BEVERLY HILLS, California — Even before he was an A-lister, [url id=”http://www.mtv.com/movies/person/262582/personmain.jhtml”]Seth Rogen[/url] was using his deadpan delivery and signature staccato laugh to stake out a claim in voice-over work. From 2007’s “Shrek 3″ to last year’s “Kung Fu Panda,” “Horton Hears a Who!” and “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” Rogen seems to have emerged as the Apatow gang’s modern-day Mel Blanc.
This week, he teams with Reese Witherspoon, Will Arnett and Keifer Sutherland for the 3-D cartoon comedy [url id=”http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/328526/moviemain.jhtml”]”Monsters Vs. Aliens.”[/url] But when we caught up with Rogen recently, the “Knocked Up” funnyman insisted he wasn’t making so many cartoons because he had a master plan or because it was easy money.
“Honestly, I just like being in these movies — I think they’re cool movies,” explained Rogen. “I go see them, so it’s just neat to be a part of them. The fact that the schedule is kinda easy, and they can really work around whatever it is the actors are doing is nice. But that’s not really the major draw — it’s just cool to see yourself in a movie you’d like to go see.”
It seems likely that lots of people will go to see “Monsters,” a 3-D spectacular revolving around a tantalizing idea: After the government has hidden monsters from us for decades for fear they might terrify us, the freaky creatures become our only hope to fend off an attack by extraterrestrials. Our saviors include the 49-foot-tall Ginormica (Witherspoon), the mad scientist Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), the reptilian Missing Link (Arnett) and buffoonish blue blob B.O.B.
“When I signed on to do it, there wasn’t really much to B.O.B.,” remembered the actor, who can be seen again (this time, both body and voice) in next month’s live-action comedy “Observe and Report.” “He was just this brainless blob, and that’s all the directors had. But the concept was really funny, the other actors were funny, and I had faith that as we recorded it we would find something funny for B.O.B. too. And I think we did.”
According to Rogen, one of the reasons he enjoys animated films so much is that they play into the same improv-heavy techniques that he and his friends use in Judd Apatow movies like “Superbad.” And with such fellow improvisers as Arnett, Paul Rudd and Rainn Wilson along for the ride, many of the best “Monsters” lines were indeed written in the voice-over booth.
“The process was fun,” Rogen remembered. “I liked showing up and not knowing 100 percent what I was doing. I liked being able to slowly discover it as we did it.”
As far as that “master plan” is concerned, Rogen insisted that he isn’t worrying himself these days with career-driven thoughts of diversifying roles or expanding his fanbase. “No, not at all — I don’t care at all about that,” he said, punctuating the point with his signature laugh. “It’s more just, I like these movies … so I try to do them. I could care less if kids like me.”
And as far as the money angle of a potential franchise is concerned, the “Pineapple Express” star stayed true to his slacker roots once more, claiming he’s not even keeping track of where the series could go from here. “I don’t think I’m contractually obligated [to make ’Monsters vs. Aliens’ sequels],” he shrugged. “I don’t think so, but maybe? That’s a good question. You should call my lawyer.
“But I wouldn’t be surprised,” the funnyman said of a contractual sequel clause. “They’ve got some sneaky lawyers at DreamWorks.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Monsters vs. Aliens.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.