James Dempsey: Why Hollywood riser Jason Segel is set to become one of the leading movie stars of his generation
LET'S hear it for Jason Segel, definitely a man of the moment. The actor and writer, currently starring in his self-penned The Five-Year Engagement with British actress Emily Blunt, may not typically be considered in the same acting league as his so-hot-right-now contemporaries, Gosling or Fassbender, but there’s a serious case to be made as to why Segel has surpassed them to become one of the leading movie stars of his generation.
Let’s start by Susie Dent-ing that term, movie star; essentially, a movie star is an actor or actress whose celebrity acts as a commodity in the marketing of film, a brand-name on posters and trailers, that can be broken down into leading men/ladies, character actors, matinée idols, sex symbols and, in the case of Segel, the everyman. While he may not tick all the boxes on the list of movie stardom, it is his everyman quality that is the key to Sigel’s success, an easy and unthreateningly likeable charm that ultimately pushes him ahead of his acting peers.
Segel’s fame took root with his role in the short-lived Judd Apatow series Freaks & Geeks, which also helped to launch the careers of James Franco and Seth Rogen. While they both graduated to the silver screen with relative ease, Segel still continues to build his loyal fanbase as part of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, currently in production on its eight season. While the maternal memoirs of Mosby and chums have served Segel well, the gruelling schedule of a hit TV sitcom has limited his cinematic output to about one movie per year, and once the show raps with its big reveal, expect a flock of Segel projects to hit our screens in the forthcoming years.