Apatow was upset when the cult show was axed and threatened to show TV bosses just what talent they had let slip through their fingers - by turning the members of his cast into big stars.
Segel explains, "I met Judd at the right time and got really lucky. I can boil it down to that! When Freaks and Geeks got cancelled Judd got p**sed and was like, 'These guys are good and I'll tell you what; I'm gonna show you guys how dumb you are by making each one of these guys stars.'
"He had no reason besides that. It's not like Seth and I are screaming to be leading men. Franco obviously was gonna be fine, but Seth and I, it wouldn't have been an easy road for us, or Jonah (Hill).
"But Judd decided to prove to the studios that they were wrong. It was just Judd having a Count of Monte Cristo style reaction to being cancelled."