In the last five years, Jason Segel's career has vastly changed. From 2005 to 2014, the actor established himself as a popular comedic star, matching his lead role on the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother with big screen projects like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man, Bad Teacher, and The Muppets, but since the release of Sex Tape his resume has looked wildly different. Why? According to the actor, he wasn't feeling positive about the work he was doing, and decided he wanted to change his work habits by mixing things up.
Jason Segel's work has been primarily in the dramatic realm since, starting with 2015's excellent The End Of The Tour, but it was while speaking about his latest movie, Our Friend, with Yahoo! that he dug into his departure from comedy. Talking about his inspiration for broadening his horizons, the actor explained,
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. think I was just interested in seeing what else I could do.
The series finale of How I Met Your Mother aired on CBS in March 2014, and that was followed a few months later by the release of Sex Tape. The feature, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Cameron Diaz, was mostly successful, earning north of $125 million by the time it was done playing in theaters worldwide, but it was around that time that Jason Segel realized that he wasn't getting the same kind of satisfaction from the material that he used to get.
It was surely a scary step, but the actor noted that he felt like he was in a comfortable place that allowed him to make such a move:
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.
In the years since, he has done both of those things. After playing beloved author David Foster Wallace in The End Of The Tour, Jason Segel starred in the Netflix projects The Discovery (a romantic sci-fi drama) and the biopic Come Sunday. Last year AMC released the first season of Dispatches from Elsewhere, his first show credited as a creator, and now he has the aforementioned film Our Friend, which is now playing in theaters and is available on PVOD.
It's always cool to see an actor mix things up and ensure that their craft isn't getting stale, so it's hard not to have a lot of respect for the move made by Jason Segel. Hopefully he continues to explore new and different projects and roles... while also not forgetting how talented a comedian he is.