Actor Jason Segel visits Minnesota to promote movie that was partially shot here


If you happened to catch a glimpse of a tall man with a familiar face and wondered if that could possibly be actor Jason Segel, your celebrity-spotter is in good shape.

Segel made the rounds of Twin Cities media on Friday to promote his new movie, "The End of the Tour," a film is based on a book by a Rolling Stone reporter who tagged along with author David Foster Wallace on a 1996 book tour. (Wallace is played by Segel.) Wallace suffered from depression and killed himself in 2008.

The film is getting positive notices. Aggregator Rotten Tomatoes said that 93 percent of critics and 88 percent of audience members liked the movie. The website said the movie is "...brilliantly performed and smartly unconventional...paying fitting tribute to a singular talent while offering profoundly poignant observations on the human condition."

In an interview with MPR News, Segel, best known for his comedic work in movies and television, said he was ready for a darker and more dramatic role, and that he found a kindred spirit in Wallace.

"This is a man, just like me, who is funny and complicated and deals with some really complicated feelings but has the bravery to talk about it," Segel said in the MPR interview. "That was the big challenge. Getting over my own fear too, so by the time they said "action," I could do the part without feeling like I was a fraud."

In the 1996 tour, Wallace actually visited the Mall of America, and a few scenes from "The End of the Tour" were shot on location there. This week Segel attended a red carpet screening of the movie at the mall's theaters.

"Mall of America really is sort of the epitome of the themes that David Foster Wallace is talking about: It's consumerism and entertainment at its mecca," Segel said. "It was really special to shoot there."

City Pages made note of the Twin Cities locations that show up the film in addition to the scenes at the Mall of America.

"There’s the Minneapolis skyline, a drive down Sixth Street in downtown Minneapolis (check out the Saks Off 5th awnings), a glimpse of the bronzy Mary Tyler Moore tossing her beret, the old Hungry Mind Bookstore (R.I.P. under Patagonia on Grand Avenue), a shout out to City Pages (hey!)"

Vita.Mn tracked the filming at the Mall in an article published in March of 2014. At the time of the filming, Segal, who wrote and starred in a Muppets movie, popped in to say hello to a surprised audience attending a "free family flicks" screening of 2011's "The Muppets" in a movie theater at the Mall of America.

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