is it is truthful. She never is embarrassed.

"She'd be more embarrassed if we half-assed it."

You'd think if there was one guy on the planet who was content with his life it would be New York-born and raised Apatow, who started his comedy career by washing dirty dishes in a comedy club.

As well as generating comedy hits, including TV series Freaks and Geeks and Girls, Apatow appears to have the perfect home life.

He has been married to Mann for 15 years - the couple have two daughters, Maude, 14, and Iris, 10 - and the family lives in Brentwood, one of Los Angeles' finest suburbs.

But, a year or so ago Apatow, at the age of 44, suffered a mid-life crisis.

"I'm blessed to have this amazing family and do this work, but there is a part of everybody that you get to a certain part of your life and you think 'I guess this is it. I'm not going to be a professional luge driver'," Apatow, smiling through his trademark scruffy beard, says.

To gaze into Apatow's life, just buy a ticket to This is 40.

Pete goes through much of the angst Apatow felt and not only does Mann play Debbie, but Apatow cast Maude and Iris to play the couple's kids.

"That's three salaries I get to keep in the house," Apatow jokes.

"I get paid three different ways.

"People think I'm trying to express some emotion or make things that make people happy, but it is really embezzlement."

Mann, who turned 40 in March, agrees there are definite similarities between Pete and her real-life husband, including picking food out of a garbage can and eating it.

"Yes, he's done that," Mann confirms.

As for the scene where Mann squeezes Fox's breasts, again Apatow says it was not some fantasy he cooked up.

"I forget where that idea came from, but we did want to talk about how when you are 40 and you're hanging around a 25-year-old with a perfect body, you feel terrible about yourself," he says.

"At one point we realised she (Mann) should say, 'Are they real?' and she (Fox) says, 'Touch them. Check them out'.

"A lot of women who have good breasts do. They're like, 'Check them out'."

This is 40 opens in Australian cinemas on January 17.