From the first trailers that were released for the film, “This Is The End” featured a number of sizable cameos. Aside from the core castmembers, including Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride, there were already clips of Michael Cera, Rihanna and others making an appearance in Rogen’s apocalyptic comedy. But there was one person whose appearance Rogen and the rest of his co-stars kept tightly under wraps — in more ways than one: Channing Tatum.
Tatum plays a small but hilarious role in the film, whose details we won’t ruin. But when Rogen spoke to MTV News, he was more than happy to discuss it, offering some background on how it was created and then talking about Tatum’s eagerness to throw himself into the role. Tatum especially liked the costume, which may come as a shock even to folks who pored over every frame of “Magic Mike.”
MTV: Channing has an amazing cameo in the film.
Rogen: It’s incredible.
MTV: Which you guys were really able to keep a great lid on.
Rogen: We did. It’s pretty amazing. It’s not really that out there yet.
MTV: So, how did that happen? How did you…
Rogen: We had this scene in the movie where we kick Danny out of the house and then we always thought it’d be funny if later when we leave we encounter him again and he’s kind of like assembled this group of like cannibal misfits. Kind of like in “Mad Max” or something he’s like large humongous now. And in the script he always had, we just, I mean it’s so stupid, had like a gimp. Like a sexual gimp on the end of a leash. We’re big “Pulp Fiction” fans. This is where it came from. Well we just thought it was funny if like that was like the ultimate side of him like degrading is like he literally has a human sex slave. And we never even… it didn’t honestly occur to us that it should be someone famous.
MTV: It’s like you don’t need it.
Rogen: It didn’t occur to us that we could get someone famous to do that and then we asked our DP, actually our cinematographer came up to us one day and was like you know if you don’t have anyone to be the slave I would like to do it. Which was so funny. And we were like oh, yeah great! No problem. Like that’s the perfect cameo for you.
Rogen: And then, but then honestly it got us thinking like oh maybe we could get like, maybe it could be like, ’cause he had to wear a mask in the script. It was like he’s in like a dominatrix mask. Even though it’s like a Luchador mask in the movie but and then we started thinking like oh maybe we could get a famous person to do it.
Rogen: And I knew… I know Channing a little. Not very well. We re-wrote “21 Jump Street” a little bit so we kind of met them during that time and he seemed like a fun guy who was down to do some crazy sh–.
MTV: No trepidation about getting in the gimp outfit?
Rogen: Yeah! And he’s very enthusiastic. So I emailed him and I literally just explained it and I was like there’s a scene in the movie where Danny has a gimp at the end of a leash and he talks about how he butt f—s him and then he found him and he abuses him sexually and the gimp loves it and it’s great and we want you to be the gimp basically. And I got an email back like 10 minutes later that was like “I’m in! When do I need to be?” And I’m like thank you so much. Like it was like there was like zero trepidation like he just, he just did it. And then he showed up. And it was like crazy like he was like ready to rock like he was like he was wearing literally like an orange thong, G-string and like football pads.
MTV: So he brought in his own wardrobe.
Rogen: Yeah. I saw him in the wardrobe but he was like so just like pumped. “It’s going to be amazing. I’m so excited.” Like he literally never met Danny, and he’s like, “I’m going to go meet Danny.” Like ran into his trailer, like tackled him like to the ground. Danny, I saw Danny, he was like “I almost got raped by Channing Tatum just now.”
MTV: I was wondering about that.
Rogen: Yeah, like it is all… like he’s wearing a mask for a lot of it, but it’s never not him. Like it’s him every second of it. And we shot that…
MTV: It’s like the Andy Serkis thing. Like that’s always him.
Rogen: It was always him! And we shot it over two nights so it was like two nights, twelve hours each night, where he’s like on his hands and knees, like scurrying around in the dirt. And like, and we had to tone it down. Like that’s actually one of the scenes we had to tone down the most cause like he went like so into it like spreading his ass open and like there was a scene… there was a part where like Dannys like throwing animal crackers into his butt and like Channing’s just like too comfortable with his body, I think. When we tested the movie we actually like found a limit where people were like it’s like too much of Channing Tatum’s body. Like there is an amount of Channing’s ass. We actually, we covered the whole scene like over Channing’s ass on to us. Like literally like just the foreground was his ass and you see me and Jay and Franco.
MTV: Well that’s something to look forward to on the DVD.
Rogen: Yeah and literally the audience was like it’s too much. Like I don’t need to see inside of Channing Tatum.