Judd Apatow thinks some of his characters have been ''too funny'' in the past.

The 52-year-old filmmaker has made a conscious effort to ensure the characters in 'The King of Staten Island' - a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about Pete Davidson - are authentic and credible.

Speaking about his decision to release the movie now, Judd - who directed the project - told The Sunday Times newspaper: ''I can't provide much to the world, but I can provide the occasional laugh.

''Also, the film speaks to grief and trauma, even though it's a comedy, and that relates to what we are all experiencing.

''Unlike how I usually work, I wasn't obsessed with making every line funny.

''I have found, in the past, that I have lost authenticity and credibility because people are too funny [in my films]. In the real world people aren't that funny.''

Judd also thinks his style of film-making has changed as he's aged.

He said: ''As you get older you contemplate what you've been through, but also it's way harder to make an insanely funny film than a 'dramedy'.

''I'd be terrified if somebody said, 'Judd, let's spend the next two years making a movie that will make people laugh harder than ever.' That is almost impossible to accomplish.

''Those films that make you lose your mind giggling? It's a real gift, and I still think about 'Airplane!'. Watching that was one of the best times of my life, so I don't put more value in dramatic films. They're just different.''