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Justin Long on the iPhone’s Bad Reception

Justin Long would probably be the first to admit that he’s primarily known for two things: Doing those Mac ads and dating Drew Barrymore on-and-off. (They seem to be on again, by the way.) But since today sees the release of Going the Distance, in which he plays Barrymore’s long-distance boyfriend, we figured we’d educate you about many of the other fascinating facts we discovered about the actor over soup dumplings for an earlier interview. For instance: Christina Applegate can sketch his penis from memory.

• He arrived at this particular interview on a scooter given to him by Ben Stiller for his work on Dodgeball. Long used duct tape to cover up the words “Average Joes” emblazoned on the side.

• As the Mac guy, he got a free iPhone 4. He loves the camera but admits it doesn’t quite excel at its primary function. “I’ll just say AT&T,” he says, rolling his eyes, “and I’ll leave it at that. A lot of things make the iPhone great, except being a phone.”

• Long tried to learn guitar from Dan Smith of “Dan Smith Will Teach You Guitar” flyer fame. It didn’t work out. For one, Smith charged $100 a class. For another, says Long, “He’s a nice guy, but he would spend a solid fifteen minutes of the hour session chatting. And I’d consistently be ten minutes late and so we wouldn’t start until 25 minutes into the lesson. We were not the right fit.”

• When they were shooting the phone sex scene in Going The Distance, the director, Nanette Burstein, kept criticizing Long’s masturbation techniques. “She’d have to explain to me how, cinematically, it would look better if I jerked off in a different way,” says Long. “I’m going to have to ask my mom to leave the theater during that scene.”

• Long owns an apartment on the Lower East Side, a house in L.A., a house in Austin, and a set of cabins on a lake in Massachusetts where his family used to go when he was growing up. “I hadn’t really made any major purchases for the first five, six, seven years that I was acting, so that was a real special purchase,” he says of the cabins. “I didn’t even bargain or haggle. The guy didn’t want to sell them, and I said, ‘If you had to, in your fantasy, what would be your number?’ I’ve never done anything like that! We were very frugal growing up.”

• Long is a germaphobe, which is why he prefers hugs to handshakes.

• He admits that and Barrymore displayed their love “probably too demonstratively” during a lot of their public make-out sessions. “Which is funny because that behavior, when I see it with other people usually grosses me out. What a hypocrite I am! Yeah, I mean, I guess you get so wrapped up in something…”

• Sam Rockwell “is like my brother” from a summer they both spent at Williamstown ten years ago, just after they’d done Galaxy Quest. “We all lived in a house together and had cookouts every night and parties and drank our faces off and just hooked up all the time,” he says. “There were so many girls there. There were all these apprentices and they were all my age. It was heaven.”

• Long says he’s “nearing the point” where he wants a family.

• He went to Vassar and lived above a Chinese restaurant.

• He is buddies with John Hodgman, the PC from the Mac ads. They hang out in Brooklyn and might do a country-house swap.

• This summer, Long spent six weeks back at Williamstown doing Samuel J and Samuel K, a “Deer Hunter-y” play about two brothers, one adopted from Cameroon.

• He likes going to see music so much that his assistant makes him a calendar with all the concert dates of all the bands he likes in whatever city he’s going to, just in case he’ll have a chance to stop by. Among his favorites: Regina Spektor, Stars, Built to Spill, The National, Black Keys, and Arcade Fire.

• There was also a full-frontal scene that got cut from Going the Distance (“thank god”). As part of a running gag about how Christina Applegate, who plays Barrymore’s sister, keeps catching the couple in all sorts of compromising positions, Long runs into Applegate post-shower wearing a teeny towel. During one take, Long accidentally dropped the towel, and Applegate’s reaction was so hilarious, the director decided they had to get her to do it again so it could go in the movie. “It was one of the more surreal hours of my life. Take after take, I just kept showing her my bing-bong,” says Long. “Who knew at one point in my life I’d spend an hour flashing Christina Applegate? By the end, she was sick of it. She was like, ‘Enough. I know it better than any other… member. I could draw it. I could sketch it in detail.’”

Related: 112 Minutes with Justin Long

Justin Long on the iPhone’s Bad Reception