Judd Apatow thinks it's possible to find "comedy in the most difficult situations".
The 52-year-old director's new movie, 'The King of Staten Island', tells the story of comedian Pete Davidson losing his dad - who worked as a firefighter in New York City - in the aftermath of 9/11.
Reflecting on the plot, Judd told the BBC: "I always think that there's comedy in the most difficult situations.
"That's why we like 'Dr. Strangelove' [Stanley Kubrick and Peter Sellers' dark comedy about nuclear war]. You can't have a more difficult situation than that. So that's the lens that I've always seen everything through.
"I think as a kid, I felt a lot of hostility, I didn't feel like the world was fair. But I loved comedy films and comedians and I loved that they mocked how the world worked, and they helped me try to figure it out.
"So I don't think anything is off limits, if your heart is in the right place you really can explore anything."
Meanwhile, Judd previously claimed that some of his characters have been "too funny" in the past.
As a result, the filmmaker has made a conscious effort to ensure the characters in 'The King of Staten Island' are authentic and credible.
Speaking about his decision to release the movie now, he explained: "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."