Judd Apatow has proven time and again that he has a keen ability to spot and nurture young talent, starting with the crew from Freaks and Geeks to a new generation led by Girls creator Lena Dunham. In fact, Apatow was in New York on Monday in part to accept a Peabody Award for his work executive producing Girls, and he spoke to BuzzFeed about another young star: Justin Bieber.
Though just a curious observer of The Bieb's career thus far, Apatow has expressed concern previously via Twitter about the 19-year-old's recent wild antics. On Monday, Apatow said, "I feel bad for him. We've seen that before and you want to give him a hug and tell him to calm down. But hopefully he'll just pull out of it and it'll be alright. It must be a very strange position to find yourself in as a young person."
Is the world too tough on Bieber?
"I think there is a natural way the world reminds you when you're getting out of hand and it's not the worst thing in the world for him to read things and realize that he can handle himself better," said Apatow. "But if you saw what I did at that age, it would be way worse. I was much worse than him."
Asked what advice he'd give him, Apatow hesitated, then offered, "Lead with your heart, that's always a good piece of advice." And, regarding that monkey that Bieber abandoned in Germany, he added, "You don't need a monkey. That's a good rule of thumb for show business: you don't need a monkey."
The Peabodys happened to coincide with the other reason Apatow is in New York: four days of filming the Anchorman sequel, which he says has only one more week of production left until wrap. He smiled and demurred on photos of the rapper Drake on set over the weekend, complete in 1970's couture, teasing, "I can't confirm anything. That could have been Drake or a guy that looks like Drake."