This is the one-hundred and fifty-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and fifty-five. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Actor Bill Hader got his breakout film role due to his interest in Sandman comics.
Bill Hader was not exactly plucked from obscurity for his minor role in the film You, Me and Dupree in 2006.
Hader was already a cast member on Saturday Night Live (when he got the call that he made the show, Hader was reading a Sandman trade paperback). However, while he was not totally obscure, he was not nearly a big name in the acting game, which is reflected in the size of his role in the film (which I watched the other day On Demand to see just how much of the film he was in - boy, that film was bad).
He is basically in one scene in the film. However, in that one scene (a bunch of guys are sitting around watching a football game) he met the actor Seth Rogan. While not filming, the two began talking, and after about ten minutes of discussing comic books (their mutual love for Sandman and Neil Gaiman, specifically), Rogan offered him a role in the film he was writing with his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, Superbad.
While doing Superbad, he also had a bit part in Rogan's Knocked Up film.
Both films were produced by Judd Apatow, and Hader soon had a part in the next Apatow film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
And he's going to be appearing in the NEXT Apatow film, Pineapple Express.
And all because of his love for Sandman.
Here's Seth Rogan about it, from a New York Times article on the topic:
''If you watch 'You, Me and Dupree,' he barely does anything,'' said Mr. Rogen, who played Mr. Hader's police partner in ''Superbad.'' ''There was almost nothing to imply that he was a good actor at all. We just liked the same movies, and the same comic books, and that was basically it.''
Interestingly enough, when Neil Gaiman did a reading for charity at this year's New York Comic Con, guess who introduced him?